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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