Along with sleep deprivation, sheer joy and madness at the same time and wondering when we can wear our favourite jeans again, one more guaranteed common feeling for every mum in the world is guilt.
Today I had one of those guilt-engulfing moments. I read an article about 10 things I probably should do as a mum, but don’t. Written from the perspective of a mum who also doesn’t do any of them, it’s good to know I’m not alone… I shared the post to unburden my guilt.
This is the article: 10 Things I Should Do As A Mom But Don’t
Once I got into bed though, I questioned that guilt. Why should I feel this way? Why should any mum? They’re not even relevant to me!
Here’s a breakdown:
1. Get crafty with my kids. This is just not my personality! I am not the arts and crafts type. I probably won’t ever make her a birthday cake or make clothes for her dolls. I will, however, give her a huge hug when she bakes her first cupcakes, savouring every crumb and I will make up fantastic stories for every day of the week based on all her toys.
2. Clip coupons. A couple of Pula saved by spending enough time figuring out where and how or a couple of minutes extra in bed this morning? A couple of extra minutes cuddling Aanavi?
3. Exercise. 10000 steps on a daily walk IS exercise!
4. Set up play dates for my kids. When it’s convenient to me and I like the mum, I do! Her social life and mine are intrinsically tied and I truly believe ‘you are the company you keep’. I have no interest or desire in keeping company that adds little value to my life AND hers. It’s not an ‘or’.
5. Make my own baby food. I probably would have if I didn’t have organic options. Personally, I’m glad Aanavi ate out of bottles and boxes so readily – it made travelling with her super easy! She now eats everything we do.
6. Clean regularly. Thank god for house help!
7. Help out in the classroom. Not yet relevant but this is one I probably will do.
8. Model responsible behaviour. It depends what is meant by responsible? Do I sometimes sleep in and skip an early morning appointment? Sure. Do I take spontaneous vacations at the risk of missing work? Yup. Do I watch hours of a TV show I’m hooked to? Oops! I even leave most things to the last minute and sit on my phone at midnight!
But! I’m a kind and happy person and do try and express that to everyone I meet. Hopefully that’s good enough for her.
9. Nix the Starbucks habit. Why would I ever?
10. Plan date nights. I’m sure we will get there one day 🙂
I may not do the ten things above, but here are ten things I do that are unique to Aanavi and I:
- She comes into my bed every morning and we giggle, we cuddle, we sing songs and we watch videos of herself on my phone. She just loves this.
- We read together in the afternoons.
- I’m even writing little books for Aanavi about all her adventures!
- She sits and ‘works’ with me when I am working from home. [wpvideo YiKJr6TJ]
- I plan a nutritionally balanced meal-plan for the day which includes Aanavi’s breakfast, lunch, dinner and her snacks.
- We have a super bath and bedtime routine which we both love and follow religiously. I know she sleeps smiling and that means I do too.
- I go to work every day – my mum did and it made me who I am today! Independent, career-oriented, hard-working but also so appreciative of quality time rather than quantity of time.
- We practice gratitude together. One of Aanavi’s first words was “Ta” for thank you!
- I take photos and videos of her whenever I can… So one day I can show her that I was so enthralled by everything she did, I needed to capture it all!
- I tell her I love her at least ten times a day and I tell her why. Each time a different reason.
To any mum out there who feels that ever-persistent feeling of guilt, make your own list of ten. Don’t bother with what you don’t do. Trust me, your child hasn’t even noticed… But they are noticing and growing from what you do DO.