The semester of my unintentional sabbatical is quickly coming to an end...and I realize I have nothing to show for it. My plans of organizing and deep cleaning my house were largely unrealized. The book I have in my head has only about nine pages written instead of almost all of it. Even my blog has been, for the most part, completely ignored.
In part, I can blame these shortcomings on my tendency toward procrastination. And in part, it was by design. You see, I read lots of blogs - not every day, but when the whim strikes - and many of them are what are known in the blogosphere as "mommy blogs". Most of the moms that write them seem to have these super powers that I could only hope to possess some day. They manage to spend hours upon hours of each day playing with their kids, and not only playing with them, but providing engaging, innovative, creative activities. These wonder-woman-mommy-bloggers manage to stay on top of their housework, fold their laundry right out of the dryer and make delicious, organic meals three times a day (and not only that, but they post their recipes, photos of the process of making these meals and then photos of their kids eating said meals in their tidy and clean kitchen on their blogs). They shop, they decorate, they sing, they dance...and they manage to blog about it. Daily. At least.
I'm amazed by this. I'm truly amazed (and also not too proud to admit that I'm more than a little intimidated). But this is where my whole procrastination-by-design schtick comes in...I decided that if I did manage to be the kind of mother I actually want to be at least a couple of days out of the week, then I wasn't going to go and muck it all up by taking time away from my kids (or husband) by blogging about it. One of my biggest (and probably very realistic) fears is that my kids will look back on their childhood and say, "My mother was always on her computer! And she always said 'hold on a sec' whenever we asked her for anything".
So, I think I've figured out how to undo some of the damage. Maybe. It has come in the form of weekly "picnics" (or "nic-nics" as Eli calls them) in the living room, regular trips to Baskin Robbins, lots of bike riding in the driveway and lots of walks to see the cows. Will this make my kids believe that I'm the perfect mother? Doubtful. But it does make for some fun afternoons. And typically, these sorts of activities are the things I like to share on my blog, not only so my family can keep up with my growing boys but more importantly, so I can remember them, so that the details will remain vibrant and unfaded. But, in addition to trying to be more focused on the boys (and spend less time on my laptop), there's also something special about just being able to remember this "feeling of fun". Rather than remembering the details of our days together, I'm finding that remembering the warmth of those days is just as satisfying and comforting. Does this mean that I won't blog anymore? Definitely not. But it does mean that I can cut myself some slack whenever I start to feel guilty about ignoring my blog. (And being Jewish, anything I can do to get away from guilt is a good thing.)
In the meantime, if I do start to spend too much time on my computer, I can just bribe my kids with ice cream and trick myself into thinking that I'm a flawless mother. Everybody wins!