It is okay to not be present!

It is okay to not be present at all times.

This constant need to be present for everything has really created havoc in my life. I am functioning on four hours of sleep, laundry loads that never seem to end and deadlines that somehow are always just missed. And, while all of this is still worth it for those extra thirty minutes in the morning with my little girl before she leaves for school, the lack of ‘me’ time despite the lack of sleep is really getting to me now.

From attending the meetings at school, scheduling fun activities and play dates for the weekend, experimenting with fun recipes for her whilst juggling work, household activities, aging parents and other social commitments; sleep is a distant memory. Even on holidays, the constant fear of missing out on moments and memories has left me sleepless and exhausted. 

While I am fully aware that these fears are irrational and it is not humanly possible to be present everywhere at all times, my FOMO is really exhausting. 

As a mother, a working professional and a modern woman; here are a few things that I have learnt over the years:

  • Focus on the small moments and not milestones:  While as parents we really don’t want to miss out on any moment, big or small, with our kids. It is really not possible to catch up and be a part of everything. Rather, make out time everyday, be it for an hour or a few minutes, where you catch up with your little one, exchange thoughts and feelings and give that extra cuddle and kiss to your child.
  • Be present NOW, not TOMORROW: I am a planner and I love to be in control of my time and schedule. Of course, all this went for a toss after having a child who thrived on impulsive getaways and moments but I also learned an important thing. I realized some things are better unplanned, while it is good to plan meals and weekly school routines; it is good to act impulsive at times.  I realized I was making the most of my time with my girl when I played that extra game of UNO, watched five more minutes of Bake Off and My Little Pony, and read that extra chapter to her.  Honestly, there really are no guarantees on what tomorrow could bring and I would rather focus on the ‘now’ moments than on what could or could not happen tomorrow.
  • Accept you are human:  As a woman and mother, we tend to achieve ‘superhuman’ status and are often idolized as superheroes. While we may indeed be superheroes, it is simply not possible to give your 100% in all walks of life and be present everywhere. I found my life to be more sorted with the simple acceptance that I am human, I can err and I am not expected to do everything at all times.

Instead of overcompensating for my absence when I am not around with gifts and other materialistic things, I learnt that she enjoys it more when I make the most of whatever time I have with her. 

Sure, kids love gifts. But what kids love more is our effort, to be with them, to pamper them, to make them feel loved and needed when we are around. 

It is okay to not be present at all times.

It is okay to miss deadlines sometimes.

It is okay to catch up on sleep while they watch a little extra television on weekends.

That doesn’t make you a bad mother,

That doesn’t make you any less capable and responsible of managing everything,

That simply makes you human

And at times,

We need to remind ourselves,

We are just humans in the end.

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