Great Expectations

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Another week goes by and I have realised something.  I have always set myself pretty high standards, and non so much as being a mother.  It is the single most important job I will ever have.  I am the centre of our house, the provider and the ‘go to’ for most things, and I love it even on the days that I can’t quite manage.

Ever since I had my little boy years ago, it is as if I have always tried to do my very best, to be the very best I can be for them, even sometimes to the detriment of my own wellbeing. I am sure that I am not the only one who gives up her slice of toast when little hands come wandering, or stops midway through the washing up at the slightest call of ‘mum’ and I don’t resent it, not at all.  I would give them my last breath if I had to a thousand times over, and yet just lately I have begun to question myself more and more.  Am I good enough to manage it all?

I have been reminded of something that I promised myself a while ago,

I promised that I would cherish the small things and slow down a little to give myself a chance to enjoy life.

And while I do cherish the small things now more than ever – the spontaneous sloppy kiss or the little morning snuggle, I have invariably found myself slipping back into the busy rush of life.  The very thing I promised myself that I would not do.  The mornings in our household are rushed during the midweek and I very often find myself tired out before I even get to work.  I regularly miss breakfast, I drink too much tea and really take it to heart if I have forgotten to send one of the children off for the day with something that they needed.  By the time it reaches the evening I am often completely spent.  I have been known to hop into the children’s bath as I run it for them, and more often than not I do not have the energy to cook an evening meal for my husband.  I just do not have it in me and that is a tough thing to admit.  I am finding more and more that I am having to ‘let it go’ when I find I can manage no more.

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I had a review at work not so long ago, another milestone for me.  It was a funny sort of conversation, as my boss is actually a friend and so the honesty involved was given candidly.  We went through the given format, and eventually one of the questions asked was what I felt to be my biggest achievement to be over the past year.  I had answered ‘returning to work’ and my boss said that it had given him a lump in his throat to read that.  Perhaps it did, but it was the complete and honest truth. On an average day I struggle to concentrate, struggle to even get dressed and yet I get through the days, by some short miracle.  The very act of going to work is a positive thing, it helps keep me on the road to recovery which is turning out to be longer than I first imagined.

It seems that when asked outright about how I am, some surprising answers are given. 

A friend recently asked the same thing.  The answer is, I am good, we are good, but sometimes I find the days a struggle.  It is extremely frustrating to feel fatigue and continue to raise a young family.  It is upsetting to snap at your husband and children when you don’t really mean it, yet tiredness continues to be a reality for me.  It is a difficult thing to explain, and I am not even sure that I have explained it well enough, but I continue to try my very best.  My friends have given me some kind advice, to get more sleep and to let things go when I realise that not everything is achievable – and I will take that on board because sound advice it is.

I love my children, and they continue to make me smile everyday.  They wake me early and encourage me to get on with living.  We don’t have a perfect life, there are arguments and tears just like any normal family, but on the whole we are happy and healthy, which in itself is a blessing.  I just need to remind myself to take care of me, because if I don’t I won’t be able to take care of everybody else.

Never judge a book by it’s cover springs to mind as I wonder quite how to explain the way it feels.  How it feels to get on with everyday life.

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2 thoughts on “Great Expectations

  1. How hard we can be on ourselves Dee! But I guess the question is ‘what are we measuring ourselves against?’ and perhaps that is what needs to be recalibrated, to be more real and to help us to feel capable in whatever context we find ourselves. What would you say to yourself if you were giving advice?
    R
    x

    Like

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