In 2014 when I birthed my son I never conceived that I would have shifted my whole sense of self with this event. Six hours of active labour and 20 minutes of pushing defined the boundary between my identity as a single entity to transforming into a parent, an adult responsible for not only growing, but raising a person in this technologically-driven world. I catch myself thinking about this a lot as I enter the final stages of this second pregnancy, considering the boundaries of knowing what I know and accepting that things will just be. But what if I found out that what I am doing is not enough and the affect of raising my kids with tech is not what I intended?
I am spending more and more time writing invisible blogs in my brain, posting comments that I never put pen to and reflecting on things that are going on in my head rather than on my blog. Mainly the medication has a hold on me I think, whereby it puts a lid on everything remotely creative and instead tells me that it is okay to be lazy and this state of being is better than the anxiety, racing thoughts and mania that would inevitably occur without them., And so I stay quiet, running thought bubbles at quite times, but never actually quite able to pick up a thought and find energy to write.
Instead a lot of my time at the moment is in full hibernation, cooking, watching television and sleeping… oh sleep the most cherished and hated word in our house. I look around at the growing piles of washing, greasy floor and muddied windows and know that the longer I leave the cleaning and organising the smaller and smaller the house will feel and the greater my ability to look over the small stuff, you know, like that thin smudge of red wine on the wall under the kitchen window that haunts me every time we sit down for dinner.
A friend of mine who works with youth at risk recently told me that ‘even if I do only 20 percent of what I now consider to be my best parenting, I am 100 percent better that what most of the parents of the kid’s I work with are getting.’ And so she flicks on the television in the morning with no guilt… I still hate that we all sing along to the television theme songs every morning and evening and that I see the television not as a tool or respite but rather as the way to get out of playing or reading or talking with my beautiful creation that is my son. I mean, if he sanders up with a book to read I turn the idiot-box off and focus on him but it is rare these days that I will instigate the reading unless it forms part of our routine, like before bedtime.
I remember the rules I had a parent before Master X was born, especially about television, and the lists of alternative activities that we could do. I remember spending long days trying to entertain my 8 week old after my husband returned to work yearning for the ease of television but not willing to cross over to the ‘dark side of lazy parenting’ as I had built TV to be in my head. I guess it will take another few years before I know what damage my laziness causes and before I forgive myself for letting go and joining the modern age of technology-raised children.