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The Managing Mummy

on May 2, 2012

I was looking at my son’s face. He was adoringly looking up at me. His blue eyes were wide and unblinking. His hands were in his lap. One of them was holding onto my thumb. His little pink mouth was relaxed and open. Eyebrows were up and he stared at me, then the corners of his mouth wiggled into a half smile. He put his chubby hand on my nose and said ‘ahhh!’

It was such a precious moment. I love the smell of my son. I love his whisps of blonde hair and the soft skin at the back of his neck. I love how cute he is sitting up so straight, and looking so young and so old at the same time. He’s simply adorable. I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

But….

In that moment, I hadn’t been adoring him back. I was thinking about what I needed to be doing. I was managing our day. There was a mountain of washing in the laundry. I needed to fold what already had been washed. I needed to make some more baby food. I needed to calculate when his next sleep was. I needed to figure out when I could squeeze in a trip to the grocery store – in between naps. I was thinking about how important it was for me to teach him to be confident in his independence. And about when I should be giving him panadol for his sole erupting tooth.

 We are a managing mummy generation. The baby advice industry is HUGE. Most parenting books talk about structure, routine and troubleshooting strategies for when your darling baby won’t eat, sleep or poop ‘properly’. We indulge in so much information, and compare our situations with other mums. Suddenly, the majority of our day is spent planning or implementing these strategies. We have the best intentions of course! We love our children. We want them to be the happiest that they can. We want to be responsible mummies.

But I felt so guilty in that moment when I realized that instead of enjoying my son, I was going a million miles an hour in managing our day. I was somewhere else. How sad.

 My son is now almost 9 months old. I always used to say ‘time just flies, doesn’t it!? I mean, where has it gone?!’ But now, I know where it’s gone. It’s gone within all the thoughts and good intentions of our Mummy-brains. It’s gone in the hours of baby food preperation, in the baby-proofing the house, the hours spent trawling the internet to find a cheaper price on clothes, toys, books. And the books we read and re-read to make sure we’re not missing anything.

But I fear that one day, I’ll realise my Mummy-brain had completely taken over, and I had lost so many special moments that I could have had with my child.

So lets enjoy our days and nights – no matter how many wake-ups it entails. We could toss the books aside for a while, yeah? Lets enjoy the smells and kisses and cuddles (while they last), and teach our children the most important lesson; to live to the full. Every, single, day.

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One response to “The Managing Mummy

  1. Cat says:

    Love this! So well written, so beautiful and so true! x

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