Thursday, 28 August 2014


She has it!

And she almost has it!

Do I have it? Oh god no. It's been a year and I am still struggling to balance the rights, wants and needs of myself with those of my children.

Our rights are, as I see it, equal. Their needs have to come first - of course, this is without question. Their wants, however, cannot and should not always come first. That I genuinely believe.

That said, neither can or should mine, or mine and Noel's. It's all a balance.

I cannot pretend to be close to having it right all or even most of the time. There is so much joy, but I also have periods of feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and quite despairing. Much of this relates to my own internal balance - or lack of it.

Putting two young children and even a very minimal amount of work on top of this, not to mention wider family, friends, and it's often game over for my wants and needs.

(That's not to say it's particularly a win for anybody else, mind. It's just often how life is.)

Of course without due care and attention to my own wants and needs I cannot be the parent I want to be, the mother my children deserve, and the person in whose skin I feel comfortable.

But I do have it right some of the time, and that's something I can, and am going to, feel good about as my younger daughter prepares to turn one.

I can look back on a year of two children, four months of it with the notorious TWO UNDER TWO, and think that while this has been without question the hardest, sometimes the most soul-destroyingly relentless, year of my life, there are many times in which I really have got it right.

Yesterday afternoon I took both girls to the park. Sometimes I feel I need to be free of both children physically for a short time - just to have a few moments to myself without one or both of them clambering over me or asking me to lift, carry, push, move or generally assist them physically.

Taking them to the playground doesn't often solve this problem as both instantly want to be pushed on swings. Which I did, because this is their right to want, if that makes sense.

But it's also my right to want to prioritise my needs once in a while. So after ten minutes, I got both of them down from the swings and said 'I am not pushing, carrying, lifting, moving or helping either of you for the next ten minutes.

'I am going to sit down and I am going to watch you and drink my coffee.'

Off they went, Cherry going round and round and round on the climbing frame with that ferocious toddler concentration, Violet crawling about in the sandpit bashing sand and saying 'did did did' a lot, smiling her head off.

I watched them, and I drank my coffee. Every last full-fat drop.

1 comment:

  1. Balance! I'm definitely getting that all wrong right now. I'm not finding time to look after myself at all, and it is starting to affect my ability to be a parent. This post has helped me to realise that. Thank you for inspiring me to take some time for me!