My head

Is it bad if I don’t live for my family?

June 26, 2015

I don't live for my family

I won a beautiful prize for Mother’s Day through a competition held by Kimba Likes. I was super chuffed as I didn’t think I’d be getting anything for Mother’s Day but I actually received a gorgeous Peace Lily from the children on the day.

I know it was a while ago but I had trouble deciding exactly what I wanted. It’s a gorgeous hand stamped silver cuff from Honeydew & Violet which I could print anything I wanted on.

My beautiful bracelet arrived in the mail today and I slid it straight onto my wrist where I will wear it with pride until my hand falls off. Or something replaces it, I guess.

For months I’ve been considering getting the children’s birth dates tattooed on my forearms in Sanskrit but as the Shaolin monk who is translating the months and numbers takes longer and longer, the more I think perhaps the moment for inking myself has passed.

Winning this cuff seemed a perfect solution so I got their birth dates stamped in Roman numerals (I figured Sanskrit stamps would have been expecting a little much), and I wanted some significant words on there too.

I was looking at typical Latin phrases for family and I most of them made me feel inadequate.

“My family is my life.”

“I live for my family.”

“Family before all else.”

They all sounded schmaltzy, and kinda made me cringe. I realised that I’m not that mum.

I live because my heart beats.

I live for so many things, not just my family.

I would die for my family should the need the arise, but do I live for them? I don’t think so. I don’t know. Does that make me an arsehole?

Sometimes we get to bedtime and rather than living for them with boundless joy, I feel like I have endured them for the day.

I do not live to hear the fighting, the whinging and the screeching in that ear piercing tone that makes my drums bleed. I do not live so I can wash my family’s clothes, cook their dinners and wipe their butts.

I do love the sound of their giggles. Or when they both climb into bed in the freezing early morning, one on either side making a Mummy sandwich and snuggling into me for warmth. Those moments, they give me peace and comfort. They give me strength.

I adore my children but I do not find parenting a walk in the park.

I’m not a super easy going, chillaxed parent. I’m really just doing the best I can every day to keep the facade of adulthood going. Pay the bills before I get a warning, work as much as I can juggle, cook nutritious food, keep them clean and tidy, read them stories and expand their brains, write a story to earn money, and repeat and repeat and repeat because that’s what grown up life is.

A series of repeats.

In order for this not to be unbearable, we need to find joyous things in between the monotony.

Spending time with people that fill our love cup, partaking in pursuits that fulfil and inspire us.

Kids have moments of great wisdom, and hilarity, but they also have moments where you wonder how you’re going to keep doing this gig for the next….well, forever if the way I still stress my mum out counts for anything.

My kids have no idea that I’m a total fraud. I’m their Mama Bear so to them, I am everything.

They live for me.

To them I’m the CEO and Creative Director of this show, not just some tap dancing hack madly busking in the Underground.

Just as my job does not define me, neither do my children, and whether I’m Parent of the Year, or just limping through each day doesn’t define me either.

I struggled to find exactly the words to describe how I feel about these two people whose lives are so dependant on mine. Then I found it. And when I read the words –

IN AERTERNAM TE AMABO

I knew I’d found exactly the sentiment I wanted to stamp on my new bracelet.

I WILL LOVE YOU UNTIL THE END OF TIME.

Come what may…… come what may.

I will love you until my dying day.

I don't live for my family

 

Do you relate or am I an arsehole parent? Tell me, I can handle it.

 

 

 

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16 Comments

  • Reply raphaela99 June 26, 2015 at 8:20 am

    We need to fill our own cup before we can give to our children. It sets a good example, having a broad range of interests and people in your life that give you joy.

  • Reply JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter) June 26, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Yes! You’ve nailed EXACTLY how I feel. How did you do that? 😉

  • Reply lolshelley June 26, 2015 at 9:03 am

    A fabulous post Danielle and NO, you are not an areshole parent…you’re a NORMAL parent. We need to redefine what being a mother is. I was truly blessed to have the most wonderful, giving, beautiful mum for 28 years. She was all things to all people; her husband, her kids, her family, her friends. But somewhere along the way she forgot to put herself at the top of her own list. When we all grew up and moved out of home, she lost her identity. She was a mum. And even though we still needed her, it obviously wasn’t the same as when we were totally dependant on her. And she was lost. She ended up dying from emphysema (from those blasted cigarettes) but I think had she discovered a zest for her life after kids, she would have done more in regards to her health. Motherhood is one of the greatest blessings in my life but there are also many other wonderful things that make it worthwhile and we shouldn’t feel guilty for that. I agree with Raphaela that filling up our own cup isn’t only necessary but that it sets a good example for our kids.x

  • Reply Glen June 26, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Brilliant post Danielle!! You are so honest, as is your wonderful Mama, you tell it how it is. We all strive to be happy with the skin we’re in, whatever that is individually…..but where did they hide the damn manual?? You are very inspiring and thought provoking. Thank you.

  • Reply Glen June 26, 2015 at 9:44 am

    P.S. LOVE the bangle and the sentiment. You couldn’t improve on that honey!

  • Reply Kirralee @ Escape With Kids June 26, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Love it. Completely relate. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I adore that quote and I will love the kids forever no matter what and most likely happily die for them if needed, but they are not my life.

  • Reply Robyna June 26, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    I think you are an honest parent, writing exactly what so many of us go through every day. Perfect parents are a myth and if I live only for my children, I am not so sure that sets them the best example on how to lead a full life.

  • Reply Sonia from Sonia Styling June 26, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Perfect. x

  • Reply sarahtsib June 26, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I always say to my kids when they complain that Im working too much that I can be many things other than my job as mum. And that Im a more fulfilled person when I have multiple identities. This is lovely – giving yourself over to anything – work, a partner, your child can burn you out x

    • Reply Danielle June 26, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      Multiple identities. Love that concept.
      Multiple personalities usually too.

  • Reply Michele June 26, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    You have described life! And, you are doing a great job! Not only do you do the best you can every day, but you manage to give so many people something to look forward to (this blog).

    So, thank you from a member of your not/or blog-family.

  • Reply lifewithgusto June 26, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    In aerternam non culus. (That’s latin for you are forever not an arsehole.)

    • Reply Danielle June 26, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      You just won today.

  • Reply Kim-Marie from Kimba Likes June 27, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Oh, it looks so gorgeous on. It took me forever to decide what to engrave on mine too. In the end, I went for my husband’s name loveheart my name loveheart my son’s name.

    I agree entirely. Like it says on the airplane, fit your oxygen mask before helping others. You can’t pass on joy of life and sheer happiness if all you are about and for and are is a mother.

    Not going to lie, it’s the best job I’ve ever had and I feel I was born to be a mother. I’ve always, always, always wanted to be a mother. The Welshman asked me to have his babies before we discussed moving in together or getting married. But it’s not all I am nor all I will be.

  • Reply Bec @ The Plumbette June 27, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    You are not an arsehole. Mothering is hard. It’s freaking relentless. But there are beautiful moments too and if I was given the option to have kids or not have them I’d still have them hands down. I totally relate to this post. I love what you got inscribed on your bangle. The perfect choice of words. X

  • Reply Lila June 28, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Beautiful, in all things there is balance, but it’s especially critical in parenting.
    It’s not healthy to become a martyr, real of perceived when it comes to our children. Otherwise they learn that that is the role they should prepare themselves for.
    I have undying loyalty to my children and would destroy anyone that hurts them but I have to live for me, to be that healthy fiercely loyal mum too.

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