Thursday, April 8, 2010

Forgiveness and Action

I forgave myself yesterday. I didn't apologize for the mess or overdue tasks or dirty hair. I just took a deep breath, said I'd take care of it in time, and forgave myself. Then I took a guilt-free nap.

Later, after I picked the kids up from school, we all went to the museum, exploring and touching and asking questions until the security guard announced that the museum was closed and even then he had to pry us out of the exhibit because we wanted to try that thing just one more time.

My world didn't collapse because I continued ignoring "THE LIST". We had fun.

And today I was recharged and already have gotten the top three irksome, bothersome, dreadful things on my list taken care of.

Forgiveness, followed by action. Now I just need to practice. And maybe do a little laundry, too.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


The critics in my head are very loud this week. I can do no right, I am a failure at everything, I'll never succeed no matter what I try. It's very disheartening, especially since they all speak in my own voice. I got a wonderful hug from Will this morning and cried a little, and he told me I needed to tell them to shut up, but it's just not that easy.

I am overwhelmed right now by my to-do list, which in reality isn't that big and wouldn't be too hard to contend with if I just sat down and did it. I use tiredness or the kids or any other excuse not to start, and I haven't yet figured out why I don't just "get it done", but I don't, and of course the longer I wait the worse everything gets.

Funny thing is, I feel like I used to get a lot more done when I was working. How is it that I have more time (including 3 hours a day to myself) and yet I can't even keep up with the laundry, let alone dust bunnies, dirty toilets or school projects?

Remember the Tardis from Dr. Who? It was the size of a phone booth on the outside, but extended in every dimension inside. My days are like that (in a bad way) -- limited time, but the stuff i want to do is far larger. And of course, that is fodder for the critics. Dirty dishes in the sink? White trash. Piles of laundry? Slovenly. Overdue phone calls? Irresponsible.

I read an article in O magazine the other day that talked about finding the truth of a statement. In it a woman was panicking, and the counselor she went to kept asking "is that true?" Over and over again, until all the layers of the onion peeled away, and the woman finally took a deep breath and said "no, it's not." That understanding gave her peace. I tried to use that with the voices in my head this morning, especially around the "you're a bad parent" accusation. But it didn't work. I kept hearing arguments against myself. No matter how smart, funny, healthy, generous, wonderful my kids are, all I see is a reflection of mistakes and failures on my part, as if they are rising above my parenting, rather than growing better because of my efforts.

As I was loading the dishwasher this morning, I finally thought of an answer for Sam, for when he challenges me on why he has to do something, especially when Will and I don't follow our own rules. Because I am trying to raise my children to be better people that their parents. I just hope I don't become the critic in his head.