"Once your consciousness has been raised, it cannot be lowered"

My parenting journey, our home educating family and some other stuff here and there....

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Chasing my tail...help me stop the World?!

I've got to get this little soap box rant out of my system, it's been weighing me down for weeks.

"Do what you've got to do...then do what you want to do". One of the good 'ol refrains I remember ringing out in our house when I was younger. (Hi Dad!) In the past I was a dreadful procrastinator and would pretty much always do exactly the reverse of what I was told. This meant I never did much but what I felt like. Ha, to think of it now! I've grown up a bit and realised recently that I've been inadvertently following Pops' sage advice.

These days I get a great deal of pleasure just doing the things that need doing. The main tasks I refer to are related to food (buying, preparing, cleaning up the mealtime debris!) and housework (washing, more washing, washing again, tidying up). However satisfying I find the act of "doing", the sticking point for me seems to be that if I ALWAYS do what I "have" to do, I would very rarely get to the stuff I want to do. Sometimes I just have to let some things (that should probably be done) slip, otherwise my sanity would really suffer.

The housework I do is pretty much the bare minimum I feel I can get away with, I must stress I am NOT ironing tea towels and knickers, or anything else for that matter. I would actually love to have more time to be able to be a "better" housekeeper, scrubbing my doorstep daily and washing windows week in week out. But even now, just scratching the surface of what my inner flylady would love to tick off the task list, I struggle to keep up. When I add the demands of my (very demanding) children to this, I begin to see why for weeks now I have had very little time to myself to.....ummmm....write here and do all the other things I'd like to do be doing. Things like yoga, sewing, my little art projects, tinkling at the piano, reading...it's a long list.

Marshall Rosenberg talks about re-phrasing the way we think about things we find unpleasant in terms of choice. So, instead of thinking "ugh....now I have to clean the kitchen" , I would think more along the lines of "I really want to do some yoga right now but the kitchen is a bomb site and I really need it to be clean in the morning so I can prepare breakfast peacefully and with ease, so now I am choosing to clean the kitchen".

For me, thinking in terms of choices like this does make it easier to accept the elements of repetition and drudgery in my life. It also validates me if I decide to choose NOT to do the tasks at hand. But it's also just an intellectual distinction! It doesn't change the fact my family needs feeding, or that there is crap everywhere and someone at some time, usually me, will have to sort it out. I can't compromise my standards when it comes to fresh, nutritious food, and I'm not prepared to walk about in stinky dirty clothes.....how could I? So is there really a choice? Unfortunately thinking differently doesn't magic up home help or make extra hours in the day.

So, I'm mostly doing what I have to do (happily), but I need a way of finding more time for things I'd really like to do. Any ideas?

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Alles gut....an update

Well, to my surprise Magnus sat himself on the potty today and did a wee. All by himself, at just under 15 months old. How cool is that?!

We've been in a good groove with EC for a while now. M obviously recognises the feeling of needing a wee and often performs a Jackson-esque crotch grab to show he's ready. He will also grunt "uh uh uh uh", especially if there's a bit more than just a wee on the way. He'll come to me and grab my legs making this noise to let me know he wants to go. I find it very sweet. Sometimes I am too distracted to "hear" him, for example if I'm cooking or engrossed in a conversation. He gets really cross with me, and I have a sense that I don't know what he wants. If I then miss a wee, I feel sorry that I wasn't tuned in and connected, when he was asking quite clearly. A good reminder to stay in the moment.

Still, he's been wearing his little pants or a cloth nappy with no outer and the washing pile is gratifyingly small, in the wet nappy/knickers and trouser department at least. Yay. I have to tote the proper potty with me though as he refuses the big toilet, being held over a bush/grate etc, unless he's really desperate. The little bowl is definitely retired. Night times are almost always dry. I usually catch a wee a few hours after he goes to bed and then he's dry 'til morning. I should probably say "'til we get up" as we have a very loose definition of morning in our house at the moment.

So, this will test my theory anyway. Speak about the good stuff and it all goes pear-shaped? We'll see. I wish it happened the other way round. Then I could moan about all my (fairly trivial) woes and they'd vanish into thin air for a while at least.

By the way, my leg is OK. The stitches didn't work so I still have the big gaping hole, but it does seem to be knitting back together slowly, from the bone up. I am pretty pleased to have honey dressings on it to keep it nice and moist, which really seem to be helping. I am a bit sick of having a plaster on my leg now though. It's not really an attractive accessory for Summer, although that seems to be over now so I'll just put my jeans back on ;)