I have been enjoying the holidays with my family, spending lots of time at the beach and just hanging out. I love school holidays, no school or kinder, no activities, no rushing out the door, no rush to get dressed just time to relax and play games without the distractions of the usual busy-ness of life. Time being just a mum……the topic of this blog post!
I went for walk in the park, on my own – well actually pushing a pram with child #3 in it, but #1 and #2 stayed home so close to on my own!
Whilst I walked I think I realised why us women say we are “just a mum”…..could it be that instead of saying because we think of being “just a mum” as not a job, we are saying it because there is only enough time in the day to be “just a mum”? Being “just a mum” requires quite a resume of skills when you think about it.
“Just a mum” must haves:
- Valid driver’s licence to taxi children to crèche/kinder/school/activities
- Exemplary organisational skills to ensure all household duties are completed (at least on a semi-regular basis) in between your children’s activities such as cleaning, shopping, washing, meals
- Master degree in clothes folding (I swear that every child doubles your amount of washing and seriously what is with trying to fold fitted sheets!)
- Superb multi-tasker – must be able to cook dinner, supervise homework, gather snacks and listen to all your kids talking all at the same time whilst looking calm and in-control!
- On-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and able to function at a reasonably high level with minimal sleep.
- Well versed in medical conditions with ability to diagnose what is a sniffle and what requires a Dr (particularly challenging in the younger years when children can’t tell you what hurts!). Must enjoy reading outdated trash magazines whilst waiting in the Dr’s surgery for the 2nd or 3rd time in a week. I often think that I should have a standing weekly appointment over winter as one of my three kids will use it!
- Add to this list if you have allergies or intolerances in your family
- 20:20 vision to read the super fine print of labels to ensure foods purchased accommodate all members of the households allergies and intolerances
- The memory of an elephant to keep tabs on who can eat what, as well as other allergies which in my family include medications and sunscreens!
I have recently decided that this “just a mum” needs to spend a little more time on herself and getting fit and dropping the baby weight. Hmm, can you still call it baby weight almost 2 years after #3 was born? Someone told me once that you gain 5kg for every child…whilst I am not sure if the figure is accurate, the principle definitely is. I have certainly gained a few kgs with each child that I have decided need to go.
As I thought about this “just a mum” theory I had developed during my walk, I realised that being “just a mum” with a bit of “wifely duties” on the side, really does take up just about every waking minute. Just finding half an hour a day to go for an energetic walk (vs a stop my shoe fell off, stop my legs are tired, stop I saw a pretty flower type walk) is not an easy task. Most days my “me” time walk is like today, pushing my cheeky, adorable two year old in her pram, whilst she sings to herself – extra resistance pushing a pram perhaps? Perhaps it doesn’t entirely matching the definition of “me time”, but would I trade it? Never!
So I guess what I realised is that anyone who says they are just a mum, is doing the worlds hardest, yet best job in the world.
In an ideal world, I would spend more time with my kids, more time with my husband, more time together as a family, more me time, more time doing things that I love….sorry golf clubs that have been gathering dust for 6 years. Unfortunately, however I have not discovered the ability to manufacture time. So, my “me time” often gets put off to make way for the other things.
What do I want to say to all the “just a mum’s” out there?
Kids are little for such a short time that I wouldn’t trade spending every waking minute being “just a mum”. As my kids are getting older, I can see the light ahead where I will have some me time and perhaps it will be more me time than I had bargained on. So I am just going to cherish every minute, cherish taking my two year old on walks that end with a play in the park, cherish the chats and games of eye-spy on the way to and from school, cherish seeing my kids learn new skills in whatever activities they choose, cherish stopping every third step to pick a flower or watch an ant trail. Isn’t that what life is all about?
Being “just a mum” sounds just perfect to me. To all you wonderful mum’s out there be proud of being “just a mum” – we have the best job in the world.