Following on from my last blog post about working (or not working to be more precise) being a full time mummy / housewife (or whatever I am) really is like a full time job, though the difference, I suppose, is that you’re not working for The Man but instead for your family and yourself. To keep them, and yourself, happy. And to be frank, I’ve not been doing a great job of that lately, because I’ve let other things take priority. I’ve worried about getting the veg patch done (will it ever end I wonder, constantly), the washing, the cleaning, keeping everyone fed, the chickens, the bills. Everything else takes over and it’s easy to forget the most important part of the job. To be a mummy, a good mummy, the kind of mummy you always thought you would be, the mummy that the kids want to spend time with, the mummy that one day they’ll model their own parenting on.
Anyone that has read my blog previously will know I struggle at times (most of the time) with the children and probably more honestly, just struggle with mummyhood. However over the last few weeks, now they’re both at school some of the time, I’ve had a bit of time to myself, to regroup and relax and think. I’ve been thinking about how I want the kids to see me, how I want them to feel towards me and what I want our relationship to be like. I want them to enjoy the time we spend together, I want them to think I’m a fun mummy but I want them to respect and listen to me as well. I don’t think I was really achieving any of these things, sometimes we’d have a fun day and relax together, but that certainly wasn’t the norm, the norm was me getting annoyed and shouty and them running off laughing at my rage and not listening to anything I said or doing anything I asked. It wasn’t good, and it was getting worse and worse. I would get up in a bad mood and it might lift throughout the day, but only until the next tantrum happened. There were days the boy and I hardly spoke other than arguing. The situation really had to change, and I had to do something to change it.
Well, it’s still early days as much of these thoughts only really occurred earlier this week but since having them I’ve decided I need to reprioritise. I need to stop putting other things first. I need to let things slip a bit, not stress if the garden is even later, the floor needs a vacuum. So that’s what I’ve been doing for the last five days, and so far so good. When they are at school I get on and get some jobs done, but once they get home we have some fun together. One afternoon I even managed to kill two birds with one stone, by getting them to help me do some polishing and cleaning the windows, which they loved (but weren’t great at). We’ve been out for a walk and played pirates, I knew things were going well when I was named captain and allowed to boss them about.
The boy’s behaviour has definitely improved no end, he still ignores sometimes and does what he wants after being told not to, but he is a child afterall, however some of the time he does listen, and does do what I’ve asked him to, which is a huge improvement from this time last week. And I think the boy and girl would say my behaviour has improved too, I haven’t shouted, I haven’t huffed or been unnecessarily petulant and I’ve not woken up in a grump, in short, I’ve been happy. The scariest thing about that is, it feels strange and new (and very good), and so I don’t think I’ve really been a happy mummy for a long time. And that’s what I want the kids to have, a happy mummy, who is fun to be around and who loves spending time with her beautiful children.
Of course, this will be a work in progress, I’m sure there’ll be days I slip up and old habits reappear, and I’ll accept that and do better next time, because nobody’s perfect, nobody can get it right all the time and maybe there’s a lesson in that for the kids, too.