I had some interesting thoughts in the morning before everyone got up.
The first one was a sense of determination about writing: I get up about 30 minutes before I wake up the children, brush my teeth, wash my face, get a coffee and try to stumble into some semblance of alertness before starting in on breakfast and lunch. The children typically don’t help with cooking, but it takes me about an hour or sometimes an hour and a half. They are meant to study during this time. If I am late, they get dressed while I finish up, and I dress after they leave, because I can get to school faster than they do.
It may not be a great system, but that’s what I’ve got for now. I have almost zero down time in the course of the day. Mostly, because if they are home, they need my constant attention. Not always because they ask for it, but because on a bad day, they have the judgment of 3-year-olds and if I am not alert to what they are doing, they will destroy, lose, steal or use something up that we need before I realize what has happened.
I believe this is the nature of being a trauma-mama. Your children have difficulty thinking from other’s perspectives, including the perspective of their future selves. On a bad day, they live in the moment entirely.
This means they wash their jackets without realizing they may feel cold in the evening, or use up all the oil we need to cook breakfast with when the shops have already closed. This means they respond to things like, “Take an umbrella,” with “It’s not raining now.” Because, you know, now will last forever.
They have good intentions (most of the time), but they have stalled in their development.
For anyone who believes it is best to live in the moment, I heartily disagree with you. Living in the moment is what gives you domestic violence and cirrhosis of the liver. People who make shitty decisions are interested in the next five minutes, not what may make their future selves comfortable.
So, sometimes I have about 15 or 20 minutes to write at least in my journal, but I don’t always prioritize it. This morning, I thought, I am a writer, I need to write.
Now, I find myself thinking writing was once a useful attachment strategy. It was something I was good at. It got me the connection and attention I needed at times, in some situations, during some years. I like doing it, but it isn’t necessarily a successful strategy anymore.
I don’t know what I think about that.