Things I Can And Can’t Blame My Children For
It’s Monday evening 9:30pm and I’ve just come back from the gym and had a shower. My day has felt full, very full, satisfying full but also exhaustingly so. I’ve fed my children, dressed them, kissed them goodbye, tackled a full day of data analysis, gone home to cook dinner, fed the… Oh, you all know what happens in a house with small children during our daily “peak hour”. After my four-year-old finally went to bed after insisting she needed another snack, another story, another snuggle, I dragged myself to the gym for a half-hour on the spin bike. On my way out, I started to feel that familiar sense of pity. “It’s so hard fitting everything in when you’re a working mother,” I said to myself, sounding very trite. “I just can’t do everything in one day. I can’t have it all”. And so on and so on until I suddenly stopped in my tracks. I was doing it again. I was blaming my children. For things. Things that may or may not be due to me being a mother. Some are and some aren’t. Some shouldn’t be blamed on parenthood at all, and some are definitely due to being a parent.
You see, as a GP I get the opportunity to talk to people from all stages of their life. Something that strikes me is the same conversation I keep having over and over again. It goes something like this
“Do you do any exercise?”
“No,” (sheepish look from patient). “I just can’t seem to fit it in.”
And you guessed it – it doesn’t matter if the patient has children or not. In fact, sometimes parents seem to take more action in terms of their physical health. People, not parents, struggle to find the time and energy to do the things they know they should. Anyhow, it struck me that there are some things I can (and will!) blame my children for, cheerfully, and some things that I resolve I will not blame them for. I want them to know I can prioritise what’s important for my own wellbeing, so that they can learn from me. Because my daughter said a very important thing to me today – “I’ll do what you do, Mummy”, meaning when she is an adult and has her own babies. And that only makes me want to manage my own health and happiness well so that she’ll have the tools to do the same when her own children come along, or better still, get into a good routine of self-care before she becomes a mother.
So here are the things I will and will not blame my children for. At least, on a good day. When I’ve had enough sleep. And chocolate. And coffee.
Things I can blame my children for
- Grey hairs
- Forgetting things (aka “Mummy Brain”)
- An obsession with sleep
- My “scary mummy” voice
- Inability to stop doing laundry
- Recurrent nightmares of being stuck on a ten-hour plane flight with a toddler
- Raucous behaviour when on a “night out” without the kids (okay, maybe I can’t blame them for this…)
- Having the theme song to “Octonauts” play over and over again in my head, or suddenly bursting out a ditty that goes “Book-aboo!! A story a day or I just can’t play!!”
- Sand all over my floor. (What is with that?!)
Things I will not blame my children for
- Being physically inactive.
- Poor food choices.
- Neglecting my relationship with my partner.
- Drinking too much alcohol.
- Staying up too late after the children have gone to bed and missing out on sleep.
- Being too hard on myself.
- Not following my dreams.
- Feeling negative.
- Not having fun.
What are some of the things you won’t be blaming your children for? What’s important to you that you will fight to preserve, in amongst the chaos and the time pressures? x
2 thoughts on “Things I Can And Can’t Blame My Children For”
I love this.. This came at a fitting time for me too. last week plagued by another illness (first bronchitis, then virus, now chest infection), I am so over being sick. I’ve been sick for a month now! I take the meds my dr gives me, drink water, eat healthy (as much as I can) and exercise 2x a week (not enough I know – but I try). What am I doing wrong? So last week, I was unable to make my regular Kettlebell sessions, which really upsets me coz I love exercising and love kettlebells. This morning, I got up (at 5:30am) to go to my first session in 12 days and my son said (while half asleep) “but mummy, you’re already sexy.” This made me smile and also want to go to my session even more because I am far far far from sexy. Thanks for sharing the truth about prioritizing, being a role model to our kids and how parenting is hard but not impossible. :)
You are doing just fine!! :) be patient, I know it’s very frustrating to be sick for so long but coughs can last for up to 8 weeks!! That said if you think something is not right see your GP again … And what a lovely thing your son said :) He’ll remember what a determined mumma you are.