New Year reflections have caused me to recognise that for one reason or another, mainly that huge, overwhelming thing called ‘life’ I have started to lose sight of many of my parenting values and goals and my own personal goals in recent months.
Of late I have begun to feel very overwhelmed and much like a stock replenisher, going round in weird and unenjoyable circles. Why can’t the cupboards stay full when we have been food shopping? Why can’t the house stay hoovered and tidy? Why can’t the garden stay weeded and immaculate? Why can’t the dog and cats clear up after themselves? Why can’t marketing my business be a one off event and then reap the rewards forever more? I have been a bit short, sharp and shouty with the children, but I don’t want to be ‘that’ mum. When life gets like this it is often a huge reminder to me that I am not living in the moment and allowing myself to drown in the ongoing, repetitiveness that really is a part of our every-day life at this time.
Last night was an eye-opener. I was running a bath for the boys and walked into the living room to find the boys had unrolled two entire balls of yarn. My eldest could tell I wasn’t amused, immediately apologising when he saw the look of dismay on my face – but before I unleashed on them – I fought my programmed response – because I could see how much fun they were having. I reminded myself to look through their eyes and instead went to get my camera. I asked them what they were doing and why? to be told, ‘it’s fun mummy, why don’t you join in? We are being spiders!’ Now I wasn’t quite on board with joining in,as I was still fighting my knee jerk reaction down, but did eventually manage to grit my teeth and laugh with them! I was so glad I had made that choice in the end. It could so easily have turned into me shouting and ranting about the mess and then angrily trying to tidy.
As a stay at home single Mum, Home Educator and being Self-Employed I sometimes find it really hard to not waste a whole lot of time feeling guilty about absolutely everything. I find that I am spinning lots of plates, and one always seems to fall. I spend a lot of time feeling guilty for not doing ‘stuff’ or not doing it well enough. If I focus on the children’s home education I am not focussing on my work, if I am focussing on work then the housework slips and the children become feral or spend too much time on electronic devices! If I focus on keeping the house tidy and the cupboards replenished with healthy food, then everything else slides. If I actually go to bed early or sit on the sofa with a glass of wine then I feel guilty for not ‘working’. I seriously can’t win!!
Today I had a bit of an ‘aha’ moment. Feeling super successful as I was managing to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, we were at a home ed activity, the boys were happily occupied, I was managing to take some time to read a favourite magazine and become re-inspired and reminded of some of the important decisions I have made in my life, reminding me why I have chosen to live the life we lead: to home educate and to be self-employed to name a few.
I got home and I decided to take the time to do something hugely valuable and I hope it will continue to remind me to refocus on my life goals and live in the moment. I got a big piece of paper and stuck it on my living room wall. I started to write all of the thing that are important and rewarding to me in life. I have left a marker pen nearby and keep adding to it. I already feel more positive and one of the things I love about the list is that everything on it is ‘free’ (except for the wine!) All of the things that make me happy are ‘here’ nearly all of the time, if only my mind would allow itself to acknowledge it, hear it, listen to it, have it, do it!
The children have also shown an interest in my big piece of paper! Wanting to know what I was doing and why I was doing it. I explained and already they are helping to remind me – they ask me to read things out off the list, which then reminds me to do it! Simple things like putting on my favourite cd whilst doing housework or cooking, stopping to dance with my children when a favourite song comes on, listening to the birds singing when I am feeling a bit blue, actually having a proper cuddle – and actually being there in the moment, in that hug, rather than trying to end it because I need to do something else. Making time to read and write because I love reading and writing! The list goes on and on……..
My hope is that having this permanent visual on the wall I will remember to enjoy life, keep my goals in mind and to not feel that I am in that ‘stock replenishment, food provider and cleaner, going round in circles world’ us Mums often find ourselves in.
So I encourage you to stick your own big piece of paper on the wall, and to remind yourself of all of the things you love!
Happy 2015 all and may you keep your parenting, personal and life goals in mind, always 🙂 and also try to ‘Live in the Moment’ as much as possible!!