Confession Friday

NS March 5th, 2010

I sometimes (okay, frequently) forsake opportunities to interact or play with my children in order to read blogs, books or articles about the more abstract aspects of parenting. I think this might mean I’m more interested in intellectually analysing motherhood than performing the duties associated with it. And I only feel a tiny bit guilty about that.

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30 Responses to “Confession Friday”

  1. Capital Mom says:

    I think a little ignoring is probably heathy, she types as she ignores them.

    NS Reply:

    @Capital Mom, It certainly helps my mental health, that’s for sure!

  2. Charlotte says:

    You’re not alone, she says, considering putting on the telly so that she can read the rest of her feedreader in peace.

    And you asked about reggae: a great place to start is Bob Marley and the Wailers’ greatest hits. It’s happy music AND you can listen to it with your children.

    NS Reply:

    @Charlotte, I think that’s where a lot of the guilt comes in for me — my kids aren’t really old enough to play for very long without needing interaction from me so I *do* stick the telly on a lot of times.

  3. Nova says:

    I feel guilty about it too…vow to be better the next day, forget and then feel guilty again! I think it’s in our nature to feel guilty…well that’s my justification anyway! ;0)

    NS Reply:

    @Nova, I don’t think it’s in our nature, necessarily, it’s just been drilled into us by cultural norms. The whole ‘Mothers = martyrs’ thing is so harmful.

  4. Littlemummy says:

    Oh, glad it’s not just me, don’t feel as guilty now :)

    NS Reply:

    @Littlemummy, Glad to know I’ve got company!

  5. Expat Mum says:

    The other thing I do is read about writing instead of just getting on with it!

    NS Reply:

    @Expat Mum, Oh god, I do that too. I’m a perpetual reader-not-doer.

  6. Oh me too. So pleased I am not alone!

    NS Reply:

    @Rosie Scribble, Me too!

  7. As long as we don’t postpone physical intervention until we have hit submit when blood is being spilled or huge shrieks are coming from the other room…we are on the right side of benign neglect.

    I wish my MIL had practiced it. Have you any idea how hard it is to retrain a grown man to get him to understand that “womankind” is of the same normal human kind of lifeform as the blokes, with normal human needs and a head that likes to go off and think about its own thing, rather than being a constant satellite that scuds around in a forever orbit, in virtual stasis, just living for the moment till it is called upon to serve some higher purpose for the sake of the be-penised.

    Very, that’s how hard.

    Taken me 15 years …so far.

    Mutter mutter.

    NS Reply:

    @Sarah in Italy, I think I’m definitely part of the benign neglect crowd, I like that term. I’m also extremely amused by your use of ‘be-penised.’ I’ll have to try to use that in a sentence tonight. :D

  8. Margarita says:

    You are definitely not alone, I’m there all the time.

    NS Reply:

    @Margarita, Oh goody, we can start a support group! Or rather, our children should…

  9. I do all of the above! And feel guilty . . .and vow to do better tomorrow. But don’t.

    NS Reply:

    @Nappy Valley Housewife, Same here, sister. I see you are a fellow American-in-England. How long ya’ been over here? I’m also in SW London!

    Nappy Valley Housewife Reply:

    @NS, I’ve been in London since 2000 with two years out (2007-2009 in Tokyo) for bad behavior. Now I’m back ‘home’ in London. How about you?

    NS Reply:

    @Nappy Valley Housewife, I first moved here in ’99 but went back to the States for three years at one point, from 2001-2004. Been here ever since with no intentions of leaving in the near future.

  10. Heather says:

    *holds hand up sheepishly* me too.

    NS Reply:

    @Heather, Let’s all band together and not be sheepish any more! In fact, if we did all get together, I imagine we’d forget the children were even there and wander down the pub. Maybe hiring a nanny or a child entertainer of some sort would help…if only I were rich. *sigh*

  11. Emily O says:

    I’m the same. But I also think there’s pressure to be ‘doing stuff’ with our children these days. I don’t recall my parents ‘doing stuff’ with us very much and when we got noisy they put us in the garden. If my children are playing happily I leave them be (and blog / write). They soon let me know once they need my attention there’s no denying that!

    NS Reply:

    @Emily O, See, I *do* remember my mother doing stuff with us, she was very arty and crafty. So maybe it’s that I feel guilty for not doing things like that with them very often? Who knows. That said, she didn’t often sit down with us and do it, she just set it up and then left us to it while she did something else.

  12. Oh lady – I’m so there with you. My problem is that I just don’t know what to do with them all day. How can a person just play with a child ALL DAY LONG?!?! I suppose there are people in the world who find it fulfilling, but I’m not cut out to be that type of mom. I need to keep myself working and connected to adult conversation, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to handle this SAH thing. I just hope my kids are learning something valuable from that. We’ll see!

    NS Reply:

    @TheFeministBreeder, I don’t know how people play with kids all day long either. I feel proud of myself if I play with them, uninterrupted, for an hour once or twice a day. More than that and I’d go mad.

  13. Gappy says:

    Pah, I’ve become so adept at tuning out childrens noise whilst ‘working’ on my blog, that they sometimes have to shout MUM! at least five times before they get any sort of response out of me.

    Let’s all shout a big HOOfuckingRAH for CBBC, that’s what I say.

    (She says as she scuttles off feeling extremely guilty)

  14. andrea says:

    OMGZ, NS, I LOVE YOU. That is all.

  15. Mistress of Boogie says:

    Let go of the guilt. You’re simply looking at it sideways. Ignoring your children is not benignly neglecting them, it’s teaching them very important lessons, namely (i) the world doesn’t revolve around them and, more importantly (ii) that life is mostly boredom that needs mitigating by finding stuff to do without relying on others to find it for them! Give your kids 100% attention 100% of the day and you’ll turn out kids who constantly seek entertainment from others, becoming adults who, inevitably, find others unwilling to constantly perform this function and then turn to drink and drugs and unsuitable relationships with drama kings and queens to fuel a life they think should be 100% interesting. Ignoring your kids (well, some of the time anyway – when you get to the stage where you have to ask them their names, have a re-think) is active parenting at its most dynamic!

    That’s my theory anyway, and I’m sticking to it, heh heh.

    Now, where did I put my children?

  16. geekymummy says:

    I have occasionally pondered the irony of my ignoring my pleading children because I can’t put down my parenting book! “shut up and leave me alone, I’m reading about how to be a better parent!”