It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’ve changed jobs, I’m back working 5 days per week. It’s tough going. I feel like I’m not spending enough time with my kids right now. Trying to pack a week full of me into 2 days is exhausting. I work to provide and I love my job. I want to work and I believe that will always be the case until the day of my retirement. We don’t have the option for me to stay at home a few days a week. I’d love that balance, but right now, it’s not the case. How do I ensure that my children are getting everything they need from their childhood?2 days at the weekend is all I have with my children. I get an hour or two in the evenings after work but usually that’s me being busy making dinner and then trying to put the baby to bed. Something bothered me this weekend though. I looked at my 8 year old son and he was sad. I worry that he is not getting all the joy that childhood brings. I feel like we are constantly rushing from breakfast to creche, to home and out to Karate or Football or whatever activity he has on. There was no time to sit, and be with my son. It scared me so much that I am still upset about it.
On Sunday morning, I lay on the bed with him and we just had a chat. We spoke about nothing and we spoke about everything. It was amazing. He lay on my arm, close to my face and we just had a cuddle and a chat. He is such a sweet, sensitive little boy that is going to be a teenager before I know it. Times like this don’t come back around again. Blink and I’ll miss it.
He doesn’t play outside either and I don’t know if this is true of every parent out there but I won’t let him play outside in the road. We live in a housing estate and there are cars around constantly. He doesn’t have any friends his age on our road either. I worry about this because that’s all I did when I was younger. I was constantly outside playing with my friends or in each other’s houses. Is he missing out on this element of childhood? I also feel like I’m too strict with him. He asks for his tablet or Nintendo and I almost almost say no. I bought it for him, so why do I restrict him so much? I get him to pack his change of clothes for creche the next day etc. Do I give him too much responsibility? I haven’t seen him being joyous in a while. Is it just because of the dark evenings? I am constantly doubting that I am giving him a good, fulfilled childhood. Please tell me I’m not alone here.
Time moves forward, every living breathing second, it’s moving on. As you sit there on your phone reading this or looking through Facebook at nothing, your child is slightly older than when you looked up from your phone 10 minutes ago. When you are on your death bed, are you going to wish for more time on your phone or more time with your children? Your child wants to have down time with you. He or she wants to envelop themselves in your attention. Time waits for no parent. It’s now that you need to give them that attention. Let them take joy in play at any opportunity. Splash in puddles, get dirty, mess their room, make forts, play together, get cold outside, laugh, shout, scream! Before you know it, the joy of being a child will fade and the joy of having a child will diminish.
I know that life is busy, I am a working parent, I get it. I am going to try to take 10 minutes out each day to just sit and have a chat with both of my older children. I am going to take in their day and ask them questions, I am going to ask them about their hopes, their dreams and their fears. I am going to be present when I am present. No more fobbing them off because I am too busy or asking them to leave me in peace. They are my peace. They are my love. They are my joy and I am theirs. Time is my enemy.