My lovely friend, Odette, has got me thinking again…How do you manage time?
Are you the person who always endeavours to be early – perhaps planning your journey somewhere to the nth degree and arriving well before you need to?
Are you the person who is always late and always apologising for your lateness? Does time disappear for you and you find yourself constantly behind?
Or are you usually pretty much on time…except for things which are important to you or for your health? Late to book your check-up? File your tax-return? Get to bed at night?
The tricky thing for modern mothers is that we are constantly told to take time for ourselves – but babies (biologically) need us to enter their concept of time, to put all our pressures to one side and ‘be’ with them. The cost of not spending quiet calm time on the sofa with our babies in arms – responding as they need us to respond to them, rather than fitting them around with the pressures of our lives is later maturity. How many adults do you know who are still immature or who are overly pedantic about behaving responsibly – chances are they (as babies) were parented according to their parents needs more than their own.
But just as important, and a key indicator in later maturity or lack thereof, is optimal mis-attunement. By mis-attunement I mean those times when we can’t respond immediately, because we’ve other children to attend to, or dinner is boiling over…
The key to this optimal mis-attunement seems to be in… the timing…
Complete attunement in the beginning, but at some time between 18 months to two years of age – the child experiencing that not all their behaviours are desirable or acceptable and that Mum has other things to do, sometimes, which are not centered around them.
In peaceful societies, yes there are still some around, one of the constants is this balance between continuous early attunement and emotional indulgence for that first 18 months to two years and then (quite abruptly in many cases) the loss of complete attunement – in a few cases quite intense discipline and boundary setting, but most often firm but non-emotional boundary setting and equally non-emotional responses to Power Tantrums. (The ones during which they can speak.)
Attunement gives us the sense that our needs are important and can be met. (Amongst other things.) Optimal Mis-attunement gives us the sense we can manage when things don’t go our own way, and that the needs of others are as important as our own. Both help us to leave the (normal) needy-emotional state of childhood and enter competently and empathically into a mature adulthood.
So how DO you manage time? Is the time of others (aside for very small people, which is a temporary state, even if it lasts 10 years) more important than your own? Is your role to support everyone else to the detriment of your own nurturing?
Do you always arrive late – having not moved from the child-like state of being in the moment and oblivious to the needs of others? (Until you abruptly are brought into consciousness and have to deal with another argument or state of embarrassment.)
Are you the person who avoids success? The one who can manage to be responsible and appropriate with time for others, yet aren’t comfortable with feeling good about yourself? The person who for some reason is punishing yourself? The person who forgot to book their check-up, file their tax- return, get to bed on time? Or in my case: finish the ebook, maintain the blog and blogging relationships – just at the point of success?
Oh dear. I’m working on it all – Promise! (I miss you guys. )
Looking forward to comments on this one. ( 🙂 )