vrijdag 13 augustus 2010

A thought of wonder

"It is worth a lot to become more aware of our relationship with 'time'. Especially with what it costs to be so attached to using our time in the most efficient way." (In Dutch: Het is de moeite waard ons bewust te zijn van onze relatie met tijd, vooral van wat het ons kost om te veel gehecht te zijn aan efficiƫnt tijdgebruik.)

I read this sentence this week on the lovely site from Flow-Magazine. (Love the magazine and all the stuff they make!). Anyway: the sentence struck me, because I have to admit that inside of me there is this 'person'. I guess it's a She. She's kinda nice, but also kinda strict. She's pretty concerned with how other people think of her. She is especially outspoken about how the household needs to be done. How tidy it must be, how clean and all. How I can use my time very efficiently!

My grandmother knew her well, my mother knows her very well, and my stepmother doesn't know who she is apart from her. So it is not just a genetic thing, probably a lot has to do with upbringing. But she is here sometimes, looking a bit like this:

Wanting me to be like this:

But often I try and find myself to be like this:

Even though I worry quiet often: "do I spend enough time with my children? Is my daughter infected with the household virus by now or do I have some time left to change things around? What do I want to teach her when growing up? What does she see when she looks at me?" Both my daughters can play very well on their own.
On the one hand, I see this as a good thing. They feel comfortable with themselves and can concentrate easily and always find something to do, even if it is just moving their hands through the sand watching the clouds. (Mmmm, can you remember what that felt like when you were little? It felt so good, those endless days and skies.).
On the other hand I wonder whether they withdraw in their own world, cuz mommy is busy cleaning. Like this afternoon: my (almost) 4 year old and I just played one game. This made me feel guilty. I do try to draw her into helping me. This afternoon it worked well, because she wants to be Cinderella when she grows up. "And Cinderella cleaned a lot before she met her prince!" Honestly her words, not mine!

It is hard for me to keep calm. To notice the 'voice' inside of me and accept her. Not to be mistaken with agreement. I find myself sometimes literally talking to 'her'. "I hear you, and yes it is a mess, and yes my mother would never have such a household, but I am not my mother, and I try to be more 'in the moment' and play with my children." Slowly and reluctantly she accepts my arguments. She is relaxing a bit every now and then. But God, this process is hard!!!!

So what does it cost me? The need for efficiency?
  1. it costs me the ability to 'stay in the moment'
  2. it costs me the ability to really feel. Whether it is the wind or some restlessness or whatever, it can be anything, but at least it is real!
  3. it costs me the ability to lean back, to just kick back, and experience time a lot more like my kids do.
  4. it costs me the ability to just loaf around (lantefanteren in Dutch) and ENJOY IT!
I will remind myself of this the next couple of weeks. So that I, my daughters and 'her' can all kick back and relax and have a good laugh!

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Oh god, I have 'her' too. No wonder you and I are friends - even our multiple personalities get along!

    I just has a similar conversation last week where it was said to me "housework is not mothering". Wow. That small sentence shook me to the core and went against everything I had been shown from my mom AND my grandma. My house, and my grandmother's were like museums.

    So that has been my mantra since then - and it is helping (there's a dirty kitchen behind me, and about 600 messes I should attend to).

    Not to say that I'm completely cured or anything, but it is a step.

  2. Wow, great post! And thank you for your comment on my blog! I wish my kids could be more autonomous, but most of the time, I feel like they are fighting or walking around aimless. Yesterday, my 6 year old son (Gab) cut my knitting off the needles! Probably a sign that I should be spending some more time showing them how to play together instead of doing mommy things!

    I like a clean house, but my house isn't clean. No time. But, the odd things is, is that I feel like I'm cleaning ALL the time! I do try and get the kids involved, and this morning, I just said to myself that it was much better to spend time playing a game with them than cleaning the kitchen. It's hard, though, and a never-ending circle. I, personally, can't relax if the house is a mess, so I clean it during naptime and then don't relax or do anything I 'want' to do like knitting or reading and then the house becomes messy again! A vicious cycle.

    My biggest fear is that when my kids are old enough to be more autonomous and occupy themselves and take their showers by themselves and go to bed by theirselves etc... I am going to look back on these years and say "Wow, they went by so fast and I didn't even take one moment and savor them."