Thursday, 21 August 2008

With my niece here, the only thing that I have been able to do related to weight loss is my daily morning exercise. This is no small thing (I'm still not loving it, but it's now part of my morning routine which I really wanted it to become and want it to stay) but it is not enough if I want to bring my weight down. I AM stress eating and my food is all over the place.

Over the past three weeks that my 8 year old niece has been visiting me, my days have been consumed with caring for her. She is a bright beautiful curious energetic child and I am really happy to have this time to get to know her better and introducing her to all sorts of new things, but as wonderful as she is and as much as I adore her, I could not imagine being her or anyone else's parent day in day out, year after year after year. It is much too ... well, draining.

This is the biggest problem I have with motherhood. To be a good mother, I think, one has to be prepared to surrender a good part of one's personhood, personal space, time and energy. How on earth do people do that? I need extended periods of alone time to think, dream, ruminate, plan, BE. Without this time I could not function, could not maintain my sanity. Without it I would quickly suffocate and die.

Having my niece here reminds me of just how much I am not cut out for motherhood. This is something that I've always pretty much known about myself. I don't hate kids mind you (though I have to admit I tend to prefer child free zone on any form of public transport or socialising) but bringing a life into the world and being responsible for its emotional, spiritual, physical and social development and well-being is mind bogglingly terrifying to me.

Parenting a child has got to be the most challenging and important job one can ever do in one's life and I am definitely not up for it.

10 comments:

  1. So true. It should a requirement to take care of small children (one or a couple) before one attempts to conceive.

    I am much like you and I have three girls, 8, 5 and 3. It is so very difficult to have time alone, time to recharge the batteries, time to really think.

    I suppose the answer is, you do what absolutely needs to be done and many times your own needs or wants are left at the curb.

    It's a very tricky balance and one that most mothers like to pretend does not exist.

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  2. Cardiogirl's got it right. I almost didn't do it. I was 37 and kind of set in how I was living my live and very happy with it. My husband already had a kid, so he'd already been there, done that. But in spite of all that, when I got pregnant, it was like this little missing piece had been found. One I didn't even know was missing.

    Loving a child can make up for a lot of things you have to give up. It is like no other relationship - and I am forever grateful that I have the opportunity to experience this.

    All that said, there ARE people who probably shouldn't have kids. Whose lives are totally fulfilling as they are. Sometimes when you add a child to that mix there's a lot of resentment. Personal decision. That's all I can say.

    Except that having a kid around DOES wreak havoc on weightloss efforts. That may be why so many mothers feel frustrated in this area - I know that I do!

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  3. I feel pretty much the way you do, at this point. I think at some point, the trade-off will be worth it to me, but I will be someone who will gladly utilize baby-sitters, relatives, mother's day out, or whatever else to have some peaceful time that's so important to me.

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  4. Good job on exercising. I know its a pain the rear huh? Sounds like your niece is a handful. I know they are...I have two!

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  5. Yes,there are many sacrifices we must make to become parents. I know when my daughter was little, I found it easier when I worked, as I needed the down time and workimg was my solace.

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  7. you and your niece look great!

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  8. IMHO, the only people who shouldn't be parents are those who abuse drugs and/or people. For the rest of us, children change us. The things we used to think were important change. While you always need "me time," you learn different ways to get those moments. I am not saying whether or not you should have kids, only that you would be surprised by how much you would adapt if you did.

    OTH, the nice thing about nieces is that you can enjoy them, spoil them, and send them back to their parents. Grandparents have that advantage too, except they let your kids get away with things they never let you get away with.

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  9. When you become a mother, you realize how flexible your time and life become for that child. I love being a mom.

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