…with all due respect to anyone who’s ever written one. It’s not for me.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, it’s the plethora of blog posts that emphasize on how dedicated mothers will leave a house full of dirty dishes and unfolded laundry laying around the house, so they can be with their baby and cuddle.
Most of the time, that’s what I do, too. I am aware of time passing by so quickly (hey, our little one is about to turn one in a couple of months! Where did the time go?!), but I can’t go about my life pretending to be prefect. None of us are.
So yes – most of the time, I will leave a pile of dirty dishes laying around so I can play, talk, sing and entertain my son. I treasure our time spent together more than anything at the moment.
But there are also times when I won’t.
Sometimes, Filip would come home, tired from work and missing his family. I would ask him to take the baby for a bit, and I would retreat to the kitchen to load the dishwasher. Not because I know it needs to be done (trust me, I do!), but because I want to.
I love my son, and I love my husband. But sometimes, I will chose any kind of physical work around the house I can find, for 10 minutes, if I can.
It’s my way of coping. Relaxing. Keeping a clear mind.
If you’ve ever posted an “I chose you instead of doing anything around the house” post and you meant it, I honestly admire you.
For the rest of us, seeing it on social media, it creates an immense amount of pressure. To be perfect, all-present, always available mothers who will just give and give and give… Without ever worrying about our own mental health or feeling drained.
Even with all the love I have in my heart for that child, entertaining 24/7 is difficult. Talking and not getting a response, trying your best to smile even when you’re tired or sad, bearing the heavy load of being responsible for teaching someone about the world… it’s also difficult.
Sometimes, I need to hear the sound of a plate landing on another plate in the cupboard. It’s a repetitive, physical activity that helps me find the rhythm to breathe.
From time to time, I enjoy carrying freshly washed laundry so I can spread it on the balcony. It smells nice. It makes me feel refreshed.
Cooking helps, too. Gentle stirring of boiling substances that will soon turn into something tasty oddly satisfies me.
From an outsider’s perspective (and by outsider, I mean a person who isn’t going through circumstances that will allow them to have these feelings), the way I spend “me time” is bizarre. I think so, too. But these are the small things that I sometimes need to do, so I can come back with a fresh smile on my face just for the little one. I need them, to disconnect from the toddler world just for a bit and clear my mind. That way, I am ensuring that my time spent with my son is quality time.