Monday 11 February 2013

Time is a gift and not to be wasted

Occasionally, there will be an event, a tragedy, a moment, something said, that makes you take a look at yourself and you realise you need to change, that your priorities are wrong.

It is unfortunate that so often it takes for something negative to lead you to do this but as long as we learn from our lessons and take something positive from it, we are only human and we should forgive ourselves.
A couple of these things happened last week that made me look introspectively at myself & realise I needed to change.

The first being the tragic and very unexpected loss of a young baby girl’s life. At just 9 months with no warning. I can’t even begin to imagine what her family are going through. They are the thoughts that when you have children you try constantly to push back into the darkest depths of your subconscious. My thoughts now go out to them. This unimaginable tragedy happened to a Mummy on Twitter, a mummy blogger which for some reason our paths haven’t before crossed on Twitter but she and her family have clearly touched so many and my Twitter timeline was full of fellow Tweeters paying their respects for her sad loss.

I, in no way, wish to compare as I have had no direct experience and everyone’s loss and grief is a personal thing but my poor Mum & (older) Sister have experienced the loss of a baby as my Sister was a twin but sadly, her identical twin sister, passed away at just 6 weeks old. In fact, it is the 39th anniversary of her death next week. Anita  is very much still a part of our family, even for me who wasn’t around when she was born. She is our family Guardian Angel. She is often talked about, talked to and remembered constantly.  A family doesn’t ever really get over that type of tragedy even though you learn to move on.

For this reason, I have been a little more aware, a little more nervous for the first 6 weeks of both my babies’ lives than perhaps I would’ve been. To know that after 9 months of carrying this little growing life inside you that you bring safely into this world, learn to love, get to know, ready to protect with your own life, then suddenly to find they can be taken away from you. As I say, we so often have to push those thoughts away to enable us to live our lives the best we can. I was already anxious for the first 6 weeks but this has reminded me, it can happen any time, 9 months, a year, 5 years, 11 years, 18 years…it is not right when a child goes before their parents whatever the age!

The second thing to make me think was a simple sentence from my Son, Callum. I confess to being a bit rubbish at playing with my children. I have a short attention span for such a thing, especially when it involves imaginary play – which is surprising considering I’ve always wanted to be an actress. I lose patience quickly whenever I try to do creative craft, arty stuff or cooking with Callum so, although I do these things from time to time, I no where near do them often enough.

I am also rubbish during the winter at getting motivated to getting outside the house so, unless I have something planned in advance, I can quite easily waste a day inside doing not a lot.

The worst thing I can do first thing in the morning, is pick up my laptop. For there I am glued until I am made to move by the needs of one of my children or my own hunger, thirst or call of nature.

What was the simple sentence uttered by my dearest son that made me ashamed and want to change? “Mummy I don’t like it when you sit here all the time” referring to usual position of my arse sat on the sofa with my laptop on my lap, or close by if I’m holding Millie

Shit! I can sometimes be a really crap mother!

I said to Stuart recently, I need to make the most of these days I am at home (not working) with the children and really appreciate them as before long I’ll be back on the hunt for a job and the likelihood will be that I get a full time job. Callum will be in school and Millie in nursery. I wont ever get these days back again. So why the hell am I wasting them? Why am I not grabbing every day and making it a memory?

So I’ve made a plan. I would say a promise but I don’t believe in promises as sometimes promises have to be broken and I don’t like broken promises. So I am going to say I’m really going to try my damned hardest to stick to this.

I am going to spend more time with and enjoying my children.

Should I not have any plans to meet a friend or my family I am going to go out to parks, soft play, walks, the beach, farms etc. These things don’t have to be expensive and are quite often free. Callum loves looking around pet shops or fish shops (the aquarium kind not the fried type). Once a fortnight I will try to either bake or get arty with Callum and/or Millie (admittedly a little more difficult with Millie). I will try to make myself join in games with Callum, especially when Millie is sleeping.

To ensure this happens, I have to limit my computer use so I propose the following:
  • I will not pick up my laptop Monday to Wednesday until the evening/children are in bed unless Callum is happily watching a DVD (which isn’t actually that often).
  • On Thursdays and Fridays, when Callum is at nursery, I will limit my laptop time to when Millie is napping and again once children are in bed.
  • I will allow myself to use my phone during the above times unless I notice this taking over important family time.
I think this is realistic and should be easy to stick to.

I am not perfect and I may slip into bad habits from time to time but hopefully, by writing it down, I am more committed and can remind myself of what I have pledged by reading this back. I want to be a better Mummy and I want to make the most of these days so we can all look back at the memories we’ve made.

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