Am I Really Doing Well?

Over the last week, two different people have commented on how well I seem to cope with the demands of my life.  While one small part of me feels flattered by such observations, the other, more vocal part of my mind completely objects to it and brings up all the examples of times when I’m not in control. 

I might be able to get myself and my three kids fed, dressed and out the door by 8am each day but it means that I have to be regimented in routine – so more often than not I can’t play the game my daughter wants to play or read the book that my son wants read.  Every time that I have to say no or ask them to wait a few minutes, it hurts me a little more inside. I don’t want to become a mother who doesn’t play or spend quality time with her kids, but sometimes the relentless march of routine makes me feel that way. 

The afternoons aren’t much better. In theory I should have more time but I rush home from work and then run around to my daughter’s school, then race her home to be in time for the arrival of my son’s special transport and then we all have to pile into the car and travel to get their baby sister from family daycare. This is all packed into less than 1 hour – then we come home again and I unpack schoolbags, prepare after school snacks, work out what homework needs to be done (and try to get it done….which is another story!), start dinner and begin the evening wind down. 

I want to spend more quality time with them – I want to play tennis with my daughter and share stories with my son and have more cuddles with my baby. I don’t want to be bogged down in housework and the demands of life – I want my kids to know they can come to me for anything and I would love the freedom to be with them every time they wanted to be with me.  I know this isn’t always possible but I need to make more of an effort to be with them “in the moment” and not always get caught up in what needs to be done next.

So my challenge (and I do choose to accept it!) is to try and set aside a bit more time each day where I don’t feel the need to do anything other than be a mum having fun with her kids.  I know it is going to be hard and there are going to be times where it’s not going to work but I am going to make the choice to at least try. 

I am also going to make an attempt to be less hard on myself and not feel uncomfortable if people think I’m doing a good job.  Because I am – they are fed, clothed, educated, well-behaved, and most of all, loved.  I need to have some perspective and see what others see – all the things I do well rather than all the things I don’t always get a chance to do. I’ll let you know how I go!

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14 Responses

  1. Hi Kirsty

    I read this post, and I feel it. All I will say, is that there’s a letter I wrote to my son when he was 7 weeks old called “The Meaning of Unconditional Love”. I hope it helps you:

    http://mothersloveletters.com/meaning-of-unconditional-love/

    Lina

  2. Rhianna says:

    It is funny how what people see and what we see can be so incredibly different. Time management is one of my biggest weaknesses, followed closley by procrastination and being easily distracted. I so often feel like I am chasing my tale.
    Rhianna recently posted..Things I Know About Things I Know

  3. Kathy Marris says:

    Kirsty, I remember that feeling of trying to be supermum and then getting the guilts because I didn’t spend ‘quality’ time with my kids. We all need to take the pressure off ourselves and allow ourselves to have some fun with our kids.
    Kathy Marris recently posted..She died too young

  4. It’s crazy what goes on where people can’t see. I always feel like I am a bit out of control, saying no not now, or I just need to finish this, or having this sense of being left wanting for something else.
    Then I feel all guilty because I know I should spend more quality time & be more grateful etc..
    It’s such a vicious cycle – but all the while we keep smiling & people see what they want to see.
    I think when your kids are young, it really is a day-by-day prospect & one where we value every hug, every smile & every moment we can get, without getting caught up in the ones we don’t. Easier said than done I know! 🙂
    Jodie@FreshHomeCook recently posted..Rainbow Sausage Rolls

  5. Ness says:

    I’m at home with my kids all the time, yet I STILL have this feeling that I’m failing. This ‘mother guilt’ thing seems to effect all of us and it’s really draining. Sigh.

    Anybody who reads your blog can tell how much you love your kids and how proud of them you are. One of the things that I actually struggle with is sticking to any kind of a routine, so from my point of view you’re a great mother for being able to do that as well obviously being very loving.
    Ness recently posted..Passions

  6. Tash Hughes says:

    I hear you – there is just never enough time in the day to do all the *shoulds* and I also feel awful when I keep telling me kids “in a minute”.

    It’s silly but when people say ‘I don’t know how you do a, b, c’ I often shrug that off – especially as I think ‘you don’t know half of what I do!’ but I am trying to accept it as a compliment and let myself feel good about what I do.

    having a morning routine may seem rigid but I bet it gives your kids security every morning in that they know what is coming. I don’t see anything wrong with having certain times set as long as the kids know they get free time later and that the set things will be stopped if there is real need. I just wish I was better at establishing routines so it isn’t so panicked around here so often!
    Tash Hughes recently posted..Enthusiasm generates interest

  7. Lisa says:

    You are way too hard on yourself. Motherguilt is a bitch.Unfortunately,life’s little to-do list keeps getting longer these days. It must be so hard to keep that balance especially when working outside the home as well. I am a SAHM and struggle with the household chores because I find them boring and a daily grind so I procrastinate which makes it worse. Big hugs to you-you are a wonderful mum-don’t forget it.
    Lisa recently posted..Guest Post: Take Charge Now Blog.

  8. Tegan says:

    I can relate with the feeling of not being enough all too well. I hope that you are now enjoying the time after slowing down.
    Tegan recently posted..Hairy Lemon Review and Giveaway.

  9. You are doing a wonderful job, motherhood is a tough gig, but I have learnt that sometimes the washing and cleaning and chores can wait, so that you can enjoy fun times with your children 🙂

  10. Lani says:

    I think a big thing is not being hard on yourself. A lot easier said than done, as most mums know well. I try to say it myself everyday. It doesn’t stop me from attempting unrealistic goals most days but it does help me to stop and smell the roses sometimes. Hugs xx
    Lani recently posted..Story: Part-time parenting

  11. I reckon if we all had house cleaners/chefs then life would be a breeze, it’s the mundane stuff that takes up the time we want to be spending with our kids! I try hard to spend time with them, but sometimes it’s impossible! xx
    Emily @ Have a laugh on me recently posted..Why we all need time at the beach – Wordless Wednesday

  12. Zita says:

    So given that this post was a while ago….how did you go?
    It’s all easier said than done isn’t it, which is so sad….
    Zita recently posted..for Thankful Thursday!

  13. This is a timely post for me to read. I recently had a discussion with friends about coping being a parent with work and family/life balance. We agreed that it is easy to be a bad parent. I’d love to know how you went with your personal challenge too.
    The Plumbette recently posted..Renovations need to allow for Plumbing Upgrades

  14. JackieK_ says:

    I could have written this post, and I think probably so could most have your readers! It’s hard. We try our best. What more can we do? But we always push ourselves to squeeze out a little more. And not to be hard on ourselves as well (yet another thing to master!)
    JackieK_ recently posted..Sunday Selections / Everyday Beauty: Winter blossoms

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