CAUTION RANT AHEAD
I'm busy. I work 10 or 12 hours a day at this time of year. It doesn't look much like it's going to slow down. Slowing down will be 8 - 10 hours a day. I have a home, a husband, three kids, and a dog to feed, clothe, shelter and love. Somewhere in there, sometime, I try to go to the gym and work out. Lifting weights helps me sleep better, gives me a great deal more energy, improves my mood, and significantly lessens my desire to smack people in the head. It's important. Knitting and spinning do similar things for me. It's important too.
Lately though, if I sit down with my kids all three of them, and the dog (who doesn't know he's not one of the kids) pile on me, fighting and squirming for position, complaining if they get stabbed with a dpn but not giving an inch for fear of losing position to one of the others. Eventually I am forced to put down the knitting for lack of elbow room. I either fall asleep under the kid pile, lulled by the noxious re-run or I get up and do chores. I would love to sit with them in the evening. I'd even watch that inane crap they like (No I wouldn't. But I would sit in the same room and knit while they watch it.) I just get so tired of being rolled on, elbowed and fought over. I remember companionably sitting with my parents in the evenings... the quiet snick of my Dad rolling cigarettes (fascinating machine, rolled a long cigarette with no filters that they cut to length with a razor blade), my mother would write letters, read her book, or sometimes knit while my brother and I watched whatever show or movie was on that night. We didn't fight. We didn't push and shove to get closer to our parents. Once in a while one of us would ask to cut the smokes but that was about it. We each had our space and we stayed in it. Nine o'clock was tea time. Mom or Dad (or me when I got to about 12) would put the kettle on and make a cuppa then. I remember that tea tasting so good. Evenings were quiet, companionable, comfortable. I miss that so much.
Evenings now start when I pick up Dragonsdottir from the day home and am greeted with "I'm Hungry. When will supper be ready?" Usually, I have to clean the breakfast and snack debris in the kitchen before I can even think about making another meal. By the time I have nagged the kids to clear the table and load the dishwasher it's time to fight with them about doing their homework. Homework done and some inane, high pitched drivel comes blaring out of the tv. Thank goodness for Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs. They are interesting and entertaining and such a welcome break from the squeaky voices. I collect, wash, and fold laundry, sweep floors, clean the bathroom (2 boys and a dad in the house), and generally do chores. There is ALWAYS something to clean, pick up, put away, or throw out. By the time the oldest is in bed it's after 9:30 and I probably haven't sat down yet. I still have marking to do, haven't actually spoken to my husband much less anything more fun, and I'm ready to collapse. I haven't been to the gym in a week, my back hurts and I have a constant headache from the flourescent lights all day at school. I also haven't knit a stitch or spun a yard in days. Something has to give.
Today husband has an afternoon meeting. I thought I'd take the kids to the Science Centre for the afternoon while he's gone. It turned out to be a gorgeous day and I changed my mind and told the kids we would go to the zoo instead... save the dark basement of the Science Centre (which the youngest wasn't really keen on anyway) for a mid-winter day when we're freezing in the dark anyway. The middle one whined that he's too old for the zoo and it's not much fun for him anymore while the oldest started to cry. This happens all the time! I know they want and need my attention. I want and need to spend some time with them. But for fucksakes, NOTHING is good enough. Obviously, I am crap as a mother and have done something significantly wrong with these kids. Give me an F. They can go play outside on their own while I do chores, mark papers, and maybe even find my knitting.