Today was one of those days. I had been thinking about it for the full week. I knew I had taken on too much, too many appointments and all spread out, me alone with Oisin and lots of driving required when he usually gets car-sick. Considerations were that my business was on an upturn but required consistency, we had to do groceries anyways and one of my friends was leaving the country so there was no other opportunity to meet her and I really wanted to attend her leaving party. On the positive, the new homeopathic remedy seemed to help with car journeys and my instinct was telling me that it was OK to go ahead (not quite a position I was ready to justify with anyone).
So after making the decision to go ahead and take Oisin with me I did a lot of reflecting on my choice. It is sometimes really hard to know what the right thing is. On one hand I felt I was making the right CC choice by living my life and integrating him fully instead of changing things around to avoid potential overwhelm for both of us. On the other hand I kept questioning myself if I was being selfish and not considerate enough of his needs. Gareth had left for the airport asking me to ensure I made time for being with Oisin – as in proper mummy quality time – and I was committed to make sure I kept this promise. I had an inkling that our definitions of time with Oisin might vary a bit. While I enjoy playing with him, I often enjoy integrating him into my activities even more. And I do think from a CC perspective it is good to have him come along and do things with me. I make up for doing stuff I want to do by being patient with him and spending more time on those activities (like for example when we clean the table and he ends up spraying the cleaner everywhere or letting him walk when he wants to even though it takes at least 3 times as long, allowing him to jump on the bed while I am putting new sheets and covers on – I don’t know why my head is full of household examples 🙂 but I think you get the picture).
I don’t know if there is any right or wrong. Many would probably argue that one day doesn’t matter and maybe it doesn’t. But we also know that decisions turn into habits and many little decisions end up making a big difference. One of my biggest parenting goals is to approach my decision making consciously and to re-evaluate so I am aware of the experience I am shaping for my son.
We ended up having a great day even though there was a lot of rushing around. I think we had our quality moments for example when he snuggled up on my lap after waking in my clients house and nursed until he was fully awake or when we jumped on the cobble-stones near the big junction before entering the pub my friend was having her leaving in. If I had wanted to change anything I might have tried to make sure he got better food (we didn’t really plan for food and were a bit dependent on what we could get on the way) but overall I think it went well. He didn’t get sick in the car, we had loads of different experiences and most importantly we were together.
One of the things I am most grateful for is that this way of working allows me to live and spend more time with my son. I want to take him along with me when I am working or meeting people, I want to share my life with him. I am a real homebody and I like staying at home so it is not as if I need to have action all day. I usually put him first and have limited my driving overall or gotten creative about travelling to ensure he had as little discomfort as possible. But I do think that it is important to keep living your life and to take your kids along, that you don’t start feeling housebound and unhappy and to negotiate where it is important to go (everyone’s reasons will be different here, to me I ensure that it has nothing to do with external pressures but intrinsic motivation) and when we best give it a pass. Balancing everyone’s needs is definitely an advanced game!