After spending much of the last two days doing things with and for the kids that I didn’t really want to be doing myself, and feeling like a selfish PIG because of it, I’m trying to find out who I am again. What is it that I really enjoy doing? How do I spend time with my kids without feeling like I’m not getting any enjoyment out of it? What’s the matter with me? Who am I anymore?
I know I don’t like standing in lines. I know I don’t like amusement park rides. I know I get really tired of noise ALL the TIME. I don’t like being pulled around, clung to, whined at, argued with. I know I don’t like playing games that degenerate into bickering and crying when one loses or doesn’t get ones way.
The problem is, it’s not all about me. And I want it to be. Except that I’m a mature adult and know better than to act like that. But it’s how I want to act. I want it to be all about me. What if I don’t want to spend the day at Wet ‘n’ Wild? What if I don’t want to walk around for hours at a Fall Festival, then wait in line for more than an hour at the rock wall, only to have the child insisting I stay there with her give up after getting only three feet off the ground?
As was so plainly pointed out to me when I mentioned my feelings, I do many things that don’t involve the kids and that take a chunk of my time: I watch baseball, I read, I am on the worship team at church, I’m the copy editor of Worldwide Challenge magazine. We host a small group in our home every week.
All of that’s true, I am involved in those things and they aren’t kid-driven, but somehow all that seems more for survival than fun. And they’re things I mostly do alone. Nobody really enjoys watching baseball with me. I read by myself. I work from home as a copy editor by myself. The only things I do with other people are lead worship at church and host our small group. But those aren’t leisure-time activities that I find “fun.” They may be what God’s calling me to do right now, and they may be fulfilling, but they don’t bring me lighthearted joy.
I want to feel light hearted.
But if I’m not feeling that way, I don’t think it’s my activities that are the problem. Ouch. Don’t really want to have to face the condition of my heavy heart right now. Takes too much work. And I’m tired.
Tired of laundry and grocery lists and cooking. Tired of correcting homework and having frustrations taken out on me. Even vacations aren’t really vacations when disputes still have to be settled, cooking still has to be done, laundry doesn’t stop. I think I need a week at a spa.
And whether it’s my own vain imaginations or not, when I think of wanting to do something for myself, I feel guilty for wanting it. When I do sit down to read and my daughter comes to me wanting me to play with her, I feel very guilty for not really wanting to do that. It is all about the kids during these years, right? But what’s that the airlines say? Put the oxygen mask on yourself before you try to assist someone else.
I feel like I can’t breathe. And nobody in this house understands that. I really want them to understand. I want someone to ask me what it is that I want to do. But first I have to figure out what that something would be.