I played an aunt-cum-mum role for about 12 months and it’s continuing this year. I can’t even being to total the number of hours of conversation Patrick and I have had about parenting, or the conversations we’ve had with Miss 10 and the books and academic articles we’ve read on attachment, development and behaviour. I know posts that suggest ‘5 secrets to’, of ’10 lessons from…’ tend to do better but mine would have probably been a list of ‘100 things that kinda maybe could work…’ Instead I thought I’d write about the one, true lesson and realisation I came across 2014:

I do not need to include Miss 10 in everything that I do.

Simple isn’t it? I can’t tell you the number of times I put off doing things in the day because I thought it would be nice/fun/meaningful to have Miss 10 do them with me, or wait and do them as a family. What then happened is a few of the problems we’ve had with Miss 10 and adjusting simply made it impossible. And that meant I missed out on creating those memories for myself.

I’m not talking about big trips and fancy dinners. I’m talking about not going to the pool on my own because ‘Miss 10 would really enjoy that…’ or not spending the day at the beach on my own while she’s in school because she’d enjoy that too. The more I thought about it the more cross I got with myself. We do a lot with her. She’s been able to have experiences and opportunities that many adults haven’t had yet and there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that I should feel like she’s missing out!

I don’t think this is a lesson for mothers. I think it’s one that can be applied more generally. As well intentioned as it might be to wait to experience something with someone you care about, sometimes it’s worth it just doing it on your own. The way you enjoy something alone is probably going to be significantly different from the enjoyment your get sharing it with a loved one. When Miss 10 is at school, it’s about her and I’m going to be more assertive about making that time I have to myself truly about me. And if she, or anyone else, feels ‘left out’ that they didn’t get to do something with me well then they can work towards making the time (or behaving appropriately in Miss 10’s case) to do it together another time.
Is there something you’ve been wanting to do but have put off because you think it would be nice to do with your children/partner/loved ones? Would you consider doing it on your own? 

My biggest regret is not going swimming or to the beach more while Miss 10 is at school. I’m going to change that this year.


5 comments on “Biggest ‘Mothering’ Life Lesson from 2014”

  • Chelsea Lora says:

    I love this post Vanisha! I'm forever putting off doing things because I want to do them with my partner. I've been trying to get out of the habit – especially because it's summer and I constantly want to be at the beach but he doesn't!

  • Rita says:

    I do this all the time! And you're so right – you nailed every single aspect of it!

  • Lozzz123 says:

    I completely agree with you. Similar to Chelsea, I live quite close to the beach and I never go because I'm waiting for when my husband feels like going. A couple of weeks ago on a whim I just went by myself. It was great, I just was able to sit there and think for a couple of hours. I really don't think Husband would have enjoyed that. So I will try to keep this lesson in mind for the future.

  • Kristian says:

    I think this is a really great lesson- for everyone.

  • Elen says:

    Hi Vanisha 🙂 Hope you're doing well in NZ. I really appreciated this post, I feel the same about travel. Of course it would always be nicer to travel with someone else, but sometimes that's just not possible because of commitments and work. A lot of people won't travel alone because of this, and fear, but I have the attitude that I'd rather go alone than not at all 🙂

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