This is something that I have frequently stumbled upon as a mother who tries her hardest to juggle motherhood, a career, a social life, maintaining my relationship, family, regular exercise and hobbies. I started this blog as I noticed that their are loads of rockin’ mamas that feel that they are stuck in this ‘motherhood’ role and that they have to solely devote all their time to this role in order to reach societies expectations. This is wrong… And so upsetting to see, as you can still be just as awesome and keep yourself Y O U whilst being an awesome mama with just a little bit of balance and time. There it is… Time…
That elusive entity that we mamas need so much of to keep all sides of our personalities in check; so that we remain sane as parents! What is detrimental to his however is when people don’t value that time; when a rockin’ mamas time is taken for granted.
Me and the little man have always had a daily ‘routine’, which yes does fluctuate depending on the day, whats going on, time of year etc, and we have always fit our schedules around that routine. Now I understand some parents don’t like routines, but personally, I’m a great believer in ‘the routine’. Kids need routines. Simple. After being on maternity leave and it just being me and my little man and all the time in the world to figure out and plan our days, going back to work was actually quite a smooth transition; why? Because I had established a routine that anyone could take on and that was easy to balance everyday life around. When you are a rigid advocate of mamas maintaining ‘themselves’ and not losing what is important to them after they have children and finding ‘time’ do do the things that made them… them, it is vital that you and others can take on your child’s familiar routine. Makes for a happier mama and a happier child.
The trouble begins when you are trying your hardest to fit all of these things in, and someone strays from this routine. Not only does it anger you as a mama, having to spend the best part of a month or so trying to re-establish this routine, but it is confusing and upsetting for your child when there is an unexpected shift to and from what is familiar.
It is also not the greatest when you encounter people who think you are being awkward by trying to schedule playdates, social get togethers, drinks, meals, cinema dates etc around your child’s routine. Better yet, friends or family that are flaky with making solid plans or leave you waiting on plans not understanding that time is precious when you are a juggling mama with a good solid routine to fit around your extraordinary life. I have actually on a few occasions been out the door, in the car, walking to or even near the place I planned to meet a friend, caregiver or family member and seen a message noting that they are not going to make it on time and could you wait, they are somewhere else entirely and could you meet them there instead or they totally forgot they had somewhere else to be and they will let you know when they are free. Classic.
Most of the time I do take my little prince with me on my adventures, and there are plenty of awesome places that make this easy peasy, but sometimes an afternoon nap, lunchtime or bedtime cannot be skipped or delayed when you are a small child. Or maybe you had plans of your own that you are fitting your day around. It is not only your childs routine you have to fit yourself and your time around, it is housework, appointments, other friends, family… maybe you like to try and grab half an hour every day to do an exercise routine (I try my hardest to get on my exercise bike when the little man is napping – but when your at work and his caregiver has informed you he has had his nap early… those dreams soon diminish) And maybe you know, you’d actually like some time to yourself just to sit… and read a book… or have a cup of tea in peace.
I get it quite a lot from work, friends, family; the age old introduction to the questions you know you are going to have to fight your corner on as they will never understand your turmoil, “Do you mind giving me a hand…” or “If you’ve got a spare 5 minutes…” If you are anything like me, I find it so hard to say no to these types of questions, mainly as I do like to be the type of person that helps people out. I hate being the person that has to sit there and list all of the things I have to try and achieve on a daily basis before i get the chance to sit down and have a cup of tea, let alone taking on extra work or responsibility. But for some reason, you say yes anyway, and then feel bad that you feel the urge to make them aware of how precious your time is and pray that they are thankful; this is not often the case sadly.
Now I get that adults without children might not have the experience of what it is like to have so much to fit in to a child’s daily routine, but wouldn’t it just be so much simpler if the world truly… really and truly… understood and supported the value of a rockin’ mamas time.