Thursday, February 19, 2009

On Choosing Yourself Over Your Child

LSAT studying has not really been happening for me. I just will not get less than seven hours of sleep a night (I often get eight hours). So that's constraint number one. And going to the office for eight to nine hours a day is contraint number two. (Unless I could study online for the LSAT. That'd be the only way I could sneak it into my work day.) And keeping Q on schedule pretty much eats up most of the evening, until after 9pm. She just will not or can not settle down and go to sleep like she used to. It's very frustrating and tiring.

By 9:30 (lately it's been closer to 10pm) I'm tired and my attention is fractured. Plus, if I'm ever going to finish Obama's first book, then I need to put in at least half an hour of reading. After doing that, it's time for bed.

The most obvious solution, although some risk of discovery exists, is to stay late at the office and study from 5-7 and get home around 8 (which then allows my husband time to go to the gym). But that means almost no quality time with Q throughout the week. It means not knowing the meaningful bits and pieces of what's going on in my kid's life. This is a major stumbling block.

When do you let go of the little details of your child's experiencing the world? How do you stand aside, focus more on yourself, and know that the nuances of today will not be known to you?

10 comments:

Cee said...

that last paragraph sums up how I feel all the time when I drop Jacob off at his grandparents house! I'm so worried about missing out on things and not giving him enough face time! I'm sure we'll get used to it- i mean they grow up and become independent at some point but that doesn't make it easy!

good luck on the LSAT studying!

gudnuff said...

Thanks Cee! Guess I'll keep trying.

Follow-up thought: Many times, when she was still very much a pre-schooler/toddler/infant, I studied for certification exams that meant I got very little to no time with her. But it didn't affect our relationship, because as an infant or toddler, she was always just happy to see me again. Now though, a distance can grow, our relationship feels the separation, in a way that wasn't felt when she was pre-school age. Older kids remember the lack of you more, I think.

blognut said...

There's no right answer to that question you ask. I truly believe that you will know if this a commitment that your family can handle. If you feel guilty about it, you're not going to be able to do it.

gudnuff said...

Blognut: Ooooh, guilt! Isn't guilt typically the mother's ally? Your point is well taken. My problem, I'm realizing, is that I feel like my kid is coasting. She has to be made to do her work. Drives me nuts. Good comment, Blognut. Thanks.

Christie-A Work In Progress said...

You cant do it all no matter how bad you want to. The road is always paved with good intentions. I had a somewhat similar experience like this tonight...blogging about it tomorrow. Now I see why you wrote what you did on my blog! (squeeze) Giving you a bloggy hug!

gudnuff said...

Thanks Christie!

Shelley said...

If you're anything like me, as soon as you're home you're going to put everything ahead of the studying for you, because everyone else comes first.

I suggest sitting down with Q and talking to her about your dilemma, and ask her what she thinks you should do about the time. You might find that she has a creative solution that hasn't even occurred to you and your husband!

gudnuff said...

Shelley - Thank you for your input, Shelley. It means a lot and I really appreciate it. That's a good idea! I had thought about asking her. She's come up with very workable suggestions in the past, so why not this time?

newduck said...

Okay, all my blog commenting drama is over. NOW I can comment on this post. I just wanted to say that when I was studying for the LSAT I was working full time during the day and going to school full time at night, and one of the things that saved me was spending my lunch hour doing logic games, every single day for months. An hour a day equals five hours a week, which is five hours a week you're not stealing from other things.

gudnuff said...

Thanks New Duck! Every hour helps. I found a lot of good stuff at toplawschools.com, too, but whew, some of those suggestions would mean not seeing my kid for three months, basically. Stealing the time from my job is the most probably option.