Google+ Authentic Parenting: Schedule Paralysis

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Schedule Paralysis

I was reading this post by mamaTrue where she talks about how her life used to revolve around her husband and how little she really did things for herself or listen to her feelings. I get that completely. I am pretty much the same.

My husband and I met six and a half years ago at university and kind of started living together almost immediately. I think after about two weeks, we were already spending every night together, except on weekends, where he wouold go to his parents house and I would stay in Brussels.
Since we were both students and very active in student life, our schedules were easily adapted to one another. Anyhow, it wasn't really a big issue, we just went about our days and tried to be together as much as possible. After two years, we officially moved in together. My husband had finished his masters degree and was looking for a job, and I was finishing my thesis. He found a job quite quickly.
The period we were living in that appartment together, I hardly moved if he was not around. We had gotten more and more symbiotic over the years and I really revolved around him.
I still did my activities aside, I had to, but I refused to even go to the store without him. I had this numbing fear of being alone. The mere thought of going into a store alone, let alone buy something or go and sit down for a drink on my own made my stomach turn. So I didn't.
Once he started working, I waited at home until he came back to do the grocery shopping.
It has only been since we've been living here in Ivory Coast that I have become liberated from that fear. I do sit alone to have a drink sometimes now, I go into stores alone and I even buy stuff without a second opinion. But I had a hard time getting to where I am now.

Now this is what I was getting at: I don't think we have to blame ourselves or our husbands for this. I think this behavior arrives form being scheduled from birth. Through our education as early as infancy, we are being opposed schedules that are not of our own making. Scheduled feeding, scheduled sleeping. Later in life, we go to school and that schedule is being intensified: a time for play, a time for food, a time to talk. We are told where to sit, how to walk, when to shut up, what to think. When we start a job, we are told how to dress, when to come, when to go, when to eat, what to do...
We have been programmed to follow. We have been indoctrinated into having our lives lived for us. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that we are unable to take action in other parts of our lives. That we are unable to handle our time when we fall out of these rigid structures (like when you become a SAHM). We have to completely redesign our brains wiring in order to live our lives ourselves. This is hard work and it is so much easier to fold to the little structure that is left in our lives, given by our husbands.
Yet this behavior is numbing. It leaves room for little pleasure and most often makes us miserable. It bares the risk of leaving just a shell of a human being, with nothing inside.

So think about it! Are you living life? Are you pursuing your interests? What are you doing on a daily basis to feel you are alive? Can you do something to take control of your own life?


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