Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Selfish - A Circle Share

Brenda from Premature Optimism sent in a link to her recent post on selfishness, and suggested that visitors to the Basement might be interested in sharing their thoughts on selfishness with her and with each other. A cool idea, I thought - our very first circle share!

Leave your own definitions of selfishness in the comments - or, if you're so inclined, post them at your own blog and leave the link. Next week, I'll post the results of the circle share, with links, as a Very Special Basement Post on selfishness.

As always, if you'd like to use this space to tell stories/secrets/confessions of your dangerous maternal (or paternal!) mind, send me an e-mail and you too can enjoy the refuge of the Basement...

********

Selfish is…

... Getting dressed, finding the car keys, and sitting there waiting until I get the baby changed anddressed, diaper bag packed, me changed and dressed,the baby in the car seat, the list and whatever else we need for wherever else we are going.

... Saying you "need to" play on the computer to get your brain working in the morning, but not getting up in time to give me even 5 minutes to go to the bathroom by myself AND you want me to pack your lunch.

... While I am packing your lunch complaining how hard it is to play sudoku one handed, ever tried to make a sandwich one handed? Cook dinner one handed? Vacuum one handed while the dog tries to eat the vacuum. Did I mention you get to shower everyday before work too?

... Letting you alarm clock go off SIX TIMES, even though you know I am trying to keep the baby asleep because he just went down for a nap. If you object t oco-sleeping feel free to sleep on the couch. There is no air-conditioning in the nursery and you do not do any night-time parenting anymore so I get to keep my sanity by sleeping with the baby.

... Thinking you are helping with the laundry when you put a load into the wash before you go to work, thencomplaining because it didn't get out onto the line right away and now it "smells funny". I am sorry the clothes dryer isn't working but that doesn't make it possible for me to be in two places at once or dry clothes outside in the rain. Also there is no light in the backyard (Didn't you say you would put one up months ago?)

... Saying you will finish the dishes "FOR ME", the dishes are YOUR CHORE, I have only started doing them out of finishing them, I know you hate washing plastic, but that is just too bad. There will be MORE plastic as your child gets older. Also, putting dirty baking sheets in the oven doesn't count as cleaning them either.

... Staying up all night and then complaining you never see us. At 10pm you said you were so tired you would fall asleep if you watched anymore TV, so you went to play on the computer. At 11pm promised you would go to bed by 11:30 and at 3am I find you still playing computer games. You will say you "couldn't sleep" of course you can't sleep playing video games, as you stated earlier you were playing them to "stay awake".

... Complaining you are tired; you no longer take our baby at night so I can get 4 hours sleep, you no longer will watch our baby while I nap on your day off. You can sleep when and where you want. I have not slept for more than 3 hours in months. You do not know the meaning of the word tired.

... Whining when you are home and I manage to get the baby asleep and I try to get some chores done. I do chores when you are around because I know when our baby wakes up there will be someone else to comfort him while I get to a place I can pause, or heaven forbid, actually finish what I start. Some chores do not take well to being interrupted. I am sorry if you feel guilty because I am cleaning and you haven't done a thing around the house in a week. I am sorry if you miss time alone with me, I miss time alone with you too, but only when I am not pissed off because I do EVERYTHING.

I do not begrudge our baby any of his needs. I love our baby and have placed his needs first; he needs love, food, and attention 24/7. I have not left his side for more than an hour since he was born, and I do not want to. I would however like 15 minutes to shower every other day. To nap alone once in a while, read a book while you play with him. I even really want to be able to clean uninterrupted, occasionally; maybe even get the vacuum out.

Selfish is... not seeing these things.


How do you define selfish? Leave your 'Selfish is...' statement in the comments - or, post it on your own site and link back. (And note that 'selfishness' does not necessarily have to be defined with reference to spouses/partners: it can be defined with reference to in-laws, friends, co-workers, neighbors, bus drivers - even yourself... )

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thinking that your life is so terrible that you would say to your family in an argument, that you 'wish you had of died, instead of (my mom's name here). I guess you thought it wouldn't get back to me... well it did & I will never look at you the same.

Anonymous said...

Expecting US to come visit YOU. A major reason we chose this house is that it has enough room for guests. You are welcome (almost) anytime - we've made that clear. Come visit US. Don't make us take time off work, haul kids on a two-day car trip, disrupt their routine and ours - and for WHAT?

Anonymous said...

Thinking that it is O.K. to leave a five and a half week old baby for THREE DAYS because you had already agreed to go to the wedding and the baby would just cry the whole time and make it impossible for you to enjoy yourself.

Awesome Mom said...

whining about not liking to do the dishes and wondering why I can't do them for a change when it is your only damn chore.

playing on the computer all weekend and barely giving your children any of you attention

thegoddessanna said...

Calling not to ask about how your daughter, son-in-law, or grandchildren are, but to brag about your new girlfriend. It's great that you're happy, Mom, but seriously, pretend to pay attention when I tell you your grandsons are on the verge of walking, or your granddaughter is acting like an older girl (good!), or that your son-in-law got an in-house promotion. I don't care if you don't listen to me, you've been ignoring me for the last 23.5 years.

Ah, I feel better.

Anonymous said...

quitting your day job when i was 9 months pregnant because you decided that you wanted to follow your dream to write books instead.

That move put us 12, 000 dollars in debt.

Reba said...

Complaining that I won't bring your child across an ocean to visit you when you have never made the effort to visit him. It would be easier for 1 adult to travel for 13 hours than me and a 6 year old.

Not returning your sons phone calls when he leaves you a message and then complain that you never get to talk to him.

tpon said...

complaining about having to travel to TX to spend Christmas with your son and his (expected) newest baby and therefore missing out on Christmas with the entire family, just because your daughter-in-law can't plan her pregnancy properly.

Sorry that my gestation isn't convenient for you.

Anonymous said...

Selfish is offering to babysit "anytime, just let you know!" only to get aggravated when we take you up on it, at which point you begin to set rules about our trip so you don't have to watch your grandchild any longer than absolutely necessary. Forget that it's a three hour drive back and you're basically making us get up at the butt-crack of dawn to fit into your schedule. If it's that much of an issue, DON'T AGREE WATCH HIM.

Selfish is telling us you have no problem watching all three grandkids at the same time and then doing nothing to help their grandmother with the kids while they are staying with you, all the while complaining to us about how difficult it is to watch all three at the same time. Spending time with them shouldn't be such a chore. If it's a problem, we can find someone else. Oh wait, that will upset their grandmother, who, at the same time you're complaining, tells us not to listen to you. We feel completely caught in the middle. If you have an issue with this, TALK TO YOUR WIFE and iron it out first, because we don't know who to listen to anymore.

Selfish is expecting all favors, both those done by you for us and by us for you, to adhere to your strict time table. I'm sorry those workers didn't show up on time. They gave me a time window, and I can't help it they didn't show up right at the beginning of the window. If you can't do it, then don't offer so that we don't have to take off work. And sure, next time you need us, we'll drop everything to do it NOW so that you aren't late to your precious card game.

Kel said...

Selfish is

..not loving me because I didn't have a penis.

..only paying attention to me when no one more "important" is around me.

..expecting me to be "Daddy's Girl" to you while you are slowly dying of liver disease.

..not respecting me for the adult and mother I am.

..telling me that you'll "watch" the kids and not notice when Bean drops his bottle because you are too busy making sure you have every single scrap of bake potato eaten at the mall.

Anonymous said...

Selfish is not waiting even six months to remarry after Mom died, but expecting us all to drop everything to be there to celebrate your HUGE wedding. And then, once married, ignoring your own children and grandchildren to spend all your time with hers, even when I drive 500 miles with my famlily to visit you.

Selfish is buying a new diamond for your new wife when you haven't yet put a gravestone on Mom's grave.

Selfish is asking your children to sort through and clean out your house, so you can sell it and "get on with your life."

crazymumma said...

Selfish is that sense of blindass entitlement.

Anonymous said...

Selfish is the opposite of love.

Anonymous said...

Blogging instead of playing with my kids.
Taking my frustrations and insecurities out on my better than average husband.

Anonymous said...

selfish is ... yelling at my babies because I don't want to stop doing whatever it is that I want to do and all they really need is a hug.

Anonymous said...

selfish is leaving your hot chocolate on the counter at work every morning where your pregnant co-worker has to walk past it when you know she'll run straight to the back to heave the second she smells it....and you're a mom who went through all-day morning sickness twice.

Mouse said...

Selfish is commenting on a daughter's pregnancy about how excited you are about becoming a grandmother when you're talking to another daughter--the mother of your first grandchild.

Anonymous said...

Selfish is...

Having a week off the same week your grandson's nanny is on vacation, but not finding even 1 hour to help your pregnant daughter in law take care of this grandson...

...in a heatwave...

...when you didn't go anywhere...or do anything...but "catch up on your sleep" and "clean the house"

Anonymous said...

Selfish is...

...playing video games as soon as you get home from work until 7pm, and complaining when I ask you to feed our daughter.

7pm + crying = hungry baby.

And the argument you use against me about how I am just as capable of doing it as you, and if I noticed it was time for her dinner I should have fed her myself...is getting OLD. I didn't because you're playing a damn video game and I'm filling out her baby book on her FIRST BIRTHDAY. FEED THE BABY, JERK!

Anonymous said...

Selfish is...

ignoring your daughter-in-law's birthing plan so that you can tell all your friends that you attended the birth of your grandchild even though your son and DIL did not want you there.

bombarding and guilting your DIL with demands to come stay with you (out of town) so that the number of days the grandchild spends with her are equal in number as the days spent with the other HELPFUL grandparents.

is admitting in a moment of drunken weakness that you hate (YES HATE) babies and can't wait until the grandchild is old enough to interact and help out around the house (YES HER HOUSE).

Mother Bumper said...

Selfish is...

your in-law family using/staying at your place while in hospital having first child and you coming home (14 stiches and no sleep, and a baby that can't latch on) to a filthy house, dirty dishes, drinking in-laws who order food and sit around talking. In a tiny two bedroom. And you cleaned the entire place before they left. And the lame excuse for not vacuuming before our homecoming was "can't find the vacuum" and this vacuum is sitting in the hallway, and it's necessary to circumvent to get to only washroom. Also all the spare change (@80 dollars in toonies) gone. No explanation. I'm not kidding - this happened to me and I'll never forget the selfishness of them.

This felt good.

Anonymous said...

Selfish is...

Excepting me to have a multi-course meal ready for you when you arrive from the airport even though we had just moved in that day and your son told you not to expect much. Then telling me I am a terrible hostess because I didn't wait on you hand and foot.

Asking to come for a visit and forgetting your granddaughters birthday.

Demanding sex whenever and whereever because I'm your wife and that's what I'm supposed to do. Never mind I have been dealing with everything you fail to see- like taking care of the kids, maintaining the house and oh running my own business. You have *needs*.