Wednesday, August 31, 2011

If Only-Itis: Staying in the Present

I've long suffered from "If only..."-itis, putting the cart-before-the horse expectation-wise - when I was a lawyer, I just couldn't wait to be a mother; when I was a student before that, I couldn't wait to have a grown-up job, and so on - so this should come as no surprise.

I won't bore you with some cliched "Live in the now" zen-style revelation I've had - we here stand for being Prettier, not more cliched than anyone else - but I will say that an excellent post by Miss ILYMTC here has me pondering how often I'm eager to do stuff with Master P where he's not quite there yet. I do try & capture the small moments of young toddler joy with him but, more often than not, I'm daydreaming about how fun it will be when he's old enough to truly enjoy the zoo, or I can be the homeroom mom for his classroom or take him to cultural landmarks like Bergdorf's.

On the one manicured hand, looking forward to the times to come as my child grows is a good thing. As guilty as I felt about not being much of a baby person at the time, I feel fortunate that I enjoy every passing month with Master P more than the one before. Not that parenting is about one's selfish enjoyment of the enterprise, I hasten to add, but having fun while you're at it doesn't hurt. And some aspects about parenting an older child - my longtime desire to run the PTA with the zeal of a third-world dictator, for example - are so integral a part of me that I could no sooner stop wishing for them than I could stop craving Pretty handbags.

On the other, I fear that I sometimes miss appreciating my parenting time now in that looking forward. "Gah, this will be so much easier once Master P can be trusted to walk in public," I'll think to myself as I lug all 25 pounds (!) of him through some 108-degree'd parking lot to run errands. Maybe it will, but I'll surely miss that time snuggling as I lug, too. Plus, as I've learned so far with this kid stuff, with each phase comes some ease and some additional difficulty I hadn't considered.

While I struggle to find some balance here, I'm looking forward to incorporating some older kid stuff in the meantime by way of Sunday School volunteering. One half-hour with some kindergarteners each week outta knock the forward looking right out of me, I'm guessing - or, at least, scratch that itch so I can enjoy these younger days with my younger man (in the child, not the Madonna/cougar, sense):

video

Know what I mean? Any advice on not focusing on future events or handbags, not necessarily in that order?

5 comments:

Rachel said...

"my longtime desire to run the PTA with the zeal of a third-world dictator" We have the same dreams! Seriously, this has me totally cracking up!

The Shabby Princess said...

Umm, I have these same thoughts, and I don't even have kids yet! I'm all excited about hosting Friday night football feed for my kids high school football team. I mean, I do live in Texas and all. ;)

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

This is def a hard stage when they are more mobile (=harder to keep up with) but less communicative.

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I struggle with this a lot too. But its actually getting better. Now most of the time instead of looking forward, I find myself just trying to keep up and I stare in amazement about 98% of the day at what she's already doing. I think its easy to want to jump forward a bit to when they can talk more and such though. I can't wait for that but at the same time, its going way too fast already....

The Mrs. said...

Good Lord this is what Mother's do in their heads all the time. When he's 5 it will be easier, when she's three she'll be more calm etc. I have found myself doing it for YEARS. What I try to do is do things they love and I love. To be in the moment means doing things you like to do with them too. I love the beach, happiest moments are with the kids there. They love it too. Has to be a mutual love fest or boredom ensues!!!

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