Give Me Five Minutes.....

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I feel like I utter these four words a thousand times a day. What is it about children and the need to be needed the minute you start doing something. My child, god love him, is one of those kids. He can be playing independently, and the phone rings which I answer, and then he's pulling at my shirt tail asking questions and wanting to show me something. Just last night, we finished up dinner, I called my mom, attempted to put laundry away, and he's playing hide and go seek behind my closet door and snickering while repeating "Mama" over and over and over. I leave the room, and he's following me down the stairs. I look at him, get down on his level and say "McKinley, give me five minutes." He doesn't.

Then, to make matters worse, I'm on the phone last night listening in on a team conference call. I realize I don't "work" in a conventional work environment. In fact, I work from home, so I'm not exactly invisible like my husband when he leaves for work every morning. So when I'm sitting at my desk, in my "office", it looks like I'm just hanging out in another room at home. Joel had taken McKinley on a tractor ride around the block, they then went outside to put our tags on the car, and when they come inside, Joel says "Don't bother Mama, she's on a call." Joel no sooner leaves the room and McKinley starts bouncing around my desk, sliding on the carpet like he's sliding into home plate, and flying an airplane around the room and making the sounds to go with it. With this being the handful of times I've asked to "give me five minutes", I completely lose my cool. I slam my hand down on the desk, repeat that I'm on the phone (under my breath in fear I'm not actually on mute), and then leave the room, stomping up the stairs like a 14 year old teenager. Was it effective? I think so. He was silent for the rest of the call.

So why is it, at times, we have to raise our voice or lose our cool, to get our point across to our children? Why is it that they have to be your shadow the minute you start to do something that doesn't involve them? I honestly don't have the answers to those questions, but I can try to figure out ways to get my child to give me those precious five minutes. And why do we need those five minutes? Do all moms need them or is it just me? 

When we decide to become a "stay at home mom", are we expected to never find ourselves faced with a bad day at the end of the day? Because we signed up for this job, it comes with the territory, and we need to embrace the good and the bad? Am I bad mama because I don't embrace the good and the bad day in and day out? When I see my parents physically sigh when I scold McKinley, or roll their eyes when I snap at him too quickly, I immediately feel guilty that I shouldn't be parenting this way. How would they have done things differently? Was their parenting style so much better than mine? What would you as a parent do differently? (Again, no judgment, just banter.)

Have I mentioned that McKinley, like myself, is an only child? I try not to be his only entertainment, and I encourage independent play daily, but at the same time it's hard to entertain yourself all day everyday. I know this first hand. I was raised by a mom who didn't play. She was hands on, but didn't physically get down and play daily. She too encouraged independent play, and I did, but at McKinley's age I was also in full-time daycare. Unlike me, he doesn't have that extra child(ren) to keep him distracted. So when the phone rings and I answer, there isn't that playmate to distract him. To him, my being on the phone is time taken away from him, which I guess can be an only child mentality. That we have to be the focus at all times. Maybe it's just a child's way of testing their boundaries? Are we really going to discipline while on the phone or after the call has ended? Am I going to enforce that "give me five minutes" long after my work is complete? Believe me, I do! However, it doesn't seem to sink in, even after the disciplinary actions are over. Maybe only time will tell.

In the case of last night, I finished my call, sternly explained to McKinley exactly why I was so upset, and then told him that I love him to the moon and back. We hugged and kissed it out, but dada took him to bed so that I could continue my five minutes. I painted my nails, drank some wine, watched The Men Tell All, and blogged about my feelings. And tomorrow, I'm sure I will ask for those five minutes at least five more times, and that's okay. Because I do need those five minutes and so does he!


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