Coming in hot, right out of the gate, I suck at BE-ing. It's practically IMPOSSIBLE for me to simply exist. I am most ALWAYS cleaning something, tidying something, folding something, scrubbing something, crossing off a to do list, making a list about what I need to be doing next, going somewhere to do something and all in between times there is a good chance I am scrolling through social media. I feel like it's actually a rarity these days to find people who are "good" at simply existing and being present. Those that are gifted in their chillaxin' demeanor, are somewhere on a scale of mildly-extremely annoying to us DO-ers. And vis-versa. A DO-ing person may consider you Be-ing people irresponsible or lazy while the BE crowd sits back and are thinking that we are hyperactive, control freak spazzes that can't catch a breath. My husband is a bit of a hybrid, but he is MUCH MORE of a BE-bopper than I am. This has been a decent point of contention in our marriage as I judge the mess out of him when he takes the opportunity to relax on the couch and "leaves me" to take care of "everything that has to get done right this second or I am going to die". We have talked about it exhaustively and he feels the same amount of frustration sometimes about my INABILITY to sit. I can ALWAYS find something that needs to get done, planned, cleaned, even something that needs talked about RIGHT THIS SECOND. I am addicted to stimulus and productivity and I think it has something to do with the fact that it's comforting and safe when I can control my outer life by accomplishing STUFF. Isn't that so much easier than realizing I only have so much control over the little lives that I am responsible for stewarding 24/7. I notice that when I can't "control" my kids- I get VERY flustered. Sometimes, the reaction doesn't fit the situation. This is where the rubber meets the road in my parenting because it's my breaking point in conflict.
Now that I am sitting and typing about all of this, Isn't it funny that this obsession with control is actually all fake security? And if I feel that something is "out of my control" the red sirens go off in my mind and my response takes me to an alternate world where everything is going to fall apart and we are all going to die a terrifying death with all kinds of tragic scenarios to get us there. (Don't worry guys, I am on meds...) That last part was super dramatic, but I was just trying to articulate how much I over-react and respond when the kitchen isn't tidy enough or the laundry is overflowing, I still haven't emailed so and so back or what in the heck are we having for dinner?
I talk about this today because I almost cried this morning thinking about the fact that I can't remember the last time I sat down with Sutton and simply played with her for more than 5 minutes. Can I be honest? My barbie/baby doll playing timer goes off at 3 minutes. My idea of playing barbies/anything make believe is putting them all down for naps so I don't have to pretend dialogue with plastic humans. My kids are at the age where their "make believe playing" scenarios make zero sense and I am left with... well... "aww cool, ok, looks like Barbie needs a nap...". I need tips all you momma playwrights out there, it's hard! Anyways, I did put myself on productivity pause today and sat in the play room with Sutton for a VERY long 15 minutes intentionally, and it was so sweet and felt so needed. I started feeling fulfillment and joy, but also some guilt for missing/not taking these opportunities more frequently. Currently trying to manage that tension.
Ya know, what does productivity buy us anyways? Besides the feeling of control of course. Sure, I will have a clean(er) kitchen, a load of laundry done, a vacuumed living space, maybe even a fridge without 2 year expired pickles. Mostly all good outward life living practical things that make me feel like I have my shit together. But, what is the trade off? I feel like I am choosing chores and day to day tasks ALL THE TIME over consistent and undivided connection with the three tiny lives that need me to just be present with them. My sweet moldable and teachable babies that need to be shown by example what it looks like to rest, enjoy and connect in a healthy way with their mom. All of the parents I have ever felt the need to ask ---how do your kids actually like you this much? ALL have the common thread of quality time and presence.
My kids have to see that I choose them over other STUFF, Why am I so addicted to doing the STUFF? Obviously things do need to get done, but from the moment I wake up I act like it's a ticking time bomb and if I don't do as much as humanly possible in one day... bam... apocalypse. Ugh I am coming around full circle. Sorry- this is a legitimate journal entry with very little editing. I am just word vomiting all over this page my true inner dialogue with myself processing the emotions I was feeling today when this hit me like a ton of bricks. Can anyone relate? Just say yes. Great! Ok. I need to go to bed now, if you made it this far- congratulations. Not sure how to wrap this up but I do know that tomorrow I am going to play Barbies like a boss and intentionally practice nailing down those connection points throughout our day, and if laundry gets done too, that's a double win.