Presence

Presence

When I resigned from my part-time job two years ago, one of the reasons was to have an active role in my children's early years. We figured that we could just about afford losing my salary, though we would have to give up holidays and shop at lower-cost stores. In exchange, the children would have my presence.

I don't think I properly understood what that meant, not really. I knew I would be 'around'. I'd be at home or in the local vicinity. I could spend the days with Dubz while Moozles was at school. I would be able to handle the school drop-offs and pick-ups. I could take Moozles to clubs and manage her playdates.

These days I write my hugely popular blog (as all of my 12 readers can attest to), which can reduce my presence as I write posts and attend events. But I try to keep the events to four a month. And I normally write my posts in the evening, after the children are in bed. But sometimes I need to finish things off during the day. And I pop onto Twitter and Instagram frequently during the day.

I started to worry that blogging and social media were detracting from my family life. But I decided that these things aren't so different than putting on a face mask, going to the gym, making dinner or doing laundry. There are things that I do around the house as well as for myself. But they do not take away from my presence. In fact, having time to do non-mummy things, probably makes me a better mother.

I am there for my children. I am present. And even if I worked full-time or part-time, I would be present. Because I have realised that presence isn't about being there for every moment of your child's life. It is about knowing your child and being there when they need you.

 

mumturnedmom

10 thoughts on “Presence

  1. I agree. As I was writing my post I realised that sometimes just being there is enough, you don't have to be fully focussed at all times to be there when they need you, and as you say, that's the important thing. But, for the times I'm not focussed, actually the person missing out is me. For them, I'm there, if I miss a moment, then it's me that's missed it. If that makes sense! I do worry that I am too distracted at times. Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

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  2. Nicola Young

    Yep, well summed up. Whether working or not, having an open relationship with your kids and knowing what's going on with them is so important. I want mine to know they can always talk to me about their problems and anything that's going on. The day they stop doing that, I will worry. However busy we are, it's about reading the signs and knowing that one of them may be struggling and just need five minutes of your time. That's when your presence is most important.

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  3. I am more than convinced blogging and other personal projects can make you a better mum. That is especially the case for mums (like myself) who are not currently working. 18 months at home with a toddler and baby and I could see my brain rapidly turning into mash! And then I started my blog and I felt so much better. No matter how much we love our children and how dedicated we are, we need our own projects and a few moments just for ourselves. After all, we are not just extensions of our children but are capable of wearing lots of different hats. I think the common experience of women "losing themselves" after having children is a direct result of denying our own needs or failing to fulfil them. It is easier to be present with the children when we feel like we have something to contribute. I think you're doing the right thing. x

    Reply
  4. I am more than convinced blogging and other personal projects can make you a better mum. That is especially the case for mums (like myself) who are not currently working. 18 months at home with a toddler and baby and I could see my brain rapidly turning into mash! And then I started my blog and I felt so much better. No matter how much we love our children and how dedicated we are, we need our own projects and a few moments just for ourselves. After all, we are not just extensions of our children but are capable of wearing lots of different hats. I think the common experience of women "losing themselves" after having children is a direct result of denying our own needs or failing to fulfil them. It is easier to be present with the children when we feel like we have something to contribute. I think you're doing the right thing.

    Reply
  5. From the outside looking in you have a great life and your children are clearly happy and loved and cared for - really no point to even worry about the level of your presence - as you say you are there for them when they need you, and every child needs to learn that there aren't going to be apron strings there forever. X

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