I’m excited to be taking part in a blog carnival over at MumNetwork today, and am sharing my thoughts with you on The Juggle of Modern Motherhood…
Motherhood today looks so different to so many people. Some mum’s work full time, some part time, some work from home, some are stay at home mums. There are seemingly never-ending debates over the benefits to the children of going to a nursery versus being at home with their mum. The debate is always what’s best for the children, mind you, never the mum, though that’s a whole other issue. But when all’s said and done, the only thing that matters, that we have in common, is that we’re all out there, slogging away, trying to do the very best we can for our children, our families. I think we need to concentrate on that common agenda a little more, and not our differences in approach to it. Especially given that with motherhood comes the obligatory guilt. And worry. This all just piles it on even more.
It is a juggling act. It’s an appropriate term, actually, ‘juggling’. Keeping all of those balls in the air, concentrating on so many different things at once. It’s not easy. The practical side can be enough to wear us down.
Take today in my house. Right now, as I type this (and with the series of disasters, that’s why I’m typing this – it is my sanity-saver!) I’m in the middle of a bad day. Boo’s been up all night vomiting, Little Man is grumpy, tired, teething and very dribbly. Both of them want hugs and emotional reassurance. If I can pop those cuddles aside for one second (which is no easy thing!) I’ve also needed to do 4 loads of washing, which comes with the challenge or drying it all – queue plenty of rotating washing all day! Boo needed a bath, so once Little Man was napping, we did that, and came back downstairs to discover the bath had flooded the kitchen. Clean it up, call a plumber. Little Man wakes, he needs playtime, lunch and hugs. The food shopping arrives and needs to be put away, but oh no, Boo’s been sick all over the floor again. Clean that up, carry on putting away shopping, while Little Man yells at me for attention. Pop into the lounge to play for a bit and discover the dog’s managed to tread mud through it and onto the sofa (don’t ask me how!), so get that cleaned up. And this is all before 1pm. The day has got worse since then, with yet more disasters, but I won’t bore you with them – I think you’re seeing the juggle. And, of course, while I’m getting this done, I’m trying to get odd jobs sorted as quickly as possible, as in the back of my mind is the very good possibility that at any point, I could be struck down with this bug, too. We’ve all no doubt been there. Juggling at it’s very worst.
So we have all of the illnesses, the exhaustion, the tiredness (oh yes, clocks going back DO NOT mean an extra hour of sleep for parents!), oh, and did I mention the cost?! That’s a whole other post, isn’t’ it?! Is this a symptom of ‘modern’ motherhood? I don’t think so. Sure, some of the specific challenges may be modern – our grandmothers would not have been dealing with worries over cyber-bullying, obesity wouldn’t have been such a burning issue, SIDS wouldn’t have been on their radar and getting the kids away from TV’s and outdoors wouldn’t have come up. But then they may have been bringing up post-war babies, with very different worries keeping them awake at night. Every generation will have it’s own challenges, as with anything. And it’s own pluses. I’ve pretty much sat Boo in front of the TV for most of the day, something my grandparents couldn’t have done if they were having such a delightful day.
But in amongst this chaos, this emotional fatigue, we get to spend time with these wonderful little beings, shape their lives, delight as their personalities emerge, share in their joys, and cheer them on from the sidelines as they grow up . I think the juggling act is worth it.
This is my entry to the Mum Network Trusted Blogger Club Autumn Blog Carnival