Sometimes I feel like I spend a great deal of my time apologizing and making excuses. I apologize to various people for things like not returning phone calls, not answering emails, not filing my taxes on time, not getting errands done when I should, not spending enough time with my kids, etc. The list goes on. Then I make excuses: the kids, the family, a busy life; they’re all variations on the same theme; I’m a busy mum with four kids.
I was talking to another mum of four one day and she said, “It’s really busy. Stuff just doesn’t get done, and it’s important stuff.” I know exactly what she means. I have a lot of balls in the air and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.
You know how once you become a parent, you feel like it’s impossible to describe it to a non-parent? I feel the same way about siblings – how wonderful and amazing is it to have more than one child and to see the interaction and love between siblings – there’s no way I could explain it to someone and do it justice. I also feel the same way about having a big family. It’s really quite different than having one or two kids. Managing all the different stages, the emotions and the needs of everyone, it’s not that easy to explain. I don’t really expect most people to understand.
Yet at the same time, I find myself trying to explain to people why I have let them down, why I haven’t gotten back to them sooner, or why I’m behind on something. Trying to justify my time to people. “I’m sorry I didn’t reply to your email, I’ve just been so busy!” sounds lame at best. “We just started at a new school, I had a migraine yesterday, Mr. Family Nature is so busy at work right now, the kids are sick” and more. I have a tonne of excuses and they’re all true but I hate the idea of ‘blaming’ my kids and/or family for everything — for what I think people perceive as my failings.
At times when I’m on the computer trying to answer those emails, I’m feeling guilty because I’m not hanging out with the kids. When I’m hanging out with the kids I’m thinking about the laundry and housework that needs to be done. When I’m on the phone I’m shushing the kids. When I’m doing the housework I’m thinking about all the other things I’m not doing.
Am I making my life sound miserable? Reading this one might think that I don’t like my life – which couldn’t be further from the truth. I love my life! I’m doing what I always wanted to do. Is it busy and hectic? Absolutely. Do I have any regrets? No way.
I willingly admit that I need to work on being more organized and managing my time better. Perhaps I also need to work on managing other people’s expectations.