A question of balance (or does I want ever get?)

I want to finish knitting that jumper I started for my eldest son (I’d really like to finish it before he grows too big to wear it). I want to finish knitting the jumper I started knitting myself three years ago (even though after two children I have grown too big to wear it). I want to lose the baby weight so I can wear that jumper once I finish it. I want to play more tennis, maybe fit in a coaching session once in a while. I want to get my sewing machine out and make a “special cushion” for my son (see Gina Ford’s potty training book*). I want to finish that story I started in my notebook last week. I want to enter that story in a writing competition I saw. I want to send another story I have written off to Woman’s Weekly but first I want to get the ending right – it doesn’t feel right at the moment. I want to finish my novel. I want to get back to playing netball. I want to sometimes drink a hot cup of tea and finish it at my own pace rather than in a rush or going to finish it and finding it already cold.

But the problem is I want to be a good mum, no, a great mum. I want to give my time to my children during my precious maternity leave. I want to encourage my toddler in his ever increasing vocabulary, I want to help him build towers out of bricks and delight in his love of all things JCB. I want to feed my baby before he cries, entertain him with his sensory toys, make sure his nappy is changed often and that he gets his tummy time. I want to make sure neither of my children grow up thinking my computer is more important than them.

Sometimes I get the balance wrong. Sometimes I take a little bit longer over that tricky sentence and my children, previously happily occupied, go into meltdown. Sometimes I leave for tennis and I can hear my toddler wake up from a nightmare. I leave him to my husband. Then I feel guilty. Then I feel like a terrible mother.

The jumper is growing, one row at a time, the stories are getting finished every so often, and I have played quite a bit of tennis really. I have lost a little weight. I’ll get to the “special cushion” at some point (hopefully before the car seat gets soaked) and the novel, well, the novel can wait. I just need to remember that the next time I sit down at my computer or my sewing machine, or the next time I get my knitting needles or tennis racket out and my baby starts to cry. I’ve been up and down stairs four times while writing this post. Each time feeling frustrated that I have had to stop what I was doing to see to my children – it’s past 8pm. This is my time! But I have finished it eventually haven’t I? And my children are happy now too.

On that note, I think I’ll go and make a nice cup of tea.

*I am not a Gina Ford type of mum. I don’t want to force my children into a routine (maybe that’s why I don’t have any time – haha!) but the “special cushion” covered in plastic and then a washable cover which my son can put in the car seat while learning not to wet his pants does sound better than a car seat covered in wee!

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