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.