Friday, January 22, 2010

The Parenting Tug-O-War

I never want to be that wife that doesn't let her husband enjoy time away from the family pursuing his hobbies or make him feel guilty for not spending more time at home. He works very hard all week long. Everyone needs time to do what they love to do. And, right now, what he loves is shooting. There is a shooting match on the first Saturday of the month, the second Sunday of the month, and the third Saturday of the month (in Lake Havasu, mind you). The fourth weekend is reserved for extra shooting practice or catching up on work. Evenings are spent making bullets, reading up on shooting rules (who knew?), or trolling the internet looking for items related to his new shooting obsession. Then there are the few weekends a year in which he goes hunting.

The nearly weekly Shooting-palooza was ok with me until last week. I had a head cold for the 3rd time since September and was home all day with David. Andrew left the house about 6am. David and I were up around 7:30am. Not bad so far. I decided to hunker down for the day and rest this cold right out of me. Feeling under the weather, I figured I deserved and needed some french toast from Kneader's. Thank God for drive-thrus. Breakfast done. And delicous. David spent the rest of the morning playing while I was reclined on the couch. Soon, it was nap time for two. After nap, lunch for David (mommy was still full from breakfast). So we are at about 2pm and doing well.

The proverbial "they" says that all good things must come to an end. This was the end. David was at his wits end with being stuck inside. I was at my wits end with David. And daddy was still not home. The next few hours proved to test my abilities of parenting without physical abuse. There was the attempt to tidy the toy explosion in the family room. There was the turning away of nana, papa, auntie, and 3 cousins at the door when they arrived unannounced mid toddler-mommy throwdown. There was the failed attempt at a 2nd nap that both mom and toddler needed, but to which the toddler refused to submit.

It was 12 hours after leaving home that daddy finally returned to find a mommy on the edge of insanity and a toddler on the edge of abandon. It wasn't pretty. And that is the day that the shooting died. Well, not really, but it sounds good.

This brings me to the discovery of the 3-way give and take. Parents are not only playing tug-o-war with the child, but with each other. How and when do we give each other the time each of us needs to enjoy non-familial recreation? So, add to my list of things to do: figure out how to balance work, family time, mommy time, and daddy time. Solving world peace may be an easier endeavor.

1 comment:

  1. My dad is really into the shooting thing, too. They even get dressed up in Western garb and do the shows. It is so funny!

    World peace- yeah, definitley an easier task. We are always trying to balance, but life has another plan.

    There is a time and a season..