Life can just be so ridiculously busy. I find myself going from one activity to the next, with barely a moment to pause. I don’t remember the last time I just sat and did nothing. Even my ‘free time’ is full of an endless list of things to do; read blogs, check Facebook, reply to emails, write down the thoughts that have been swirling in my mind for the past few hours, popping their head up in between chores and children.
My kids are great. They really are, and they let me do things. For the most part, they play happily together, and if given an activity, will happily be amused by it for a reasonable amount of time. Obviously they are kids and have moments of clinginess, moodiness, and the attention span of a gold fish, but generally speaking, they are good at letting me get things done.
But that does have its down side. It means it can be very easy for me to do ‘my stuff’ while they do their stuff. It’s easy to just occupy them so that I can get on with
checking facebook my list of things to do.
I realised a little while ago, that and Bridie hasn’t asked me to play with her for a while. It may be because she is getting older. Or it may be because she is just used to hearing ‘not now,’ ‘maybe later,’ or ‘mummy’s a bit busy to play right now.’
In fact I can quite easily go whole days without connecting with the kids on anything more than a ‘have you brushed your teeth and cleaned your room’ kind of way.
I’ve been working more actively at getting better at giving the girls more full attention. Putting down the iPad to speak, and spending quality time at the end of the day lying in bed together talking. It’s been good. It’s been helpful.
But some weeks are still so busy.
Right now, my kitchen is messy, my bathroom is dirty, my floor is sticky, my washing unwashed, my ironing breeding and my kitchen table almost invisible under the clutter.
It’s driving me mad, and I can’t seem to get on top of it.
And not from lack of trying.
So I try and I work and I get distracted and busy and then a little boy comes and speaks to me, and I snap. He coughs on me with water in his mouth and I shout at him.
Because I am cranky and busy.
Because it is the fourth time he has interrupted me.
Because I am not a perfect mother.
He runs to his room and cries. But not just cries; he buries his beautiful face in his pillow and says over and over again, with so much conviction a mother’s heart can not help but break; ‘I’m stupid. I’m stupid. I’m stupid.’
I take that boy in my arms and I cry with him. I apologise and ask for his forgiveness and kiss him a hundred times. I tell him he is not stupid; he didn’t even do the wrong thing.
Soon it’s over, and I hope that is it.
But it’s not.
A careless word by his friend. A charge to ‘sit properly’ in his car seat, and he is broken again. For some reason his confidence is shattered. Any negative word said to him reduces him to tears, convinced that no one likes him.
He is my son, and I love him.
This breaks my heart, because I realise that this is my fault. I’ve been so busy. Busy with the housework.
Busy with the blog.
Busy trying to connect to his sisters because they are rapidly growing up and needing their mother more than ever.
And he has missed out.
He seems to always miss out.
Because he has three sisters, we make sure he gets lots of daddy time. They do a lot together.
But mummy time is rare for him these days. Quality one on one is almost nonexistent. Lost in the busyness of washing clothes and grocery shopping and dropping and picking up siblings from school.
He was being silly.
Or rather, being a boy.
Running around and he slipped over and hit his head on the spokes of Taylah’s bike. It wasn’t a big cut, and it didn’t bleed a whole lot, but it split open enough for me to think it might need stitches, or at the least a bit of glue.
(I know that chicks (apparently) dig scars, but this is his face, and it’s such a nice face. I really want to keep scarring to an absolute minimum of possible. )
So we went up to the hospital, the only option we had.
And we hung out.
Me and my boy, in the waiting room of the RDH ED, playing games on the phone, making jokes, and having thumb wars.
When we went in, it was he with a broken eyebrow and heart, and me with a bucket load of guilt and no idea how to fix it.
When we came out, it was he with a healing sore, a healing heart, and me with a renewed appreciation for this darling little man.
Sometimes, we need to take the time to remember just how much we love our kids, and how ridiculously addictive they are. The house will wait, Facebook will wait, and even the grocery shopping can be replaced with toast sandwiches for dinner.
But the little people; they just keep growing and changing, and how we interact now, will determine what direction they go in. We can build confidence in them with our unconditional love, or insecurity because we are too busy to notice their wonderful existence.
Sometimes it takes the cries of a little boy to hear his broken heart; sometimes it takes hours in the emergency room to fix so much more.
But whatever it is, it’s worth it.