I have to say, writing these protected posts is therapeutic for me. It gives me a chance to write from my heart, from my true heart (throwing censorship to the wind – for the most part at any rate), to air out my confined emotions and hopefully, to explain myself, because unfortunately, I need to explain myself most of the time – both in what I say and in how I behave. So many times, I simply react to life and throw my emotions out there instead of stopping and thinking about what I’m saying or doing ahead of time.
These posts give me the opportunity to not only explain my actions, but yes, apologize for them, too.
Again, I’m sorry if the protected posts seem exclusive and rude – they aren’t meant to shut you out, but to serve as a gateway from me and my thoughts to my family, but I will try to take the topic of those private posts and give them a public spin so you won’t feel totally left out.
The topic uppermost on my mind right now?
Ignoring my family.
I know that sounds unspeakable given our obsession to be super moms/parents nowadays. We all work very hard to have it all – jobs, family, children, interests, romance. And though I think it’s possible to obtain all of those things, I think it’s also necessary to sacrifice some of those things, too.
The key is knowing WHEN to sacrifice and HOW much to sacrifice.
Dr. Laura would disagree with me. She is a huge advocate of family – and I agree with her most of the time. I think women need to consciously treat their husbands as equals, as partners, not as slaves or scapegoats. I think if we (both men and women) make the decision to have children, then by God, commit to it and accept the fact that your life is not now, nor will ever be from that point on, just about you and your partner. You will have to give up that last bite of cookie. You’ll have to postpone/cancel things you want to do in order to educate/entertain your partner/children. You will have to put your needs on the back burner and you’ll have to learn to deal with that and not resent that fact.
Though I hesitate to say you should forgo your interests and dreams and focus your life around your family, that’s what needs to happen if you want to obtain true happiness.
You can scream feminist jargon all you want, that’s just how it is for women. Fight it, curse it, embrace it, love it … accept it.
There is an independent, stubborn, selfish part of me that objects to this preaching. After all, I reason, just because I’m someone’s wife and someone’s mother, shouldn’t mean I have to lose sight of myself in the process, right?
And I’ve lost sight of myself A LOT in years past. In fact, it’s safe to say, I never thought I’d see the “Karen” part of me ever again because the “Mrs.” and the “Mom” parts of me dominated my life for so long.
But we’re not talking about the sacrificial part of being a woman, we’re going to focus on that small sliver of guilt we all feel when we thumb our noses at conventional ideology about marriage and children and concentrate on nurturing ourselves.
Surely, there is some way to have it all. Surely, there is some way we can balance family, children, career, and hobbies. Surely, there is some way we can agree on time and space to just be ourselves, to do what we want, when we want and how often we want.
If anyone figures that out, let me know. *grin*
In the meantime, I’m going to dub November as my selfish, ME time. November is my month. Not because my birthday is in November, because quite frankly, I don’t care that much for my birthday – it’s simply no big deal to me (though you wouldn’t know it by what I’ve posted recently, but that’s my family’s fault, they freaking spoil me!), no, November is my month because of National Novel Writing Month.
November is the only time of the year where I purposefully put my family second. I head to the libraries on the weekends so I can get a few hours of writing in. I spend a few hours every day getting my daily word count in. I put household chores on hold. I tend to forget things, even more so than normal (which is really saying a lot considering I forget A LOT), I become distracted and just a bit cranky because of my distraction. I’m on a mission to succeed. I will cross that 50,000 word finish line come hell or family suffering. It’s my personal challenge to me. And it’s about so much more than posting a “WINNER” badge or permission to download a certificate, it’s about accomplishing something big, it’s about accepting a personal challenge to do what I both love and hate to do – write.
My family is very supportive. In fact, they’ve always been very supportive. But I can tell they get annoyed and irritated with me. And when I ignore them, they act out by being snappish (husband), or by doing poorly in school (MK) or by picking fights with me (GD) all to gain my attention.
I know this. I accept this. I absorb the guilt from this, but still, I trudge forward. Oh sure, I pave the way with apologizes and attempts to make it up to them, but the bottom line?
November is my month.
I think this is doubly frustrating for my husband. Though he sees how important this challenge is to me and is supportive, I don’t think he quite “gets” it. He’s very goal-oriented. Everything that is done must be done for a reason. So, I’ve written four novels (well, after this challenge anyway). GREAT! Now, polish them up and get them published.
HAHAHAHA. I wish.
He doesn’t understand (though I think he’s beginning to) that it’s not about getting published, at least, to me. It’s about finishing something I’ve started (accepting the challenge), it’s about sticking to one project (as opposed to beginning a story and then abandoning it when it gets hard), it’s about challenging myself and my story-telling abilities. It’s about making characters come alive through actions and dialogue, it’s about having fun.
And I’m having a blast folks, I truly am. If I put the guilt aside, and I do in November, I’m giving myself permission to enjoy myself.
I will make this up to my family in the next 11 months – until next November. But for now, for right now, I’m going to milk this experience for everything it’s worth and I’m going to try my hardest to FINISH the damn thing this year and actually DO something with it.
Or not. 🙂