What my children really need...
At the playground
Can any other mothers tell me if there will ever come a time when I will leave my child for work and not feel like I’m leaving my heart behind, or that I will ever stop worrying about my children when I am away from them, or if I will ever have moments of not missing them when we are apart?
This rollercoaster of emotions that happens just simply leaving for work is too much for me to handle, trying to stay composed whilst saying goodbye and also as I travel to work in public. Is this my new normal? Or does it get easier? I’m sitting on the top deck of a bus fighting back the tears, dealing with the internal chatter, “My kids are fine. My kids need me. No, they’re fine. But they need me. Perhaps it’s me that needs them? But they need to eat, so you gotta work. But if I find them difficult to look after on my own, how's my mum or husband going to cope on their own?..”
I’ve been trying to figure out a way to provide whilst having enough time for my family, as a stay at home and work from home mother. This is all so I can spend as much time as possible with them and be available for them. This is what I want more than anything else.
I once read that it isn’t necessarily the amount of time spent with your children but the quality of the time spent with them that matters, but it’s so much harder when you factor in tiredness and having to prepare dinner, housework, etc etc. And then there’s the guilt. The guilt over yet another oven pizza instead of proper nutritious home cooking, or another summer going by without going on a proper holiday somewhere nice. Recently, it’s been the guilt over spending too much time on my phone and laptop, working on building a family business, instead of playing hide and seek with my older boy, or peekaboo with the baby.
I want to give my children what I didn’t have growing up, which was quality time with my parents. Growing up, I remember my parents spending a lot of time at work, they worked so hard, and when they would return home from work they were usually so tired that there wasn’t really any time to connect with me and my sisters. My mum had a 9-5 and my dad worked in the evenings, so our true family time, when we would all be together was on a Sunday at church and then for a family treat at McDonalds afterwards. Then off home to watch (what used to be) boring Sunday television, when the only programmes available were The Waltons or Lost in Space. I remember our family time well, even if it was just as simple as eating McDonalds or watching TV. So, I know how valuable it is for our children to have their parents present to do the little things, like going to the local park or anything that involves us being together, because that’s what memories are made of and those are the kind of memories they can look back on fondly.
Sure, I’ll always have that feeling of wanting to give my children that toy, or take them to that theme park, or to go on a family vacation building sandcastles and riding on water slides. However, when I think back to my own childhood and what I really craved for, I realise that it wasn’t the stuff that mattered, but more the moments, all the simple things. This always makes me feel better about “providing” for my kids, because all my children really need, is me, my time and, my attention.
Thank you for stopping by. X