You’re not going to believe this; but I’m at home again with Youngest Son whose arm has healed magnificently, but who came home from school yesterday covered in chicken pox. He’s sitting plonking away at the piano as I write. he’s OK in himself, he’s just covered in little blisters and is highly contagious so no school for him the rest of this week and therefore, I spent hours last night cancelling and rearranging things to be at home with him.
And I felt cross.
I felt cross as I’d got a great week of work ahead, with people that I enjoy working with doing work that excites me. I felt cross because I had some ‘me time’ appointments booked in, one of which I’ve waited a month for. Cross because after half term it was quite nice to be getting into some kind of routine. Also cross because I stand to lose income, so there’s a bit of fear mixed in with that too.
The guilt comes from what I imagine a good mother ‘should’ be like. Part of this imagined ‘good mother’ doesn’t work at all and so is constantly on hand and stimulating her children rather than blogging. The ‘good mother’ never feels resentful or cross.
I don’t know any ‘good mothers’. I know some fabulous ‘Real Mothers’ who juggle, feel, manage and are authentic.
Last night I could feel a tension in me arising from conflicts between:
- The kind of mother I ‘should’ be and the kind of mother I am.
- The kind of week this ‘should have been’ and the kind of week it’s turning out to be.
- The kind of worker I wanted to be this week, and the kind of worker I’m going to be this week.
I sent texts to all the people who we’d been in touch with over half term to let them know in case their children caught it. Clare, my lovely coaching friend asked how we were doing. When I expressed my frustration at having to take more time off she texted back ‘enjoy it’.
So obvious. So true. She’s right.
How silly to hold on to what ‘should have, could have, ought to have’ been. Let’s just look at ‘what is’.
‘What is’ is that it’s sunny outside so we’re going to go for a walk. We’ve got time to go to the garden center to replace our beloved Aloe Vera and plant seeds. I’m writing this blog. YS is playing. We might have time to catch up with friends this week who’ve already had chicken pox and so don’t mind seeing us, some of these people I haven’t seen since before Christmas.
‘What is’ is also that YS is not suffering. He’s mildly itchy but he’s not in pain, he doesn’t have a fever, he’s not in hospital. It could be much worse. it’s not a broken arm. It’s time off sick, when he feels OK.
‘What is’ is actually pretty good.
Yes I might lose money; there’s nothing I can do about that, I didn’t chose for him to be ill, nor did he. I feel like I am letting people down, but again…there’s nothing I can do about that. I worry that some of these people might be cross that I have let them down. But that’s just my imagination, they might not be, they might completely understand. And if they are cross there is nothing I can do about that. That is just as it is.
So ‘what is’ really is OK.
Weirdly I had a similar shift about work at the weekend too. I’ve been feeling bad that I’m not running more courses, producing the on-line courses I have imagined. But then I stopped to look at what I’m actually doing, the mentoring, the coaching, the writing and the teaching and I realise that ‘What is’, is enough. More than enough.
- So I invite you to join me in noticing what you are resisting, when you are thinking ‘I shouldn’t be, it shouldn’t be, they shouldn’t be..’. I invite you to drop the ‘shoulds’ and look at ‘What is’.
Have a good week.