a mother sits working on a laptop


I Forget Entire Days With My Kids and There’s No One Else to Blame But Me

Dec 30, 2019

As a working parent of two, my days are often a blur.

Between my day job, helping with homework, making dinners and shuttling between after-school activities there isn't much time for lazy, commitment-free downtime.

I crave that time so much that I want to make the most of it when the opportunity presents itself.

Are we making parenting harder? Read about that here.

I live for these moments. It’s almost as if I rush through each day just waiting until the next time we have nowhere to be. I always have the most grandiose plans. We are going to spend an entire day cuddling under blankets watching movies or baking up a storm. Maybe I envision a long walk in the woods on a sunny fall afternoon. Maybe a trip into the city to wander through a museum with no timeline.

Why then, if these opportunities are so important to me, do I struggle to stay in the moment?

From Baby Brain to Not Baby Brain

I can’t pinpoint the instant this changed. I remember when my kids were babies and I could sit in the darkness of their rooms rocking them forever. I didn’t want to put them down. The heaviness of their little bodies resting in my arms brought me comfort. I could inhale their scent and instantly feel a sense of calm wash over me. Somewhere along the way, night time became the hardest time for me. Now, instead of laying beside them listening to their breath slow to a steady rhythm, I fidget and fumble until I finally get up. I’m unable to settle, my mind too full of all the things that I need to complete before I crawl in bed myself.

Friday night movie night used to be my most favourite tradition. After a long week filled with responsibilities I couldn't wait to enjoy pizza and a great movie with my family. Slowly, my to-do list started creeping into our movie night and soon I began watching the movie in between throwing in loads of laundry or washing dishes.

I haven’t seen my friends in a long time.

I wonder if this change has been borne out of necessity? As my kids got older, life became more demanding. I’m balancing the life and schedule of four people now. I have to keep track of appointments and multiple sports schedules. I have to remember what day the math test is on and what city our next soccer tournament is in. Have I forgotten a birthday party or to register for camp for the next PD day? Have I reminded my husband of when my next work trip is? Am I performing at work?

I haven’t seen my friends in a long time.

I have a full-time job, a freelance career, two kids, a home and a husband. Is it surprising that my brain is full?

I wonder if some of it is to do with the relentless pressure placed on women to do it all and to do it well, if not perfectly.

Could it be because I’m getting older? I’m just not as sharp as I was ten years ago.

Maybe it’s all of the above.

The fact is, all I want is to spend time with them. Real time. I want to hear their stories, laugh at their jokes and share moments. But I want to do those things without feeling the need to check my phone for work emails or run errands.

I want to be able to stop my racing mind when I’m with them and just enjoy them. I want to remember those moments. I’m horrified that my memory is starting to fail me and sometimes I struggle to remember entire days with my kids.

It’s not easy. But I’m working on it.

Read another mother's perspective — she isn't here to make life magical for her kids. Read that here.

Multitasking Mom

Honestly, it’s not always possible to do one thing at a time. That’s the reality of a home with two working parents. My most honed skill since becoming a mother is multitasking. Sometimes I find my best mother-child moments hidden in that chaos. I hear about what’s going on at school on those car rides to soccer practice. Laughs are had while grocery shopping with a kid in tow helping to choose what after-dinner treat we will get.

Although they do complain sometimes, they understand that our lives are busy and there are things that have to be done to maintain our home and our life. They help out by clearing the table and emptying the dishwasher. They put away their clothes once they are out of the dryer and folded. They understand that if we all pitch in, I will have more time to spend focusing on them.

Sure, there are always responsibilities that will have to be looked after. But that doesn’t mean we can’t ever have moments where we just hang out together, uninterrupted.

Giving myself permission to not always be busy hasn’t been easy and is a work in progress. While I haven’t quite figured out meditating, I know that mindfulness helps. I am open with my kids about my struggle to be still and in the moment. Sometimes they remind me to focus and I love it.

I need to breathe. Because when I try to do it all, the world is passing me by.

Article Author Natalie Romero
Natalie Romero

Read more from Natalie here.

Natalie’s passion for writing was reignited as she blogged her way through the pain of her son’s health issues and NICU stay. She is the wife of the world’s greatest foot rubber and mother to an amazingly loyal little boy and a fiercely independent little girl. An HR professional by day and a freelance writer and blogger by night, Natalie is getting a crash course in the juggling act that is the life of a working mother, though she does occasionally drop a ball or two! After spending much of her life trying to be perfect she has learned to rock her shortcomings and is not afraid to admit when she’s failed. This parenting thing can be tough and Natalie believes the best way to survive it is by keeping it real and by leaning on your tribe.

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