Monday, April 16, 2007


She's off on another (guilt) trip

It is the second week of the school holidays, and, again, I am not going to be in the running for any Holiday Parenting awards. I just couldn't be bothered organising ANYTHING for the kids to do. Big Ride fallout still? I don't know. Maybe just a reaction to feeling like all they do is organised recreation, so some chill out time - for them, and me, certainly won't hurt them?

Problem is, their 'chilling out' by default happens IN the house. To get them OUTSIDE I would need to ORGANISE them outside. Organise or NAG.

Eldest did organise iceskating with friends for herself the Tuesday of the first week, and harassed me till I took her shopping for clothes on another day. In between those two 'outings' she has does nothing but sloth ever since, apart from the bike ride yesterday. It is midday, and she's not surfaced. {ed. just gone 12.00 and she's appeared!! Hooray!! But she has immediately plonked herself in front of the tv...}

Middling has had a slightly more social time, but only thanks to the efforts of other parents. A sleepover the first Friday night. The Quadrathon which was with friends. She rang up one friend one day last week (I suggested they meet at the park), only to find she was already at the park. She went up there, and then ended up back at another friend's house for the afternoon. She had another sleepover the second Friday night - at someone else's place. (We don't do sleepovers here * - though that is another parental peer pressure guilt trip I am currently fighting.)

She's been hassling about going iceskating with a friend she hasn't seen yet these holidays, and I keep saying 'hmmm, talk to me tomorrow about it'. Then this morning she gets invited iceskating this afternoon with someone else. Lucky. Though she still wants to go with this other friend.

Youngest has not even asked me if she can do anything with friends. If she asked I would feel I should let her have someone over, but she hasn't even asked! She will probably ask when there are no more days left in the holidays, and then get upset. If I was a good mum, I would suggest it, wouldn't I?

But I cannot bring myself to perkily suggest they have someone over, or take them out somewhere. It all involves having to get off my backside, try and work out transport logistics, and when I have someone here, it doesn't give me the freedom to throw on my shoes and bolt out the door saying "Going for a walk, back in about 3/4 of an hour!" - or "Ducking up to the shops to get something for dinner!" It requires a degree of organisation I can't quite face at the moment. Plus, Other Kids tend to hassle me. Like, I would strangle my kids if I knew they announced at someone else's house that they were hungry!

Admittedly Wednesday and Thursday have been taken care of with a holiday netball clinic, and me being there as committee support for the duration. Tomorrow morning I take the car in for about 20 mins work on it, and I am going in to town for a BUG meeting at 5.30.

On Saturday Alison hadn't been home from the sleepover for more than an hour when she told me she 'had nothing to do'. Like a red rag to a bull that line! I reacted the only way I could. I gave her something to do - clean the bathroom vanity/basin. I don't think she is likely to complain she has nothing to do again.

*On Sleepovers. The couple of times we succumbed to 'peer pressure' and let someone stay over 'just for fun' our own children have interrupted our sleep with some issue (and they don't normally!) Marc once swore "No more sleepovers for the next 30 years!" but it is getting harder and harder to adhere to that without making your child feel like a pariah.

I have let the older two go on some on the condition that I know and trust the other parents, and that those parents also realise that we are just not into them, and we probably won't be 'returning the favour' - unless of course they need a favour, in which case I am quite happy to help out.

I feel like I am such a stick in the mud, but I am just plain selfish with my family time - and in particular 'Marc and me time' (maybe a result of all the times he is away?), and I just don't feel like having someone else's kids here in the 'us time' zone for no good reason other than for them to giggle and carry on and not go to sleep, and for our kid to be a zombie the next day. I also use the excuse of the three kids (with 2 bedrooms between them) - and the general house layout - for the whole concept being too much of a pain to do. I have only struck one other mum around here who thinks the same as us. Our view is "Go out, have a good time, then come home to your own bed! - like adults do!" Frankly I can't relate to the 'alpha' streak in the parents who seem to love to do it! But as always, I feel 'bad' because I don't want to!

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Y' know, Tracey, youre girls took that bike trip too. Maybe they need a lie-in, too.
Let them sleep all day. Don't feed them unless they ask and only shoo them out the door when they get underfoot.

Kids are inventive, they'll make plans for themselves if they want to.

You don't have to find things to keep them busy. Suggest they clean their rooms or do the laundry and watch how quickly they can find things to do away from home.

Not your job all the time. Relax.
Oh, I HATE sleepovers. Always have. Hate. Even worse when they want the cousins to stay over. Oy vey - perish the thought. The last thing I need is a busybody in-law knowing I feed the kids frozen pizza and let them watch questionable movies (Men! Men in Tights!)...I'd rather the in-laws just THINK I do those things instead of KNOW I do.

(Hate sleepovers. Icky. Hate!)

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