Friday, 6 January 2012

A Simple Question - Do I Want Too Much?

A few days ago I put together my 'Aims and Hopes for 2012' - and that is all they are; things that I would like to aim to do throughout the 366 days that make up this year.

It was quite a comprehensive list granted, I had given it a lot of thought but now I am thinking was it was more of a 'wish list' than an attempt at putting together what I believed could actually be achieved in one year?  Should I have made that the first draft and then looked at it with my realistic head on and narrowed it down to say 4 or 5 items?

Do I want too much?

Should I (by happy choice) in my role of wife and mother have only put the 'family' ones on the list and put my personal options to one side until the days when I do not have small children that are dependent on me 24/7?  By putting them on a list for this year, am I being selfish to think I should have the time to try and achieve them?  I question this as my list did seem to be quite lengthy compared to some others I got to share, but, moreover I have been mulling over a conversation The Hubby and I had in the car on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Hubby and I, since the move to our 'period' house have become quite interested in attending antique fairs and shops, I in particular have always had a massive interest in vintage toys and dolls and so have been happy that this new 'hobby' we have acquired can be something we do as a family (even J2 will sit in his buggy with a drink and snack for half hour while we browse).  However on the car journey to the latest jaunt on a chilly January bank holiday The Hubby dared to mention the word 'Golf'.

The Hubby is (read 'was') a very keen Golfer, and to be fair a damn good one, and if I am honest that was a really attractive quality, that he had a hobby that he was really good at and committed too.  However the downside of Golf is the time element.  All fine and dandy if you are young, free and single, or even married but childless or if not childless the children are of an age where they are not hanging on mumma's shirt tails every minute of every day (i.e in school).  Plus it is quite an expensive hobby, Golf Club memberships are in my opinion extortionate (to the normal working mans salary) especially if you do not have the time to really make use of it.

I explained this thought process of mine to the Hubby, not in the logical and proper manner as just eloquently done in this blog, no instead I bitch snapped something about it not being fine that he would want to spend the small amount of spare time he has swanking around on the Golf Course instead of with his family, or shocker giving me a break from the childcare element of our relationship.  He, in his usual patient self, said he understood that but what he was suggesting was a Country Membership (or something like that, golf blurb is lost on me) whereby it allowed him to have a Handicap at a club and play in some one off tournaments, that were usually in the week so he could just be there instead of work and technically it would make no difference to the childcare situation.

This infuriated me more, he had found a way to have his hobby, he could trade one of his 'working days' in for Golf, when would I ever get to do that for anything leisure related in terms of my full time job of looking after the children and home?  J2 goes to nursery for one 'school hours' day per week (just to clarify after dropping him off I get in at about 09.30, I then have to leave to pick him up at 14.30 so get 5 hours) so that I, in that time, can; clean, iron, get the food shopping, tidy and sort and do the business accounts (for more on this sort of idea see my blog post 'What's not on the list of things to do').  Given that I can usually get 2 or 3 of those things done in that time you get the gist that 'extra curricular' activities do not get a look in.

At this point you would think that I am writing this blog to bitch about my life choices of being a SAHM and the fact that The Hubby wants to do enjoyable hobbies / activities.  No that is not the case.  Because what The Hubby was requesting was absolutely and perfectly reasonable.  If I worked full time and was the bread-winner I too would expect and feel that I was entitled to spend some time and money on a hobby, something to enjoy and look forward too.  However, we have children who need us all the time and the little time that isn't spent at work, surely, they need.  Likewise, when I am spending that 95% of my time caring for the children I feel I am also entitled to a break and some time to do something for me, that isn't child or family related. But those things come after 'family time together' which doesn't leave enough time for us both to be entitled to 'do our own thing' does it.

The Hubby and I have had a conversation and also, now looking over my 'aims and hopes list' I have been left thinking 'I am so selfish, I want to try and write, take photographs, run, why should I want those things when I am a mother to a young and beautiful family?'  Shouldn't that be enough; Do I want too much

So where do we draw the line?  What is in fact fair, to us, the adults and decision makers as individuals and 'the family'.  Right now with young children that we made the full and conscious decision to have together, should we be grumping about not getting to the time to do activities that, in effect when we decided to have a young family, we said goodbye to having the time and money to do?  Babies and children are those things for such a short time that should we put everything on hold until the time comes when our children decide they do not need us quite so intensely.  Or by not giving ourselves some time to remember that we are in fact individuals as well as 'Husband and Wife' and 'Mum and Dad' are we being detrimental to our family?  Does not taking some time out, to do something small for ourselves instead of for each other or the children, make for a big problem in the future?  Having something to look forward to, whether it be a family related activity or individual surely makes us happier on a day to day basis, isn't that why we plan trips out and holidays?

Most of the time I feel empowered by the fact that even though as a wife and mother I can still see 'me' as the person I was when my children came into the world and my husband met me for the first time.  That I can still remember what I wanted to get out of my life time 'before family', but should that change completely now I have a Husband and Children?  The same can be said for my Husband. 

I guess because I consider the things I would like to achieve as small (I do not want to disappear off around the world or spend a year working on a cruise ship or be away from them for any length of time) a blog post here, a race day there and for the Hubby a mid week tournament a couple of times a year that it is too much to ask?  Not really.

So why does it seem it?


  1. Oh, where to start! I don't think it's too much to ask, and I think many of us feel the same way. We think about something we might like to do for ourselves and then the mother guilt sets in. Don't let it! *shoos motherguilt away with big stick*
    Personally, I think it's really important to try and find one or two little things just for ourselves. Being a mum (SAH or otherwise) requires alot of giving - and I think it's healthy and sanity saving to have something for you/ your husband that gives you some mental 'out' time from the day to day stuff and also, that helps you continue to grow/ interest/ excite you as a person. As you say in your 'about me' piece - if mummy is happy that's good for everyone :0)(I agree.)

    You might not get to do everything on your list for 2012, but if you see it as an aspiration rather than a list of things you must do...then I bet you'll get to do some of them. You can always roll the others over into 2013!

    OK..will get off your blog now! xx

  2. It is definately not too much to ask! You need something for yourself to keep sane. I am sure it is the same for most families and everybody prioritises things differently.

  3. You must do something for yourself! It refreshes your mind and spirit, and makes you a better mom. Your husband needs it too. I've had the same feelings before. But you have to make time for you.


I would love for you to quack your thoughts along with me and will always try and quack right back.