My aunt once told me that if she could do it over again, she would have played more with her son while he was growing up, instead of always worrying about the housework. She was a single mother for most of his life (they divorced when he was four and she has never remarried) and a nurse to boot.
I find myself in a similar situation. I am not a single mom, but I have two children, only twenty months apart. You moms with multiple children know that each additional child just adds to the chaos! I am a working mom, though I work from home, as well as attending school.
Between chores, assignments, and cooking meals the day tends to get away from me. Whenever my husband, J. says he doesn’t have time (usually in reference to my honey-do list) I always remind him that we make time for what we want to do. It annoys him, but it’s true. Right now, as I write this, he is playing video games. He is choosing what to do with his time, as do we all.
I am bad about it, too. I know I need to spend more time with the girls. Often, my daughter will run over and try to pull me out of the computer chair. She probably thinks I am stuck to it, otherwise surely I would have gotten up by now!
In our world, we rarely feel like we have a spare moment between the chaos of daily life, especially when there are young children to clean up after. I always vow to do something fun with the girls, and then before I know it, it is nap time. If nap time has come without spending time with them, then I can’t until their dad gets home. And this cycle seems stuck on the repeat button.
J. says that he always knows when I’ve played and had fun with the girls because I am more relaxed when he comes home. It’s true—my heart feels lighter when I get to be to spend quality time with them. So why don’t I make it a priority?
Because I have to clean the fridge, or wash dishes, or pay bills, or work. It seems there is no end to my to-do list. But what I have to keep in the back of my mind is my girls won’t be little forever, and they won’t always be waiting for me to be able to play with them. One day, they will be able to help with the chores, one day I won’t be in school. I might wake up to realize that I have free time on my hands, and no one to spend it with.
I am doing better. Today, I didn’t even turn the computer on until two in the afternoon! This is a first for me! In the meantime, I was jumped on, clung to, laughed with…it was a magical day, and has made my resolve even stronger.
What do you mamas do to balance your responsibilities while nurturing your kids?