selfless parenting?

I have two weeks left of being a full time stay-at-home mum before heading back to work 2 days a week. I’m trying to make the most of it: staying in my pjs all morning, having impromptu meet ups with friends, having messy play with cocopops knowing I’ve got tonnes of time to clean up, and generally trying to avoid thinking about work. I know once I get back into it I’ll enjoy it but there’s still a little voice suggesting I’m not doing the right thing. I’m slowly realising that feeling guilty, or feeling like I’ve maybe done the wrong thing comes as standard when you’re a mum. Should I be giving up work, managing with the bare minimum financially in order to commit myself 100% to child rearing? Should I give up weekends away so I don’t have to battle with the nerve fraying a car journey with a screaming baby? Should I stop being so stubborn and fit the cupboard locks and stair gates, surrendering any notion that a baby wasn’t going to take over every part of my life and home?

“This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends”. (John 15:13). If this is what we’re to do for our friends, how much more for our kids.

But what is a healthy amount of yourself, of your own needs and wants, to give up in order to give everything your child needs? When does selflessness become self-deprivation? If we’re not taking care of ourselves what use are we to our kids? But then again, I decided to have a baby, fair enough I had no idea quite how much energy it would take, but still, that was my decision. And when the going gets tough, when I’m tired and weary and could just use a couple of days “off” I no longer have the right to claim “me time”, as if I’m owed it. I gave that up when I made that decision to have a baby. However, I am so so blessed in that I have an amazing husband and family that enable me to have time to myself a LOT compared to some mums. I know that, and I’m not complaining.  It’s just even then, I feel bad for running out and leaving someone else to look after him, and I can’t quite switch off fully…There’s just no pleasing some people!!!

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About bethanywheeler

I'm Bethany, a thirtysomething wife and mum. I love my family, my friends and my church, and I'm passionate about being part of them becoming all they were created to be. I'm a talker. Hopefully I listen in equal measure. I love a good debate about real stuff, but only if it results in a list of actions!
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1 Response to selfless parenting?

  1. Ali Law says:

    Bethany,
    Don’t fear – you are not alone; I am sure all working mums have the same conversations. It is a juggle, but doing 2 days a week should give you enough time to be ‘you’ (and even enjoy grabbing a coffee at lunch and drinking it!!) whilst still allowing you heaps of time with cocopops. Don’t feel guilty…he won’t hold it against you and as long as he is happy and settled in the care setting on the 2 days when you are at work, he IS ok! My two loved going to their childminder; they got up to loads of things that I either wouldn’t have thought of, or just didn’t want to do at our house. Think of the benefits too of you working; maintaining your own identity, that ever-so-useful extra cash so that you can enjoy weekends away etc, happy baby, happy husband…
    Enjoy the rest of your time as a full time mum; don’t worry it away! I’m sure you’re doing a fantastic job as a mum and outside work will just add an extra dimension to life!

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