I am delighted to include an In Conversation With series on the blog with some lovely Momma’s and Papa’s who would like to share their tips, tricks and ideas on gaining that understated balance on parenting life. As a full time working Mom and Dad, B and I are often trying to find the correct balance with our careers and our home life. It’s never easy to know if you’re doing the right thing by your children or your partner and as always parenting guilt can take over. It takes a while to get into a routine with work and babies but oddly you do find that routine and manage some sort of equilibrium that suits your family. For me the balance comes with getting quality time with A. This week I speak to a stay at home mother who has raised her two children in the rural countryside of Co. Meath.
I have become very much a discombobulated mess this past week. Probably longer if you ask B. I still blame baby brain for my ludicrous stupidity and mindlessness. Baby brain was exhausting when A was a baby. I almost felt like I should tattoo my daily routine on my arm and thighs like that guy from Memento and carry a Polaroid camera with me!
June is our wedding anniversary. We are married ten years – it’s our Tin Year. B has always made me laugh. He’s one of those guys that is scarily funny. He’s so quick with his comebacks that you can’t help but think, “How the hell did he come up with that one?” I remember sitting on the ‘phone chair’ – a large imposing wicker chair with padded cushions which is long since gone – talking to B on the corded phone in my parents house when I was seventeen and about to sit my leaving cert (end of school exams in our neck of the woods). I was laughing so hard that when I got off the phone my sister who is seven years older than me asked, “Is he really that funny?”
That growing up from baby to toddler, from toddler to child is so quick. I know A is only two and a half and that she still waddles along on sturdy legs, has a cute toddler voice and still pulls the funny “ooh ooh” face when running after a ball which she’s done since nine months old. But she’s getting so big, gaining an independence and finding her own voice. But we’re lucky that we get to watch them grow up and learn.
We have between 30 minutes to 1 hour of playtime and quality time with A after we fall in the door after work. We’re exhausted, probably stressed, and have a million and one things to do to get ready for the next day. Once dinner is made and eaten we make sure to involve family time into our daily evening routine. I love Sensory Play and watching A figuring out new and curious things. As time is limited in the evenings for us, I have a few sensory play ideas that work well when you’re short on time and resources.
I grew up in what was considered at the time to be a town. Over the years that town with its friendly and welcoming mentality turned into a city. It was a neighbourhood that turned into a suburban metropolis. I love where I grew up but since becoming a mother I knew I didn’t want to live there anymore or raise our daughter there. Moving to the countryside was the best decision for us.
B and I are both working parents. I love my job. B is “so, so” on his but he’s damn good at what he does. But it sucks. Whether, you work part time, full time, work from home with 1 kid, 2 kids or 6, it’s hard. The balance is torturous to try and get right. Parenting is difficult no matter what way you do it, whether you work or stay at home. There doesn’t seem to be a perfect balance, so we try to make the best of it. Returning to work after maternity leave was difficult. Here are my tips on returning to work to help make the transition smoother.