Living the dream

A few weeks ago, a friend posted a status on Facebook which stopped me in my tracks. I was having one of those days when the only thing keeping me going was the hourly countdown to bedtime. My friend was, like me, preparing dinner and helping her son with his homework. Unlike me, she expressed gratitude for a rare afternoon which she could spend at home, cooking for her family and being there for her son instead of having to be at work while wishing she was at home.

I was in her shoes not so long ago, crying at the thought of not being able to pick up my daughter from school and not having the time or energy to cook us a meal at the end of the day. I dreamt of spending my days taking care of my family, making sure everyone was well-fed and had clean, ironed clothes to wear. I wanted to be able to play with my then only daughter, enjoy her company and take her out to play in the sun. I got more than I wished for. My day now revolves around the needs of my children and that of my husband. Most mornings are spent doing the laundry, vacuuming crumbs, cooking lunch and playing with Robin. The afternoons are consumed by Maia’s homework, Robin’s requests for snacks, dinner and bath time. This was exactly what I wanted to be doing. I am living my dream. And yet, I still complain.

After the ‘epiphany’ I had back in Rome, I started working slowly but consistently towards making my own dreams a reality. I now know when to stop and unroll the yoga mat. I know when to put on a DVD for the girls to watch while I sip a coffee in our bedroom, a locked door between us giving me some space and quiet. It doesn’t come as naturally as I hoped it would by now and some days I feel like I have nothing more to give, even before teatime. That’s why my friend’s status felt like a slap in the face. A good slap, if such a thing exists. I was reminded that not everyone has the possibility of preparing dinner. Many parents wish they could sit with their children as they make their way through two hours of homework. I know because I was there. I might be there again in the future. Who knows?

So, for now, I will continue reminding myself that I am living my dream and this is what that dream looks like: dishes to be washed, crumbs to be cleaned, a girl who would rather dance all day than finish her schoolwork and a toddler who never stops needing something, even when she’s busy picking her nose.

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8 thoughts on “Living the dream

  1. I just love reading your posts…..they remind me of my ‘children’ who are now 29 & 27 years old. They make me appreciate the moment & look forward to the future…… especially now that I have become a nanna….. :)

  2. Thank you for writing this and reminding me, too. It’s so easy to forget when the weight of one single day seems to be pushing you under water. Also thank you for saying you escape for a coffee alone. I eagerly await a time when Adam is a bit older – old enough to try it myself! X

  3. Oh man, this post hit the nail on the head for me! My husband says “you are the luckiest gal in the world, yet you are still not happy.” which is the saddest statement I have ever heard. But being a stay-at-home mom is tough work, all consuming, with zero time for yourself. But you are so correct, this is a good remainder of just how fortunate we are. Thanks for visiting my blog, glad to have found you!

    • The grass is always greener on the other side, isn’t it? If you’ve never been a stay-at-home parent, it’s very hard to understand what could be so exhausting about it. Having said that, I’m glad I’m getting to do it for the time being. :-)

  4. We always want what we can’t have, don’t we? At the moment I’m relishing being more available for my son since my Uni schedule allows me the flexibility to be home for him when he gets home from school, or to miss lectures if he’s unwell. However, I’m already worrying about my working future, which quickly approaches. I console myself knowing he’s at school for the better part of the day,but I do worry about summers, holidays etc. I’m sure I’ll miss this phase of my life when I move on to the next one!

    • You’re doing a fantastic job, Hannah! I cannot even imagine raising a child while I was studying. On the upside, you’re setting a great example to him. You’re a strong woman and he will always hold you as an example of how a woman should be.

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