Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Stress and My Six Year Old

One day I was complaining to someone about my 6 year old daughter - her stubbornness, inability to make a decision, some eating issues, some other stuff I can't recall at the moment. This person asked if I had any of these issues as a child. I had to answer truthfully, well, YES! They just looked at me with a grin on their face. I blushed and felt really stupid. I realized I am dealing with me - it's payback time.

My poor parents. I was the youngest (as is my daughter) and my parents were older when they had me (I'm even older). There are too many parallels to list here. The biggest difference is that she's homeschooled and I should have been. So maybe with that difference in her life, she has a chance to overcome some of those issues that I might have developed from being sent away every day when I really wanted to be at home. Who knows? I hope so. I absolutely hated eating lunch at school and went home to eat as often as I could. At 10, I went through a time where I refused to go back to school after lunch. No one knew what to do with me. Ignore it, it'll go away. I remember in 2nd grade, I went to the nurse's station nearly every day for awhile with a stomachache. I'd lay down for awhile and then go back to class. I clearly recall counting the dots in the ceiling tiles (remember those awful white porous squares that hung up there? It always bugged me that the dots weren't in straight rows, but randomly spaced. I digress ...) One day, I came back to class and there were a bunch of "get well" cards on my desk - my sweet teacher had the class make them for me. I'll never forget that. I think she was trying to help me, probably guessing that the stomach aches were from stress.

Stress from having to go to school every day is something, I pray, that my daughter will never face. No, her stress will come from an over-anxious mother, if I'm not careful. I need to let her be and make her own decisions - decisions that I don't need to make for her. You know, stuff that's not all that important. It's so hard, though. If I don't remind her to go to the bathroom, she'll literally not go for hours. I know this is not healthy, especially after you've been asleep all night. So what do I do? Continue to remind her or let her deal with the consequences? I know this all sounds so trivial but when you live with it all day long, it gets tedious. My new doctor said I need to get away for a break. Maybe a day or so without all the little daily worries would help bring a better perspective to my life as a mom, teacher, wife, assorted other hats.

How about some suggestions? Do you take a break from time to time? What do you do? I'd love to hear it.


Mama Self said...

Occasionally a break is good to clear the head. Whether it's spending a day with a friend or a weekend away at a conference, it seems to refocus our priorities. Above all, it makes us miss the kids and they miss us, too. What a reunion! Then things don't seem to wear us down so easily.

Of course, until you can get away, try to conscientiously determine what's worth fighting over, and drop issues that aren't. I struggle, too...

Kathleen aka Coffee Mom said...

A break is definitely needed once in a while. So is a reality check. SOmetimes I find that more helpful than anything.

appleleaf said...

Actually, seeing that our job is a 24/7 one, I think we homeschooling mothers definitely do need at least a day to ourselves in a different environment at regular intervals. It's probably a healthy thing for our families when we do, too. And we've got to mark time in our diaries to take it, otherwise it'll never get taken.
Reading down your blog, I think I'll go and hire "Miss Potter." When I found out that Ewan McGregor's character dies, I was a little put off, thinking it might be too sad. But hey, I know you're a tender-heart like me. If you loved the movie, I'm sure I would too.

Cate said...

What do you do for yourself, girl?

Over the past couple of years of homeschooling, I've gone & tried a few different workshops or classes in various things, one winner being mosaics where I could sit & chill out with a group of other women all creating their own project.

Can you find something to do that gives you a break, once a week or so?


Leingangs said...

I think that having a break is good. But if it is at all possible, I would suggest getting away with Todd. Overnight is the best.

But if you need a day to yourself, you could always come out here and we could meet for coffee or lunch. Hey, the kids could be at our place for a while! :o)

You can always e-mail me and let me know. Tuesdays and Mondays are good for me.