How many times have you said it, “If only there were more hours in the day….”?
For me, that’s an easy answer – too many times. I get up earlier, I stay up later, and still I run out of time.
Time for what, though? Work? Cleaning? Reading?
What are the things that we run out of time for? Stop and really think about that.
If something is so important to you, shouldn’t your day start with that and be focused around that? Wouldn’t that help you prioritize?
During the shut down in 2020 and the first part of 2021, my priorities were always centered around the same things everyday. We got up each morning and took care of each other. Life was a bit simpler then: wake up, make breakfast, touch base with the kids and plan our day of activities/home school, regroup for lunch, get outside for a while, finish up school, build puzzles together, have dinner and watch a movie. And then it was time for bed.
My family was the center of my day. Yes, it was hard to know that every day would be pretty much the same. But it was also comforting.
As the busy-ness of life came back, I began to long for those days again. I liked having my kids close to me. Suddenly, we were back to being all over the place. We were “doing” and “being” again.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed hearing the crack of the baseball bat this year. I missed it last year (more than I thought I would). I have been excited to watch my kids return to normal and see their friends and be in school. I was out of my mind ecstatic to watch football in the fall. And, yet….I miss having my kids here with me; I liked not having to share them with anyone.
This past summer was particularly hard for me. My kids were on their own most mornings during the week due to my work schedule. I worked less than a mile away from the house, but when I was gone, I felt a million miles away. I asked a lot of them, and they definitely did a great job. But, I felt as though I failed as a parent. I should have been home with them.
The tug of war that happens with mothers is real. Deep inside my heart, I know that anyone could do my job as a physical therapist or a coach. I could retire, walk away, and not be missed.
But no one can take my place as a mother. I’m the only one that can be that for my kids. Kind of puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? And this is what I used to struggle with, every single day.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed being a therapist. I had the most wonderful patients and loved helping people. I also loved being a coach, and I found both jobs very rewarding. Still….the guilt was always there.
So, I decided to retire from the clinic. After playing it over and over in my mind, I finally took the leap. It was easier than I thought at first. But, eventually, that pull came back. Even now, I still feel the pull to go back to things from time to time. It would be easy to slip right back into my old routine. But, I know that is not what’s best for my family.
Being a parent is not easy. There is a certain “death to self” that must happen. And after having my kids around me so much for so long, I know that I made the right decision. My oldest will only be here another 2 years or so, and then they will all start to leave, methodically, over the next handful of years. Am I ready for that? Nope. So, I will hold onto this full house of mine while I can. The sounds of kids coming home off of the bus, the arguing over the xBox, the chatter during dinner. And I love the feeling of knowing that everyone is in bed, sleeping under one roof.
Yes, I think I’ll hold onto that a little while longer….everything else can wait.