I don’t enjoy Sundays, either. Perhaps because of some deep childhood scarring from endless hours in church and bible class, and the subsequent very bad lunch (my poor mum just couldn’t get it right). Probably not though.
I’ve come to the conclusion lately that my discomfort on Sundays is because it occurs to me every weekend that the world is doing its Sunday thing, and I’m here alone as usual.
Oh, not alone alone, I’m here with all my children, like that old woman who lived in the shoe (hey! I’m kidding – do I look like an old lady??)
What is it with the idea that there is an entire universe out there partaking of wonderful Sunday activities that I’m forbidden to enjoy?
I guess its a family day and I feel less than a family, somehow.
Well, I admit that for about the first two years of that fortnightly ‘single life’ I thrashed about in my house not really knowing what to do with myself – often with a splitting headache, worrying myself sick about just about everything.
Then I got a clue and started getting out in the world on my weekends off and found it to be just as I’d left it when I buried myself in mother-country. Quite amazing really.
Yes, I found that I could be a person again when I didn’t have the kids with me. Don’t get me wrong – I do love being their Mama, but as I recently told one of the Dads, there’s nothing anyone can do 24/7 without it getting to them eventually. Well, OK we have to breathe.
So I loved going out and meeting new people and getting other perspectives on life. I tend toward introspection a lot, so unless I force myself to look outwards, there’s only this as a means to be part of a community.
Now of course, having done it again (oops.), I’m back to mother country, serious introspection, and a limited perspective on the world.
I don’t even read the newspaper or watch the news.
So on Sundays I drive myself and my children a little bats by grumping around the house, furiously doing housework (resenting all these extra bits and pieces left behind by various and sundry guests), imagining that there are happy people ‘out there’ living the life I want.
I refuse requests to go to the beach (because I don’t have the money), I refuse requests to go to parties (because I also refuse to buy presents for children from families that have so much more than we do) and I generally refuse to do anything fun.
I’m a big Sunday Bummer. Silly isn’t it?
Carrying on like this is just giving into a myth – a story – about ‘normal’. Its a story about how we ‘should’ live. We ‘should’ do things in a particular order. We ‘should’ behave in certain ways and as such, be rewarded in specific ways too. And I feel so far outside the parameters of normal right now.
I know I’m being a terrible witch-brat when I behave like this. I’m watching myself and saying ‘Dan – snap out of it!’ and yet I cannot shake off the feeling that I’ve been duped out of something, alternating with the self-bashing about how I’ve brought this dissatisfaction upon myself.
On a good Sunday I’ll meditate lots, go for a walk to the park with the children, cook something nice and we’ll all watch something on the box in the evening. I’m still blocking out the world, but my inner sanctum is happy enough.
I tell myself that yes, its impossible to do anything but breathe for every minute of everyday – but for now I will just have to make parenting these children as effortless as breathing. And a lot of the time it is.
But I’m so grateful for Mondays.