17 April 2012

Perfection

We strive in our lives to make things perfect.  You only have to open certain magazines or newspapers and read the articles or look at the adverts that show us how others think we should be living our lives.  Do we really want our homes and ourselves to look that?  Is that really what we want or is it what we think we want?

We want our houses to be tidy and clean most, if not all, of the time.  Is this practical and achievable if you have children.  Why is this important to so many of us, where does this pressure come from.  If we are sitting with our children reading to them or playing a game with them, but all the time thinking I really should be doing x or y, we are so distracted that we are not present with our children.  Not only are we not doing x or y we are are also not giving our time to our children either.

It is important to consider what our priorities need to be.  Do we want our house to always be clean and tidy, do we want to spend the maximum time possible being present with our children, do we want to always cook every meal from scratch. do we want only shop for food once a week etc.  It is much easier to achieve our goals if we decide what they should be and them aim for them, however it is also vital to be realistic.  There is no point having a list of goals that is not achievable, simply because there are too many on the list.

As a mother we have many pulls on our time.   I remember a time when I would spend the day doing things with my children but I wasn't present with them and they knew it.  I was thinking about all the things I could or should be doing.  And is not just about all the jobs in the house that need doing, it is also about us, as people, being able to do stuff for ourselves.  Often as a Mother your me time is drastically reduced or non-existent unless you want to stay up late or get up mega early and as result be sleep deprived too.  Or I suppose you could just spend the day ignoring your children.

After the birth of my youngest child I bemoaned the loss of my me time (I had just started to get it back after the first).  I resented the fact that it had gone, and that everyone in the house (including my husband) could do what they wanted when they wanted except me.  I soon realised that such resentment was destructive it was affecting my relationship with my children and my husband.  It was time for me re-evaluate what was important, what were my priorities.  My me time would have to be put on hold for a short while, it would not be that long in the bigger scheme of things .  I also decided that I needed to be present for my children as much as possible.  It was important to me that I could spend time cooking meals from scratch and allow time to plan a week of meals, put together a shopping list of the ingredients and shop once a week for everything we will need for those meals (and anything else we needed from the local town).  I no longer have the daily dilemma at some point in the day of what are we going to have for tea tonight.

My house is less tidy, it gets cleaned less often (apart from the kitchen counters) the hoover is only out sporadically, but I think my house is a calmer place for it.  I have more balance in my life.

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