Wednesday, May 02, 2012

tomorrow i will play more

i am feeling a little down on my mama-self lately.

it seems i do so much multi-tasking with tristan, i am afraid to count how many times a day i say just a minute to him.

there are the everyday tasks: laundry, cooking, tidying (notice i didn't say cleaning), dealing with pressing concerns and correspondence. and there are my various creative projects that i try to sneak in, perhaps too often. and then there is just distraction: facebook. email.

and there is his 14 year old sister. she needs time too!

we certainly spend quality time together, and a lot of it. but i feel like i'm lacking in the playfulness category. i like to do activities together: crafts, puzzles, reading, cooking, outdoor discovery. but i'm not so good at the full on imaginative play, which i'm pretty sure, is his most favorite thing.

yesterday morning, while i was totally sick on the couch, i was listening to dan and tristan imitating dragons and chasing each other around the house. no wonder he often asks for daddy when he wakes up from his nap (he is napping right now, by the way, a giant nap, which means he'll be up with the owls tonight).

and then there are the times when i sit down for a full on session of gnome house, or playmobil, or line-the-trucks-up-for-a-race, or tree blocks, and everything i do must be undone. no, that gnome doesn't belong there! or i'm going to pull the wheels off this truck you wanted to zoom! or i'm going to move these pieces of the game to the opposite side of the room or i am right this minute going to destroy that house of blocks you so carefully built or that stone is not a stone and that cow is not a cow and that fairy is not a fairy! i ask myself, why do i even try?

and maybe trying shouldn't be part of the formula. just do-ing. and re-doing. and not being attached to a single thing.

i'm pretty sure i've written about this before. . .

mamas, i ask you, how much time do you spend cross legged on the floor, simply playing?

how do you go about parceling your day into play, tasks, personal fulfillment and online communication? do you have a schedule, a formula, a rhythm, or does it all just arise? when do you process those photos, blog, play, do the dishes, figure out the week's menu, play, launder, sweep, do yard work, play, stimulate your intellect, learn something new, protest the powers that be, do your homework, play, work on that photo book gift project, meet your writing deadline, sew, work, play?

how often are you online? how do you keep that single communicative link with the outside world (especially if you live in isolation) under control?

and did i skip exercise? the ever elusive-to-me, exercise?

i know i am so incredibly lucky to be able to stay at home with my little guy. i wouldn't want it any other way. and i love him beyond words. but he is an intense little fellow. and i am not the young urban mama i was with his big sister (though i know i was a multi tasking maniac with her too). why do i so often find myself pledging, before a night's rest, tomorrow i will play more, and finding the following night that the time spent still seems inadequate?


Anonymous said...

having read this post, i scrolled down through some of your other posts. tristan is a very lucky boy indeed! it looks like you give plenty of heart and play to him...maybe he's not alway agreeable about how you give it to him, but that's being a toddler.

lately my toddler has me feeling like a really bad mama, cherish the moments you have. here's the thing. you know some things your child doesn't. it's ok to take more time for yourself. it's tough being the caretaker and playmate, and it's fine to set boudaries. no guilt allowed. you are rocking it.

zoe krylova said...

thanks for your positive words. i think i have to figure out how to set boundaries so that he and i are both happy. sometimes he is just a sad mess. and so am i!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, you're doing a great job. I have a friend who said the other week that having 3 kids, working part time, etc. etc. she felt like she wasn't multi-tasking, she was multi-failing. But it's not true. It's safe to assume that most of us are doing the best we can with what we have :)

Elizabeth said...

Zoe, though I cannot answer your questions, because I am not a mom {sadly :( } I can say you do *so* much. Have you read your blog lately? You amaze me with your creativity! I have a hard time keeping up with teaching, housework, reading, writing, and keeping in touch with people near and far, and I'm not even a mom.
I can say that boys and girls play differently. You and Dan are both such wonderful parents and you each have your strengths. I'm sure Tristan asks for you when he plays with Dan too.
I hope to some day be a mom and ask *you* some questions.

gizard said...

Thanks for your sweet words Elizabeth. Some days are harder than others! I also hope that someday you can be a mom and ask me questions. Do you feel strongly that you need a partner in motherhood? I have a lot of *awesome* single mama pals.

zoe krylova said...

oops, the above comment was from me, zoe, not gizard! i didn't realize he was signed in (dan).

Unknown said...

happy mother's day, Zoe!

I really, really relate to this post. Uncomfortably so. I also feel that I'm lacking as a playmate, and that I'm constantly pulled away by thousands of tasks--some of which really do need to be done and others which I probably do to avoid playing, which I don't feel good at.

It's tough. We can't be good at everything, but it's not fun to admit that you're not good at play (as opposed to, like, algebra).

I do love your notion of play as meditation--just do it, and don't get attached to anything about it--that sounds really wise to me, and might be the key. Activities are great too, but there must be free time.

Sometimes John will strum the guitar while playing with Elsie. That seems like a good solution to me--gives his hands something to do but lets him be present and interact a lot. Maybe knitting could be that way? Or...?

In any case, scolding ourselves probably doesn't help! You are so naturally talented at so many aspects of parenting. Tristan and Tashi are both super lucky to have a mama like you.