By Fatima Kazee, mum to a professor, a super hero and a little princess. Part-time wife to a fanatical fisherman. She’s addicted to sneakers anything chocolatey & is an invaluable member of the Jozikids team
So I’m not really into New Year’s resolutions, they never work for me. I end up disappointing myself because I don’t have the tenacity to see things through. This year though I have one thing I’d like to change and that one thing might just impact on everything else that happens in my life. Here’s why…
When my son, aged 11, came home from the first day of school last week, he seemed a bit unhappy or frustrated. I was more concerned about the tons of books he brought home for me to cover and label and went straight into getting this mammoth task completed. I asked the blanket question, ‘how was your day?’ and then without really listening to the answer or watching the ‘almost in tears’ expression, I carried on with what I was doing. I realise now that I do this almost all the time (hard to admit, but sadly true). I’m always caught up in the admin of things, because in a way that’s what I feel my ‘job’ is (as in always – eyes open to eyes shut). The person who feeds, clothes, baths, cleans, you know, pretty much the administrator of the kids and the household. I am also very much preoccupied with doing these things because they always need to be done and I often think ‘who else is going to do it?’
This is the biggest, saddest mistake of all. Sure, all that needs to be done but never at the expense of quality dialogue and time with my kids or my husband for that matter. When dad came home later and asked about how everyone’s day was, and he did it very differently to how I had, the frustration and tears came out and dad did his part of calming things down and making our son feel better. Admittedly, once again, dad has great EQ when it comes to the kids. I hadn’t even gotten the chance to whine about the school books and how the GDE fails to make standard sized books (grrrrr) when lightning struck the sellotape out my hand! I need to stop being so preoccupied and truly be present. And when I thought about it I thought about all the many things I fail to experience because of my preoccupation with the admin of things.
So what I’ve learned is that my preoccupation with and obsessive need to keep things organised and controlled is where my failure lies in being a better parent. My kids need me, not my clean house or clean clothes (food they always need!) They need someone to comfort them, love them, praise them, HEAR them and to drop everything and play soccer with them. This shouldn’t be a chore at all, because as little beings that have so much to deal with, my kids need a mum who is present with her mind more than her body. And guess what, all that other stuff, it hasn’t been done either and it still nags away at me, but I will learn in time to let go of that too.
Here’s to a more mindful year of parenting and less sweating the small stuff.