tripping the life unbalanced

Monday, November 20, 2006

insane in the brain

Does anyone else have these kind of family days?

First, you start off with one day of the week which you've proclaimed is "family" day. That means a day full of activities that is just for you and yours. A day full of good intentions and sunny ideas and a belly full of giggles and fulfillment. Maybe a trip to the zoo, maybe a day inside doing puzzles together. Regardless of what the activity is, this is supposed to be a day just to spend time together. You know, like all the experts say. "Spend time together", the parenting magazines tell us. No one ever mentions how truly TRULY hard this can be. At least for my family.

What does family day look like at my house, you ask? Oh, let's see: sleep deprived parents who have used up all their goodwill and extra energy during the work week; a broken-down car that fucking breaks down every fucking week; a preschooler hopped up on sugar and boredom; an endlessly messy and chaotic house; and some over-emphasized and under-planned event, like say the Santa Claus parade this past weekend in Toronto.

Yes, we made it to the parade. Well, Alice and I did. Matt was stuck in traffic and the only precious "family" time we had during that event was an awesome cell phone conversation:

Me: where are you?? You are missing the parade.

Him: yeah, well, I'm stuck in traffic. STUCK STUCK STUCK. What can I do about that?

Me: well what do you want me to tell you? (frustrated at having no control over this situation, ultimately which isn't really his fault. But DAMMIT did he have to go to Home Depot just before the parade??)

Him: what I WANT you to tell me is that it's OK I'm missing the parade, what I WANT you to tell me is that you aren't going to nag me about this for years to come. what I WANT you...

Me: click. Hang up.

And then, looking down at my daughter's blissful expression, totally unaware of her parents' insanity, as my own personal hell goes by on a float:




We ultimately made up and tried to salvage the rest of the day, but the pressure of making this one day a week really count is driving me bananas. The rest of the week we cope and tread water, pinning all of our hopes on that fateful "family" day. So when we awake to the reality of Sunday morning which is cleaning and meals all over again, I think we feel cheated by it. I admit it, I want the dream of family day. The anticipated satisfaction we could all have from spending time together. When, in reality, we could be just as happy spending alone time in separate rooms of the house.

12 Comments:

  • that's why we try the no pressure route. BUT, we spend more time than we like with our kids, so it's different on our end. :)

    Viv's first parade this weekend. I'm sure I'll have to peel her off a float at some point.

    By Anonymous thordora, at 3:25 PM  

  • what is this family day you speak of? Weekends for us are for cleaning up and getting all the crap that can't be done during the week done. I know we should make time (I can hear the magazines and parenting books shouting at me now) but ... well that's just it: BUT it aint' gonna happen anytime soon. At least we clean up together (smiley smirk and shrug)

    By Blogger MotherBumper, at 4:36 PM  

  • Family time...heh heh...

    Today we had a family outing...The Happy Boy, The Taxman, the Weed, The Nanny and myself all piled into the car and headed to The Dentist. It was fun...in as much as a trip to the dentist can be.

    But parades? I'll admit it...i hate them!!

    By Anonymous Naomi, at 10:30 PM  

  • We spent the parade discussing how people manage to get six foot ladders to the corner of Queen and Church, and speculating on how we might manage on drywaller's stilts next time. Josie's feet fell asleep for the first time ever, from sitting so long on Steve's shoulders and the pins and needles startled her so much, that when we took her down and she collapsed, I was looking around for the nearest ambulance, thinking that I'd only put a pair of tights and socks under her jeans, and still she was cold - and so it was my fault that she'd lose her toes to frostbite or nerve damage or something. Next time? Mommies and kids only, ladders somehow, and flasks. Whaddya say?

    By Blogger Marla, at 5:00 PM  

  • Yeah, dh wandering off to do some errand and missing a family outing is one of my number one pet peeves. I sympathize.

    By Blogger landismom, at 9:37 PM  

  • Family day, fugghedaboudit. Family minute, perhaps. 10-15 seconds where we don't feel the need to be heavily medicated. We went to the local tree lighting and blew off the parade to watch it on TV. Baby Girl of course mixed the two concepts up and now thinks I took her to the most awesome event of the century. I'm thinking of doing this when she wants to go to "disneyland" one day (aka a trip to the disney store and maybe the food court then we'll holiday in Bimini or somewhere civilized.)

    By Blogger tomama, at 1:35 PM  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:00 PM  

  • We've made an effort recently to spend at least one weekend day on similar outings. So far, mostly good, except that my husband and I usually end up snapping or snarking at one another at some point in the day. and that's always fun. :)

    By Anonymous karrie, at 7:45 AM  

  • We actually spend lots of time separately. If we have a free day, one of us will take Cakes all morning, the other in the afternoon, so each of us has a nice chunk of time to ourselves.

    By Blogger metro mama, at 6:16 PM  

  • I totally relate. Pressure!! It's too much. I'd rather lay in bed and watch House while my husband takes her somewhere, anywhere. I don't find it cute when we all lay in bed and read her stories. I feel like, Hey, why don't you read stories and I'll check my email. I mean, since you're in here already. It's kind of a waste for BOTH of us. Yeah, kind of unsentimental.

    By Blogger Stefanie, at 1:23 AM  

  • Oh I so remember those 'lets be a perfect functioning family and we get along all the time smoke and mirror' type of days. Toddlers are hard to keep content, you are tired, etc etc. Take comfort from the fact that you are not alone. Maybe lower your expectations of how it will play out a bit, take some adult time for yourselves.
    ps...next time remember...kids loooooove Home Depot!

    By Blogger crazymumma, at 9:38 PM  

  • Having grown up with a mom who had mental health issues, I learned it worked well to expect little and to be happy if things turned out okay. That way, good is terrific and great is fabulous...

    xo

    By Blogger Ann D, at 2:11 PM  

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