Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Escape -- A Trap!

I like to escape now and then to a warm beach, or to a fun romantic story.  But when my girls were little, I learned that turning to escape too often can be like a mouse grabbing the fake cheese in a mouse trap when the real cheese is sitting right beside it.  The mouse is stuck, and he missed the really good cheese he could have had.

I always wanted to grow up to be a wife, and a mother, but that is not saying that I understood all of the responsibililties that would entail.  I wasn't prepared for how exhausting it could be to get up several times a night.  As picky as I was, it should have dawned on me that my children were not going to exclaim positively over every meal.  I did not know that children are sometimes very unreasonable, and that I, who thought I was patient, would get angry at them.   The responsibility of being constantly in charge weighed on me, and I was afraid I would fail.

So what did I do?  I escaped to the wonderful world of fiction.   I was there with my children.  I hugged them if they got hurt.  I made sure they ate.  But my mind was not focussed on these little ones that I had wanted so much.  Eventually I noticed that, at the end of days of escape, I felt worse about my situation than I had at the beginning of the day.  I soon began to realize that I had fallen into the trap of trying to escape from my responsibilities, and that this wasn't helping me to feel better.  It also wasn't helping me learn how to be a better Mom so that I wouldn't be so overwhelmed.

Breaking the habit of escape was hard.  Once I start an interesting story I find it nearly impossible to put it down.  I had to make rules for myself.  I couldn't pick up a book unless I had a good chunk of time free.  I even made rules about the books I read, trying to make sure that there was something positive in the story that I might learn from.  Good ideas, or helpful thoughts from books helped me learn to better enjoy the responsibilities I had and the children that I love.

I still occasionally shirk some of my responsibilities (usually the cooking ones) because I have my nose in a book.  But I try to be careful not to become so engrossed in escape (the fake cheese), that I miss the joys of being a wife and a mom(the good cheese).  The rewards of facing responsibility are much greater than the temporary pleasure of escape.

*Pictures from Google Images


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this insight. I totally go for escapes far to often but this helps me realize I need to go for the good cheese more often.

Rachel M.

LC said...

Good way too put it with the cheese.