I'm having some personal space issues. I'd really like some, and I don't mean the virtual kind, thanks. This is more of a physical, emotional, mental issue.
I find I am compensating for not having any personal space by spacing out (no pun intended) on the day to day of my life, which is problematic, since the day to day pretty much is my life. Here's the deal: By my calculations I have been the sole support of human life through pregnancy and/or nursing for 2 1/2 years, with no break. This being the case, I find myself depleted of a few things- energy, sleep and probably some level of nutrition as well. (I know, whine, whine. Nothing essential, really.)
I am, of course, thoroughly happy with the outcome of these ventures known at times as child #3 and child #4. I am all for having kids. I am all for breastfeeding. It's just caught up with me at the moment, and it's affecting my desire to be socially networked to anyone who requires more reciprocal interaction than my bank teller.
Any time and space I can get to myself is not really enjoyed so much as approached with unrealistic expectations and scarfed down, like some starving woman eating cheesecake for the first time in years, leaving me not completely satisfied and with a stomachache. (Please, go back and watch your Baby Einstein video! I am writing the Great American novel in the next twenty minutes, don't you understand?!)
I feel bad for being an unenthusiastic, inattentive, tired and grumpy mother and spouse. I curse the freezing cold weather, because it keeps everyone inside and bouncing off the walls. I am trying to get more sleep. I'm trying to eat healthy food ( I don't think chocolate and Izze count as that. Bummer). The baby has started solids and is taking a bottle (still nursing for a few more months, though). And if you're my child, you may sit on my lap. Just not every other second.
I'm not looking for complete, unabashed solitude with absolutely no contact to the outside or inside world. (I mean, blogging has it's place!) I do find myself looking for some intelligent interactions with people that have little or no emotional demand on my being and psyche. So instead of calling up my mom or best friend, this has led me straight to my West Wing DVDs, because nothing says witty and non-committal like Aaron Sorkin and the Federal Government.
My strategy is that of Divide and Conquer Eventually. I know, I know. It sounds like an unproductive strategy. But I have to be realistic. I divide up my day. Focus on the task at hand instead of mindlessly roaming the blogosphere and real estate websites every 30 minutes while helping someone with homework at the same time. I make sure I schedule in some "my space" time- reading a book, a bath, or whatever. And I wait.
This craving for some space isn't going to let up just because I say it must. I am still nursing. At least two of my kids are adverse to sleeping through the night. I have been pregnant or nursing since July 2005. I can only handle so much sensory input before I explode. Hence, I say 'eventually'. But the weather will warm up one of these days. And if you'd like to come over and watch some West Wing with me, you are welcome. As long as you sit at the opposite end of the couch.