It’s been a while. I haven’t had the inspiration to put… finger to keyboard. The truth is that I have been struggling with a great sense of inadequacy. After receiving such warm feedback about my writing I felt compelled to out do myself each time. But between juggling the demands of work, being a wife and a friend, mum to two toddlers and general necessities like showering, eating and finding time to go to the bathroom, I have dropped the ball on writing for Two, no more.
But this has become a very familiar feeling. Since kids came into the frame, suddenly every part of my life feels like a virtual game of Twister. One hand on parenting, the other on trying to nurture a marriage, while trying to find my feet on the corporate ladder. Rather than acknowledging my success (twins now eat Weetbix independently #smallwins), I bury myself in my failings. The washing remained wet in the washing machine for 3 days, I stuffed something up at work, I missed a friend’s birthday drinks because I’d rather go to bed at 8pm, I haven’t made time to have sex with my husband in weeks… it’s small (the failings, not my husband) but the cumulative effect is that I feel like I am falling short of everyone’s expectations.
And there it is; my undoing. And perhaps the undoing of many mums. We are all trying so hard to keep everyone happy that we forget to give a shit about ourselves. It’s like you flick a switch the minute you push a baby out of your vagina and suddenly you’re expected to put everyone’s needs before your own. Sure, you can’t leave the kid with a bowl of water and a lamb chop and say “see ya later!”. But you can leave them with your partner. After all, it’s not babysitting; it’s called being a father! Or take up those generous offers of help from family and friends rather than saying “Oh thank you, that’s so kind!” in that that’s nice but never going to happen tone.
So what better day than the international day of mothers to reclaim a new sense of worthiness. Here are five things I am going to start doing for myself with #noguilt.
Get a massage once a month. Not because I need one, because I want one. And not during nap time to minimise the inconvenience to whoever is on kid-duty… at whatever time I bloody feel like it.
Put the twins in their cots with Teletubbies on YouTube so I can shower before midday. No more waiting to find time to be hygienic.
Have my coffee in bed on Sunday mornings. Yes, I know the kids need to be changed and fed and dressed and entertained. But it’s my RDO… or at least morning off.
Leave work at 5pm to collect the kids from daycare sans guilt. If you’ve read Meghann Foye’s views of mums leaving work early, you might be fooled into thinking this is a parenting perk. Put simply, it’s not. Nothing quite like fitting 12 hours of work into 9 and then being screamed at for such things as:
Making your children have a bath; and
Making your children get out of the bath.
Go to the bathroom… WITH THE DOOR CLOSED!
Hope all the other mumma's out there are practising some self care too. Happy Mothers Day!