Abstract parenting is my personal recovery program, after a hectic week of homework; extra lessons, getting to school and work on time; and life in general.
The whole concept may seem strange, thus my best attempt at explaining the concept is found in Wikipedia; ‘I parent only in the abstract’- meaning I am unconnected from concrete reality.
Which reality? The fact that I choose to turn my back on routine. Saturday is my day for sleeping in and just vegetate, blog, catch up on emails, etc.
The standard weekend procedure for my children is:
* Wash yourself
* Fix your breakfast
* Make your bed
* Do your chore – dishes/bathroom/sweeping
* Free play/ television
It doesn’t happen that way, ever! I have for the past year spent much time reminding, nagging, threatening and applying some form of punishment to get them doing at least one thing! It drove me insane and made my weekends miserable, until I decided to change my approach; with much difficulty. I have disengaged myself from all that should be done, and decided to focus on my recuperation from the fatigue of solo parenting .
The result :
* They wash when they please
* Breakfast happens around brunch
* Beds are made the moment I start moving about
* Chores are left to the very last moment
* Free play & television takes precedence over all else
What am I hoping to achieve through this method?
* Retain my sanity
* Avoid jail time for the rest of my natural life
* Regain whatever graces I lost in the course of the week
* Let them realise that I do play some useful role in their lives
* Get some needed rest
There are times when a glimmer of success shines through the cloud of unlimited mischief. The commander, my 12 year old, would send a foot soldier to spy on me. Or, ask if I am awake or need anything. Then, I feel somewhat accomplished but obviously that happens about as often as snow in Johannesburg.
Original concepts seldom have research
to back up its practicality or functionality, but I am willing to go out – on a wobbly limb – and say it works ( for me, at least!). I have some alone time and limited monitoring woes for at least 18 hours of every weekend.
How well it will work in the long run, is yet to be discovered. In the mean time, we will do whatever it takes to keep mom sane, almost happy and out of prison!