Time is precious as they say. That took on a whole new meaning when we had kids. A meaning sometimes I wish I now didn’t understand. Something that now means for me trying really hard every day to find time for me, because as demanding as being a mum can be and no matter how incredibly wonderful it is... it can't be everything for me.
We all get the same 24 hours in a day all the optimists will say. And, yep, no arguments here from me. But ‘mum time’ doesn’t work like normal time. Everything is either way slower than you would like it to be… or in a surreal world the day flies by and you got absolutely nothing done. Well maybe you got out of your pyjamas today and I guess sometimes you just gotta take that one as a win.
I’m a stay at home mum and I’m sure there are still a bunch of ill informed and totally wrong (sorry but you are) people out there that think I’m living the dream. Time for coffee with friends, floating around shopping centres, DIY craft projects at home, peaceful playtime with the kids and a long uninterrupted break when my kids nap all at the same time and for a long time. Couldn’t be further from the truth. Time is not in abundance when you’re a stay at home mum any more than when you’re a superstar working mum balancing work, school drops offs and still doing dinner. We’re all super stars… super stars who have no time.
So outside of the mile long list of to dos that seem to accumulate, you know the basic stuff, cleaning that pen off the leather lounge that’s been soaking in for weeks, getting a full grocery shop done, laundry, laundry and laundry, filing and paying the bills. Outside of those things I actually do want time for me. Time I just never feel like there is enough of. This is when I would probably bribe anyone to steal one of their 24 hours to add to my tally just so I can achieve something, anything… albeit I may even just get some damn sleep!
So why do I need time? To nourish me... the woman the exists separate to being a mum. We all have dreams, things that move us, inspire us and keep our happy cup full. I don’t need to justify why being a mother doesn’t fill that cup all the time. It just doesn’t. Being a mother is divine and a blessing… but it can’t be everything for us mums. And for good reason. We need to dream and have hobbies, do things we love, make our own heart sing so that our kids can see what a full life looks like. Some days I make shit happen and think I am so on top of this gig. I’m calm, dinner is organised in advance, we had awesome park time and yep, I managed to get some writing done and even painted my nails. Most other days, I start off on the wrong foot, sleep deprived, headachey and short tempered. I do my best not to lose it, I take the path of least resistance with the kids just to avoid any drama and we end up rummaging through the fridge at the last minute looking for something/anything for dinner. Nothing gets done and I don’t know how I used my 24 hours of time so frivolously. When I crawl into bed at the end of the waking day, I promise myself tomorrow will be better, more balanced and there will be time for me too. I can promise and yet not always fulfill and that’s okay because I’m a work in progress and the reality of parenting is that most things are out of our control. My best intentions to get up early and do some yoga before the kids wake up are tossed out the window when I’m woken twice during the night by a teething toddler or I just want to be lazy and sleep in (definition; sleeping blissfully later than the standard pre-sunrise wake up or toddler invasion in your bed, for those of you unfamiliar with you the term).
Some of the best laid plans never come to fruition. But the intention is there.
But how we make that intention manifest into something real is the age old question… one I doubt I’ll ever solve. One I think maybe mums of yester-year had all sorted when they didn’t fill their life with busy, when they didn’t try and be everything to everyone and the criteria for a super star mum was all about the simple stuff that mattered. But one thing I do promise is that I will try always make time for me, for my hopes and for anything that keeps my heart full. I’m a better mum when I can find time for me. I’m a better wife when I’m not whinging about my jiggling butt. I’m a better friend when I don’t complain about hard the kids are every time we meet up. I’m a better person when I nourish my soul that has so many parts - the biggest and best of which may be so full of love with being a mumma… but it’s not the only part.