Is it just me who spends all week desperately looking forward to the weekend so I can spend some quality time with my daughter and then spends all weekend completely exhausted and looking forward to getting back to work so I can have a “rest”? Of course this is short lived because I soon realise how exhausting work is as well and plus on top of this I miss my little girl really badly and so start desperately wanting it to be the weekend again. It’s a vicious cycle of exhaustion and guilt!
First things first, please don’t misunderstand me, I absolutely adore my daughter and love spending time with her. I feed off the memories that we make together for weeks on end, for example this weekend just gone when I woke her up in the morning to tell her that we were going to the seaside for the day she literally beamed at me she was so happy, I won’t be forgetting that little face in a while and it will get me through some of the harder days at work I’m sure! But Molly is straying dangerously into the terrible two’s, and whilst she’s not a “naughty” child, she can be challenging and just down right tiring at times.
I’ve talked before about the pressures of making every moment count when you’re a working mum, and to be honest, even when you’re not a working mum, but I think you feel the pressure more when your time together is limited and so when things don’t go right or a certain little terror-tot is playing up and you start the count down to bed-time, for me this is often accompanied by feelings of intense guilt because here I am on my precious 2 days off with my child, wishing they were in bed so I could sit down – that’s not right. Is it? I start thinking “am I terrible Mum?” “Am I just not very good with children?” and if it spirals, these questions can turn into “whose actually bringing up my child, me or the Grandparents?” “Who does she actually prefer to spend time with?”
Of course all of this self beating with an emotional stick is ridiculous and pointless and is best avoided as it has a nasty habit of making the situation a whole lot worse. It’s far better, if you can, to put these thoughts out of your mind and try to enjoy the time that you have together and don’t beat yourself up because you’re counting down to bedtime…I’m pretty sure every mum has secretly done this at times because yes, toddlers are hard work, and yes, they’re tiring at times and yes, we’re only human so this combination is inevitably going to lead to frazzled mummies and daddies.
It’s important to remember as well that not everyone was born to be a parent, by this I don’t mean that if you are not one of these people whose main mission in life was to be a mum or a dad that you are somehow doing a bad job, what I mean is that it’s okay to still value what you had before you had children; ultimately you are the same person you always were and it’s important to remember this! I never used to want children, for years I was totally anti-children, I think I was a bit afraid of them to be honest. Fast-forward and now, I get so much joy out of having Molly, I can’t imagine not having her around, but I still value my independence in being able to work. I have a lot of respect for stay at home parents because frankly I don’t think I could do it, and that’s fine, I respect that and have come to terms with it. Instead I like to have days like this weekend just gone where I can make memories such as the ‘seaside beam’ to remind me that it’s about quality not quantity and my daughter doesn’t love me any less because of it.