Moving into a new phase

I’ve spent most of the past 15 years being tortured by mother guilt … in addition to all the other types of guilt that course through my veins 24/7.

I am the guilt queen.

But I’m learning to put the mum version in perspective.

I’ve decided my needs are allowed to come first sometimes.

For example, if the weather app tells me a nice afternoon is coming up, I plan a swim, whether it’s my weekend to parent the kids or not.

It helps that my children have reached a stage where they have social lives and plans of their own.

But I still offer pizza and a movie or a trip to the shops for new skipping shorts or a vet visit to get the rat’s chest checked or a lift home from a party or some fruit salad for afternoon tea.

It’s the eve of my weekend with the kids, but this one will be light on “quality time” as the eldest has a full diary and the youngest reckons she’ll be working on assignments the entire time.

So I’m thinking I might duck to Newcastle for a flying visit to see my folks. I really should pop over to see my friend who had a heart attack as well … you around Megz?

I have other friends in Newcastle that I miss, but I need to be back in Sydney by late Saturday afternoon – a school friend who lives up the coast needs an air mattress for the night.

I’m sorry I won’t see my Newie friends (forgive me Newie friends!). I really need to get up there for a whole weekend at some point. But geez its hard to get away.

I hope my kids look back on their childhoods as a time of feeling cherished and important.

The years are rapidly counting down until they leave home and make independent lives for themselves, ones that will only  involve a visit or call every week or two to their mum.

That’s another reason why I’m making time for me, so there’s a solo life established when they leave.

It all happens so fast.

When I walk the dogs through our neighbourhood, I’m bombarded with memories. Spinning on the play equipment, getting ice creams at the shops, learning to ride bicycles in the park.

It seems like just yesterday that they were small and I find myself missing those innocent times so much.

The teen years can be a little Shakespearean with their “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child” moments.

You will admonish me over this, but I deliver Vegemite on toast to the youngest in bed every morning.

When she first got her braces and her teeth were hurting, I cut it into little pieces.

I served it to her in little pieces earlier this week and got my head snapped off.

“Why is my toast in little pieces?” she demanded.

I’m so sorry princess, how do you want it cut?

“I don’t want it cut, I want the toast to be WHOLE.”

Right, princess.

Funny, I would have thought “thank you” would be a more appropriate response to being served breakfast in bed.

Call me old fashioned.

And don’t get me started on how much lemon juice she wants in the guacamole in her lunch box.

The toddler years ain’t got nuthin on the teens.

But I keep making the toast and the school lunches because the mornings when they’re not around are a glimpse of how quiet and empty the house will be when they are gone.

I want to coddle them while I can.

Song of the day: Crowded House “Don’t dream its over” (anyone want to sponsor me to see them at Bluesfest next year?)





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