Who am I? Supermum or Madmum? This blog has always been about honesty and keeping it real, because life, after all, isn’t always fun and games. I’ve sat here for the past 30 minutes writing a whole load of rubbish, when in actual fact all I want to say is that I am tired and I am just one person, who cannot do everything. I am not a Supermum (whatever that means). Balancing my commitments as a doctor, wife and mother can sometimes become too much, but that’s probably because I put that pressure on myself to a certain degree.
I love my job; it’s a career I dreamed of and one that I am fortunate to have. It makes me feel alive as a person. I feel valued at work. I’m part of a team and we work together to achieve a common goal of providing the best possible care to mothers and babies, in fact to families as a whole. But sometimes, there is just nothing we can do to make things better and there are bad outcomes and it is just heart breaking. You never forget these cases, they stay with you and over the weeks, months and years, they accumulate and that’s difficult to deal with. But we deal with it and we carry on.
Then there’s home life and with two boys even the simplest tasks can become a challenge. This is when Madmum comes out. At times, I hate the sound of my own voice. I can hear myself nagging them and inside I’m telling myself to “shut up!” But once I’ve said something, such as “can you come and sit at the dining table and have your lunch please?” I feel that I can’t go back on it because it would be sending the wrong message. It would let them think that throwing a tantrum will get them what they want.
90% of the time I know I’m asking for the wrong thing as the words are coming out of my mouth and by then it’s game over. I can just tell by their general mood, which way the day is going to go, so why do I bother to aggravate the situation further?
I mean, what is the big deal and whose rules am I trying to obey?! Who really cares if they occasionally want to watch their movie whilst they have their lunch? I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what I used to do and I’ve done ok in life. I feel that it’s more the social pressure to live a certain way and be a certain way if you’re “good parents” with “good children.”
Keeping to a routine over the summer holidays has almost been impossible with the boys being split between being at home and with both sets of grandparents. I’ve really felt that I’ve had to justify why they’ve had some late nights and not done homework every day because that’s what all the other children have been doing………But we’ve had fun!
We’ve had late nights and watched movies with popcorn. We’ve had days out bowling and at the movies. We’ve been on lovely little lunch dates. We’ve spent lots of quality time together.
On the other hand, I’ve also had sleepless nights with Rhys coming into our bedroom at ridiculous-o-clock and physically sleeping on top of me or with Maicen coming in and marching me back to his bedroom to sleep with him. Again, I feel like I’m not being a “good parent” by allowing this to happen, but my baby boys want me and it won’t be forever. So whilst they want me to cuddle them as they sleep, I will. I am lucky to have them so why should I reject or dismiss their call for my attention?
To be fair, they have kept me sane over the past couple of weeks. They have made me feel so wanted and appreciated by the little things they say, like “mummy, you’ve made a lovely dinner for us, thank you.” They tell me how much they love me every day. These are things that let me know that we’re raising two amazing little humans.
I’ve been running like a robot….working days and nights and on my off days somehow managing to entertain the boys, do the food shop, cook, clear up, get through piles of washing, bath them (which I’ll admit doesn’t happen daily), read a bed time story and get them to bed! Luckily I now have a cleaner so that’s one less thing to worry about.
I somehow have to take a bit of pressure off myself and self-care more because I am not a Supermum and I can’t go on this way. I think that will be by accepting more and caring less about what I “should” be doing. I’m not living this life for other people, I’m living it for my kids and I, so I need to do what is right by us and what works for our little family. After seeing all the sad and heart breaking things at work, it is a reminder that life is short so cherish every moment and spend it living your best life.
I’d love to hear how you manage your commitments and if you too struggle to manage your own expectations of yourself.
If you want to read more about how I have managed over the years, take a look at my other posts: