Thursday, March 24, 2011

Waiting for more time - is that an oxymoron?

I’ve been trying very hard to get back into the exercise vibe this week.  I have succeeded pretty well, considering I had a minor muscle pull in one calf.  I’ve been walking on the treadmill 3 nights a week and making sure I stretch properly, and I’ve also been doing 15-30 minutes of yoga on non-treadmill nights.

My psychologist stressed the importance of exercise for my mental health, but I can’t seem to escape the nagging feeling that I am not being productive when I take time out to exercise.  I feel like I ought to be doing something else at the same time; like reading, or knitting, or typing up minutes from the last committee meeting.

I am very behind on my committee work, mainly because I have been knitting wolf suits and vaginas, but also because I am pretending that if I ignore it, it will go away.

I volunteered for the committee under duress, as it was at a time in my life when I wanted to join everything in order to be accepted and be USEFUL and all sorts of other angsty, needy nonsense.
Now, having had a really excellent session of cognitive behavioural therapy, and also reading the article about saying no in the latest edition of Littlies magazine, I recognise that unless I give up “Me Time” I do not have time to be a regular committee member.

I have thought long and hard about this, and wondered if I could be considered selfish for wanting to give up voluntary work in order to spend time knitting body parts, running on the spot and chatting to people I have only ever met online, and I have come to the conclusion that I could not.

My job is to care for my children and manage my household.  Now I won’t carp on about how much work it is being a stay-home Mum.  Those that are, know.  Those that aren’t either also know or don’t believe you and will never be convinced.  Suffice to say, if I get done all the jobs that NEED to be done every day, plus the jobs that I would LIKE to get done in order for the house to be more than just “livable” I get finished around 9pm at night (I start at 6.30am).

At that time I do my 15-30 minutes of exercise and then sit down with some knitting and a cuppa.  I tend to spend at least an hour on knitting if I am working on a specific project, so that gets me to around 10.30pm.  After that I flick on the PC and catch up with the world.

I try very hard to get into bed by 11pm, and as I type now it’s 10.45 so I should make it tonight, but if I am reading some good blog posts, or chatting to a mate in the UK who is just getting  up, it’s hard to stick to a decent bedtime.

So, if I do anything extra, I have to give up my evenings to do it, and to be honest, if I am to be a mentally competent parent and a sane human being, then I can’t give up my evenings until I have more free time during the day.

The way I have begun to see it is that my children are at home full-time til they are 4 and head for Kindy part-time, then onto school full-time at 5.  My youngest is now 1, so I have 3 years left of dedicating all my daylight hours to their needs, and snatching “Me Time” after they go to bed.  Once they are all at Kindy and school, THEN I will start to give a bit back to my community.

The community can damn well wait.

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