This is Dominique's most recent Guest Blogger entry. I wholeheartedly agree with her! To visit her two sites, click on Searching for Freelance Success and Balancing Act Webzine (for women writers) as well as: Mommy Writers (covers every spectrum for writing mothers)
My son is now 14 months old. It's been a scary time. The months leading up to his 1st birthday I was terrified. I was sure I'd be a weepy mess on his birthday. He's walking now. How did that happen? Where did the time go? How did my little baby get so big? Before I know it he'll have a crush on some girl and asking for driving lessons. It's like the months just snuck by. He wants to climb down out of my lap and do his own thing. He wants to get out of his stroller and explore. Too many changes too fast. And what's worse is I feel I don't have enough time to soak in this time as it is.
Most days once I get up out of bed the first thing I can think to do is get on my computer, check my e-mail and get to work trying to finish as many writing assignments, or blog posts as possible, research as much as possible, network, comment on blog, sort the laundry, get dinner cooked, clean off my desk - there's always something. My little one claws at my thighs as I sit at my computer and cries for my attention, "Mommy can't play right now, I'm busy."
It's such a frustrating problem - I want to spend as much time as possible with him and hold onto these moments as tight as I can and squeeze every seconds out of the day, so that when the day comes that he's graduating high school or whatever I won't regret not spending as much time with him as possible. That's why I chose to stay home with him after all. but somewhere between the choice to stay home and the choice to work from home I forgot to make play time a priority. After all that's a part of being a mom, right?
Right when the epiphany is over and I'm on this high, determined to make time for play time, it seems a gazillion other things begin to demand my attention at once. And so, I have become a zombie. The kind that is operating on 4hrs of sleep a night and going 1000 mph in the day. The kind that has no energy and falls asleep before her head even hits the pillow at night.
So what's a gal to do? I've read that it's the quality of the time you spend with your children, not the quantity. But is that just something they tell too busy parents to make them feel better? Let's face it - if I spent an amazing 1hr with my son once a year, how great that 1 hr was is not going to outshine the fact that I was too busy the other 8759 hrs. There has to be a balance between quality and quantity.
I figure 2 hours of my undivided attention a day should be the perfect mix of quantity and quality. That means no phones, no computers, no cooking, no laundry sorting, no calendar arranging, just mommy/baby time. That's surely going to poke a hole in my productivity. But I'm sure it will all be worth it. I don't think I'll wish I'd spent more time on that article in 15yrs, but I will wish that I'd taken advantage of my time at home with the little guy before he turned into the big guy.
So now when he's kicking and screaming for my attention and I have to tear myself away from the computer I try to be thankful of the reminder instead of upset about being behind schedule. Today I had to pull myself away from the computer in the middle of writing this post to let the little one ride on my back. I do not regret it. And guess what, the post is still on its way to being finished and I was only 10min delayed.
Play time is not the enemy. In fact, it's the only way I know how to cope with how fast time goes by. I may not be able to freeze time, but I can create moments. Moments that I'll remember for years. Moments that I can use as comfort when he's too big to ride on my back anymore.
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