Sunday, October 23, 2011

Creating Balance

I'm convinced that when something becomes "mine" it must emanate a certain smell that my children find irresistible... It doesn't matter the actual value of the item, it could be a piece of toast or my new high heels, either way, they want it. My bed, for example, is irresistible. It doesn't seem to matter if I'm going to be in it or not, because its mine - they want it. The same goes for whatever I've decided to drink, eat or watch. My seat on the couch. My new water bottle. My love for scrapbooking....     I suppose I could view this as a compliment -- imitation is the sincerest form of flattery -- but most of the time it just feels claustrophobic.    I seem to have a hard time with sharing and with giving up my personal space. I blame it partly on growing up as an only child, but I have to lay most of the blame at my own feet - I just tend to be on the selfish side. 
When I begin to feel encroached upon and start to feel like I'm being smothered, I vacillate between feeling guilty for not wanting to share my time or space and feeling totally frustrated at how demanding my children can be. I'm starting to realize that if I stay on top of it, if I make sure that I take little breaks before I become totally overwhelmed, things tend to go much more smoothly.
Lowell handles this same issue much differently than I do. He seems to have no problem demanding his personal space and time. For example, he has no problem locking the bathroom door whereas 95% of the time, I have at least one child walk in on me. Likewise, he has no problem insisting that they entertain themselves when he wants time to himself or if he wants time for he and I to spend together. I, on the other hand, tend to feel guilty about making similar requests of the kids.
I'm happy to say that I'm getting better at setting appropriate boundaries about how much I let myself be available to the babies. I know that they want my time, focus, affection and attention but I have also learned that its not healthy for me or for them to have my "open" sign out 24/7. They are learning to be more self-sufficient and I'm learning to give myself a little more freedom. Some days I feel good about the balance I've imposed, while other days I know I've let the scale go too far in one direction or the other.
In the past, I would dwell on those failures. Now, I'm working on learning from them and moving on. I still have days where I let guilt and regret get to me but not nearly as much as in the past. Its a process, and, as much as I hate it, I'm trying to give myself grace to learn through trial and error.
I'm blessed that I have children who know their mom isn't perfect but who love me and want to spend time with me anyway.... Sometimes, I guess I'm just a little over-blessed but I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

1 comment:

The Northrups said...

What a beautiful family!!! So happy for you!!