Today’s post is not about babies but it is about children and parenting and not getting it right all the time.
My personal philosophy for parenting is giving my children my time – it is a precious commodity, which they often don’t appreciate, but it reaps benefits and it contributes towards feelings of wellbeing, love and security – for them as well as for me!
After having my second baby I became a stay at home mum. I was running antenatal classes but this was only a few hours a week. The rest of my time was with my children. As my children have grown, so has my business but it has always been flexible and it works around looking after my children – I take school holidays off work, I look after my girls when they are poorly, I take them to school and I collect them at the end of school day, I arrange my evening sessions around the girls so I make sure I see them after school.
They are my focus – and at times I feel very stretched between them and work and I feel guilty when I occasionally need to rush out the door. I want to work, I love my work and I am trying to teach my girls about working hard and feeling passionate about their work, especially as a self-employed business woman.
Last year my business grew in a way I wanted it to – I teach a range of antenatal classes across Tyneside and my days are busy with postnatal courses and doula support, as well as writing and maintaining the Birth & Baby Network.
But I’ve got it a bit wrong this year – work makes me happy but I need to look at finding a balance. As anyone who is self-employed will know, it is often hard work, with long hours, especially when you do everything yourself. To manage the demands of my growing business, to teach my classes and to meet the needs of my clients, I need more structure in my day and I need to put the laptop and phone down on those evenings I don’t work. I need to focus on my kids.
The driving force behind my work is my girls but my youngest child needs routine and structure, she needs my time and she is suffering a little. Life can seem good but when your child cries and says “mummy you don’t care about me because you are always working” it is a slap in the face, a reality check and time to look at the balance again.
Just because children grow bigger – I have one in High School and one in Primary School – it doesn’t mean they need their parents any less. Nothing is more important than the happiness and security of my children but it has to be about balance as well because I also have to and want to work and my children need to learn the importance of that.
But, as a parent, just being able to stop and talk and listen and play is equally as important too.