Continuing on with July's Guest posts - here is a great one from Kirsty, who blogs over at My Home Truths.
Savouring Family Time
I am not the best at being “in the moment” with my family. To be honest, I am the last person who should be offering any advice on spending more time with their kids. I work out of the home four days a week so when I am at home I have lots and lots and lots of things to catch up on.
On a typical school day I rush about getting the kids (and me!) ready for school, daycare and work. The mornings are not ideal for play or spending quality time or being “in the moment”. I am far too preoccupied with making sure we all emerge from our house fully dressed with nothing (and preferably, no-one!) left behind.
The afternoons are hectic as well. I race from work directly to school to collect Miss 5 (hopefully not too late), then literally propel her around the corner to our house to wait for the arrival of Master 7…unless his special transport is already waiting there for our arrival…have I mentioned that I’m perennially late?
After a quick afternoon tea we all pile into the car to pick up Miss 1 from daycare. When we arrive back home it is time to unpack school bags, prepare lunches for the next day, look at what homework needs to be done and think about what to cook for dinner. Alas, not a lot of opportunity to play a game or throw a ball or pretend to be a shopkeeper.
Yes, I am busy. Yes, I wear a number of hats in life – mother, wife, daughter, friend, worker, housekeeper, cook, teacher…just to name a few. However, I am coming to realize that I DO have a choice. While I have lots to do, I can choose WHEN I do them and I can choose HOW I get things done.
I confess I am a control freak and like having things prepared before time. I literally stress out if I have to do extra things in the morning – I really do. But that is my issue to deal with, my kids shouldn’t have to wait around while I make their lunches. Equally, I shouldn’t feel guilty for leaving the washing up to pile up a little so I can have some extra cuddles with my kids.
It is a delicate balance, this working mother caper. I have been doing this for years now and I’m still trying to work it out! But, I am getting better, and, I am finally starting to get my priorities right. Sure, it has taken me the better part of a decade to get to this point, but at least I realize now where I’ve been going wrong while I still have the opportunity to enjoy my kids.
So, today, when I got home from work, my eldest daughter danced with me and I sat and listened to her day. I watched my son draw piano keys and a pipe organ just like the one the Count from Sesame Street plays on. I had lots of cuddles with my baby girl and helped steady her eager walking legs.
I still haven’t made lunches or got our clothes ready for tomorrow, but I’ll get there. I’d rather share these small special moments with my munchkins, while they want to share them with me and while they still think I’m cool!