Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Biggest Parenting Challenge

So, I read this blog and they posted asking what the readers biggest parenting challenges are in an effort to address reader needs. It started me thinking and the thing is that my biggest parenting challenge has very little to do with the mechanics and logistics of parenting and a lot to do simply with how I interact with the world in general. While Megan's fledgling violent streak and Charlie's penchant for drama are cause for some extra parenting cognition, the thing that challenges me most as a parent is me. Specifically, I tend to get overstimulated somewhat easily. While I am completely fine in an office setting and even cope reasonably well in a classroom setting, being a SAHM is challenging for me when you consider my children and their ages. Both are talkers. Both were EARLY talkers. Both are high needs in their own way. Both are cuddlers and touchers. Both are going to be in fairly high physical need stages of life for at least a few more years and there is another on the way. My life is filled with a constant background of chatter, singing, Charlie's many, many sound effects (he recently perfected his helicopter noise- the joy!), questions, requests, demands, and other joyful noises. Thankfully, neither child is in a particularly whiny stage at the moment.

Before the added demands of pregnancy, I would say that I reached my saturation limit around 3 pm assuming Megan could be coaxed into taking a decent nap and Charlie agreed to sit quietly and watch a couple of shows during rest time. But, I still tended to eat dinner by myself, upstairs. The added cacophony of "Where's my cup?" "I dropped my spoon," and "More!!!" that comes with meal time being simply beyond me. When I would eat with the family, I would often be snappish and my husband would often suggest that I might prefer to eat upstairs anyway. With the added demands of pregnancy, I peter out at about 11, Megan's nap is slowly fading away and Charlie is on some sort of restfulness strike filling rest time with chatter and fidgets. So, I am left with an even more urgent need to figure out how to balance the very legitimate if exuberant needs of two young children with my very real need to have a few moments of peace. Right now, I have been known to put on a show, give the children snacks and drinks and then steal out into the hall for a few minutes of silence. Both children are in care two mornings a week which was quite helpful until we ran into the Christmas break, quickly followed by snow, ice, and a mysterious 3 day long "winter break" which was less than 3 weeks after the end of Christmas break. My husband modified his schedule so he goes in early but is also home by about 4 which is when I need him most. But, of course, none of these are perfect. At this point, I am mostly hoping that the occasions when I do start to crack are outweighed by the many occasions on which I don't.

1 comment:

suzannah said...

i think we all definitely need some real and true "me" time--to get coffee, work out, pray, see a girlfriend, whatever.

i hope you find that time to renew, refresh, and regroup. it is so hard (well, impossible, really), to be "on" all time.

take care of yourself:)