Sunday, July 13, 2008

Searching for Time to Fill Up

Hello - As I just caught myself sifting through ads of who needs services fulfilled on craigslist, I realized I was filling my time with nothingness while trying to find things to fill my time with for compensation. Who knows why. I'm here relaxing after a nice afternoon BBQ at our church. Maybe it's free time that I'm not sure what to do with, however, I do enjoy this mellow out time while the baby's sleeping.
So, speaking of compensation, I definately try to overcompensate for my husband's lax parenting style in public with this psychotic over protective mother parenting style. How embarassing! Last night we were out at Dave and Buster's with some single friends of ours from college. Yes, we brought our 4 1/2 month daughter along, figuring she'll sleep most of the time and we'll be home around 9 or 10, only a few hours past her bedtime. Heh heh . . . Yeah, we're young, we're cool, bringing our little baby out to some local hangout for yuppy teens, central for videogamers from the burbs, while half dressed dating folk zone out to skeeball and House of the Dead, and occasionally drift by the stroller and grab our daughter's cute cheek with one hand and juggle a cosmo in the other. "What a cute baby, oh isn't she cute . . . look honey (boyfriend of 2 hrs) look at the cute baby oh isn't her . . ." Meanwhile there is cleavage everywhere, from 12 year olds to Sex and the City aged women, while I'm concerned with discretely breastfeeding in a smelly overcrowded bathroom. Maybe we should hire a babysitter for these nights out. What a novel idea.
As I replayed the evening, I am repulsed by my thoughts and behavior. I am that fussy mother that wants every need of the baby met asap while concerned that she's going to have a seisure from all the stimulation while she's fighting sleep to see the next moving light or person giving her attention. A nice stream of worry is trickeling through every thought, and although it won't add an hour to my life, I'm holding on to it as though it is holding me up. Worry about the baby; Has that what I have taught myself to lean on? Or is it guilt - guilt that I was trying a new bedtime routine and now the plan of the week is foiled. Wow. Two totally negative ideas have taken center stage in my fun evening out.
After being bitter before going to bed, because, woe is me that had to deal with all this worry and guilt and mayhem, my husband and I had a very nice chat on the way to church this morning. He helped me put this into perspective and devise a better plan for when we want to go out and have fun: We were out with single friends. Two of which have been dating for 7 years and want to own a house before they get married, and eventually have lots of children. We are in the priviledged state that they hope to someday be in.
Mike relates this a lot to when he was in residency, working 90 hr weeks with 4 days off some months, and we would visit my cousin who is about the same age, relaxed, living at home with no known job and a free open schedule to workout and do odds and ends at his leasure. Mike would always come away from hanging out with him a little jealous, wanting to quit residency, be home all the time, and "not work." Now, step back for a minute. How many people get rejected from Medical School alone? And then get rejected from ivy league residency programs, which he was in at the time? My husband is very priviledged.
Why is it, that in our priviledged states we felt like princess Jasmine, who is "locked in her castle" only to play with her tiger and see the castle interior walls and fountains, longing for what's beyond? Where is that deep sense of appreciation that priviledges should come with? I would like to know how to best instill a desire in myself to appreciate things, circumstances, and especially people in my life. This would also be a great goal to instill in our daughter. I'm glad I'm picking up some appreciation to fill my time with this afternoon. It's refreshing to feel privlidged, blessed, and appreciative of life's encounters. I'll stop searching.
There's the perspective. The plan is simple: When we are out with single, childless friends, we're going to get a babysitter. That way, adult time is both conversationsal and the center of my thoughts throughout the night.