My husband and I both work full time. We leave the house before 7am in the morning and the earliest we get home is 5pm. Both girls are in aftercare so they are only collected from school when we finish work. It’s not ideal but it is how things are, especially these days where having a family without earning a double income is practically impossible!
As a result, we spend less time with our kids as we would like. I also find we have less time for them too. By the time I get home I am almost completely spent and the smallest things irritate me. Unless the girls behave like saints, they are moaned and shouted at.
Deep down, you know as an adult and as a parent you should give yourself a time out or breathe deeply or just actually think before you speak. I find my reasoning is exhausted and I am running on autopilot and I just react to things instead of putting proper thought into the situation and reacting appropriately.
If our 4 year old is whiney because she is tired and every little thing upsets her – I know why she is getting upset, but it irritates me because I am tired too and you don’t see me whining! Our 8 year old puts on her roller skates and heads for outside as we as dishing up dinner and I freak out at her. Can’t she see we have so little time to cram everything in and that there is no time for things like that?
No, she can’t. ‘Why not’, you may ask, it is so easy to see! Because she is a kid. If I cast my mind WAY back into the past to when I was 8 years old (I can’t remember being 4 years old) I would have done the exact same things as our girls do! Another thing I know is that my Mum would have been patient and understanding with me. She wouldn’t have hit the roof at the smallest of things!
I can hear the ‘perfect’ parents reading this saying ‘you should always make time for your kids, to listen to them and be with them, no matter how tired you are.’ And in a perfect world I agree 100%. But what if driving 2 hours to and from work and interacting with 20 people during your 8 hour work day plus actually working has left you an empty, rather grumpy, husk?
I can see Tiana’s dad from the Princess and the Frog coming home after a very long day and he is patient with her, listens to her and he cooks with her and for the whole block and he’s smiling… And I know it’s just a movie, but wouldn’t it be nice…
Another thing I find is when I actually do have time I want it to be MINE! I have been reading some books for years! I don’t have any ME time and I get very resentful when the kids want ALL my attention and leave me no time for myself!
Life is all about balance and no one said it was going to be easy!
So here’s to trying to see our kids as people and not another chore or responsibility. Both my Hubby and I are trying. We do feed off of each other’s energy which can be a good or a bad thing.
I have always been the kind of person who takes joy in the little things in life and our little ones bring me a lot of joy! Making the time to enjoy life is what makes me happy.
I just need more practice!