Most of the time I bumble around in this stay-at-home mum existence, just moving from one day to the next, rarely taking the time to sit and evaluate what's going in our lives. But sometimes - as now, when I find myself envying a friend who is shortly returning to work - I take a closer look at the alternative that I'm currently living. I know why I'm doing it; I won't bore you with that here, and I believe it's the right thing for us. But we can't all be 100% confident all of the time about our choices (can you tell my hormones are getting a bit antsy right now?), and on those darker days I find myself wondering; am I making enough of a difference to my Boys' lives by being here? Is it worth it?
In short, am I doing a good enough job?
When my sons look back on their childhoods, will they remember happy times, a mother collecting them from school, reading them stories, helping with homework, showing them how to make shadow puppets with a cut-out shark and piece of kitchen towel, and helping them locate that vitally important toy / blanket / Power Ranger magazine?
Or will they remember only the back of me, turned away from them as I stack the dishwasher, hang up the laundry, write a shopping list, tap away on the keyboard, and try to have a grown-up conversation on the mobile?
Will they remember the 5 times I ask them to do something in a calm and reasonable way? Or will they remember the 6th, when I lose it and raise my voice?
Will they remember the laughs around the breakfast table, the discussions of which words rhyme, and my finding a myriad of them that work with 'pooh'? Or will they remember the panicked racing out the door to make school on time, the forgotten folders and the uncleaned shoes?
I'm a rational person. I look back on my childhood and it's mainly the happy times that come to mind. I know that it wasn't all picture post-card, and yet that's what I remember.
So I'm going to hope that history repeats itself and that my boys have similarly sunny memories. I will square my shoulders, carry on (for now, at least), send my friend my most heartfelt congratulations (the lucky bitch), and get on with it.
Onwards and upwards...