Kathleen Whitfield

on 10/7/05 3:27 AM, [email protected] at
[email protected] wrote:

>He was
> working 7 days a week for a while, 3 days at 14 hour
> shift (2 diff. jobs) so the only way I could take care
> of me and nurture myself was to do it with the kids
> around. Not having ANY free time until they are older
> doesn't sounf healthy to me, are you sure? I tend to
> just get grumpier and grumpier until I get a break,
> doesn't everyone need a break form being with other
> people, kids or adults? I consider myself to be very
> social, but even I need breaks!

I've done that, Denise -- focus on how much I need a break and how much work
I need to do and how the heck do I get "me" time. I've found that it's a
destructive pattern of thinking because, frankly, it alters the way I look
at and interact with my children. Seeing them as hindrances and something I
need an escape from ultimately isn't good for our relationships. I've been a
lot happier (and I'm sure they have, too!) since I've consciously accepted
that they will be with me almost always and that my goal is to enjoy them
and to make life as rich for them as possible. Maybe it's easier for me
because I have always enjoyed them tremendously -- with just occasional
bouts of frustration -- and they've never been to school or preschool.

My house isn't neat. I don't cook from scratch all the time -- I often make
ahead large batches of basic ingredients we all like: rice, meat, potatoes
-- and we eat fruit and veggies raw most of the time. I used to do the
buying club and make more whole wheat breads and biscuits and such, but I've
been simplifying our diets -- partially because I don't need that many carbs
and the kids don't miss them. I don't do a lot of chopping. I do spend a lot
of time with my husband, just talking about current events and sports and
other things of interest to both of us, and I spend a lot of time talking to
and doing things with my kids: library, parks, museums, the skating rink.
Today we're going to a pumpkin patch. I also work a lot on the computer -- I
have deadlines and paying clients and then volunteer work on top of that. My
computer is right next to the TV in our playroom. I don't suffer from
depression (I know I'm lucky) -- when I've had bouts of the blues it's
frequently when I have felt trapped, oftentimes because I've been sitting
around the house, looking inward and looking at my life's restrictions
rather than the possibilities.

in LA