Released On 14th Oct 2021
Marion's blog: I want it all....(but I can't have it)
One of the parts of me that I have missed since becoming a mum is not spending enough time doing things I love/have previously enjoyed doing. Before children, I used to participate in all manner of activities –Pilates, gym, capoeira, choirs, dinners out, weekends away, all kinds of fun stuff.
Then my daughters came along and basically the whole lot stopped. I didn’t have time or the energy to do the activities I used to enjoy. My days and weekends filled up with baby classes, then children’s swimming classes, rugby, performing arts, gymnastics, playdates, parties, and so on. The things that made me “me” had disappeared.
I tried a couple of times to restart some of that activity – I went back to the Saturday morning step classes at the gym, but they clashed with some of my daughters’ classes and proved too difficult to fit in. I tried yoga on a weekday evening, but then the class moved further away and it was too difficult to get to, so that stopped as well. I started jogging during lockdown last year, but it’s just not an activity I get a lot of enjoyment out of so that petered out towards the end of last year.
The one activity I’ve started and am really enjoying is an outdoor bootcamp run by a local personal trainer at the park down the road. It involves me getting there for classes starting at either 0630 or 0645 which is going to become more of a challenge as we head deeper into winter, but I’m hoping the routine already established is going to assist with that.
I am keen to demonstrate to my daughters the value of exercise and that we need to do things that are a challenge for us to grow. The other thing I’m keen to demonstrate is the value of having interests that don’t involve others in the family and that bring me joy, so I signed myself up to a taster session for a well-known choir group. Then I put it off one week…then the next…
The thing is – I don’t have the headspace to take any more on right now. Trying to juggle full-time working, the school run, jointly running the household, parent taxi, exercise, plus finding time to restock at the end of the day takes up all my capacity. I miss singing so much, but trying to squeeze it in would create as much stress as it would relieve.
So rather than try to force it in, I’ve decided to give myself a chance and hold off for a few months. My daughters need to see balance as well as activity and they need a mum who is happy and healthy and that recognises I can’t have it all. Or maybe it’s that the definition of “all” has changed for me and I need to remember that as well. Either way – a mum who isn’t so busy trying to be everything that she forgets how to be herself. And that’s the most important lesson for my girls to see.
After spending over a decade working in the legal industry, Marion changed industries and now works full time for NHS Digital. She lives with her 2 daughters aged 4 and 6, the cat Sally and her outnumbered but wonderful husband.