Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What happened?!

"Difficult not to feel a little bit, disappointed...hmm passed over......and you don't see me"

"Here I am expecting just a little bit, hmm, too much from the wounded.  But I see, see thru it all, see thru, see you."

"ah well, apparently nothing. Apparently nothing at all" 

"You don't, you don't, you don't see me"

So today some things happened that got me angry, and when all the rest of my meeting and such were out the way I came to write here, after stewing thinking about why I reacted so strongly.  I put on my "angry music" which I haven't listened to in a long while, years in fact (I had to dig it out of a box in the garage!)  This was the first track, and I thought how funny that it reflects kinda what I was feeling....  listen here's the full track

Now I know, you hear what you want to, I know that there is no way the dude is singing about the issue that I'm having (and I will get to it) but, still,  interesting..... if nothing else, interesting that my angry music from years ago, can still be relevant today.  Life is weird like that.

Here's the thing.....when did parenting change such that we as parents have our children only to foist them off as soon as we can for someone else to care for them???

When did it become too hard to give up 5 years for another person, in such formative years?  When did we get so selfish that it was too hard to give that time to someone else who never asked to exist, and is reliant on us for alltheir needs to be met? Or should be able to rely on their parents....

What changed in my generation that it has become too hard to give of ourselves? For that is what parenting is.  And I get about difficult children, fuck, trust me  I know difficult children. We have so much, we have things so much easier - we have internet so we don't have to be alone even if geographically we have no family near; we have friends for those who don't get on with family; we have so many labour saving devices - I have a breadmaker, washing machine, a dryer, a vacuum cleaner, a telephone, a cell phone, a food processor....the list goes on. I make my own bread, laundry powder, hand soap - but I CHOOSE to. I don't have to.

Same goes for being at home with my children while they are young - I CHOOSE to. I am blessed that I can choose to. I get that. And this is not about stay at home mums versus working mums. I know for some women there isn't a choice. It's work or don't eat. 

My anger, my frustration, my disappointment today is those people who choose to be at home with their kids and then wimp out. Fuck it I know it's not an easy job!

I get how being at home with kids can be hard work. I have six kids, from age 11 1/2 - 17months.  I have been at home with  them for 12 years now. And I am ok with that. Most days. Fuckit, I have bad days where I just wanna stay in bed, introduce me to someone who doesn't have such days and I'll introduce you to a liar.  I am so fucken fortunate that Captain Awesome Pants has been in steady employment all this time, employment that has paid enough that I haven't had to work.

That's not my beef. 

I am a Playcentre parent, a New Zealand fucken initiated option for preschoolers that was started by mothers like me - women who wanted the best possible education for their littlies while allowing them the freedom that is the right of every child, and support for them as parents, families.  It is something that supports the whole family. It is a place that prepares children not just for school, but for life - giving them skills that will last a lifetime, in a nuturing inclusive environment that is reflective of village life of old. An enviroment that some, many kids don't get any more now that we as a society move away from our families, declare that we can do our own thing, without the help and guidance of our Kaumatua, our elders, those who have gone before, see it all before and MAYBE HAVE A FUCKEN CLUE WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT as we flounder....

This is what bugs me most though, for a New Zealand initiative it is so overwhelming undervalued, unknown, underappreciated, and dissed. I have been with Playcentre for 10 years, I have met many children, parents and families in that time. I can appreciate that everyone has different philosphies for how they wish to raise their young - and that is good. That is how it should be - And Playcentre doesn't negate that, it encourages it!!

The number of people I have met as I raise my children to be the best people they can be (and we have yet to see if I have succeeded!!) who DO NOT KNOW WHAT PLAYCENTRE IS continues to astound me. People who do not know that PLAYCENTRE IS A VIABLE FULL PRESCHOOL OPTION, that FULLY prepares children for school, even from within Playcentre circles, hurts my heart.

I have watched my children make wonderful friendships round the playdough table, in the sandpit, on the swings and at the morning tea table only to lose them when their parent decides their child needs a "peer group" - the family dynamic of different ages working side by side is so much more natural. Do we only talk to people our age as adults? "I'm 34, I can't talk to you as you are 37"  that's fucking absurd.

Again, I know that everyone has a different family dynamic, and sometimes issues outside our control force a change of circumstances and we have to move on, make choices we didn't have to, so that we can eat.  This is not what bugs me

What gets my knickers in a knot, and I am aware I'm talking from my heart, my head, and possibly being unfair, being judgemental, BUT for the at home mums who need "space" from their children?  Harden the fuck up.  You are not alone. It is hard. Who said parenting wouldn't be heartbreaking? It starts with LABOUR!! you're in the wrong job if you expect it to be an easy, uplifting, enhancing, not fucken draining thing - it can be all those things to be sure, but you are giving of yourself for another being's well being - it's not gonna be easy.

That said oh Holy Mother of Fuck I get the need to get away. I do. I have 6 fucken kids. I think it makes me angry that these people have 2 kids and "need space"  pfffft   and you know what? I can get space at Playcentre, yeah it's not for as long as at kindy or daycare, but then I chose to be AT HOME WITH MY KIDS. If they need me I want to be here for them, because in such a short time I know they may not want to crawl into bed with me when they get a nightmare, cuddle on the couch while we watch tv, or play silly games while feeding grinning and giggling.  Why would I want to get away from someone who brings me such joy?!

I choose to be at home for the 5 short years my young ones are growing to independance (and yeah I know each child adds to those 5 years) and it hurts my heart when they lose friends, adults and children.  I will get my break in 17 years (fingers crossed) when Monkey spreads his wings....

1 comment:

  1. Apart from the six kids part, I could have written this.
    Playcentre made my family, saved me when I was alone, nutured all of us. Thanks to people like *you*, Ruth x