Sunday, 2 January 2011

Getting it Wrong ? Work & Life Balance

Although life was hard, it was so much simpler then !

I've just spent the last 3 days, sorting and listing stock for my Ebay shop and Website Clearance Sale .  My husband is on the last day of five 12 hour shifts from 7 am to 7 pm.   If we don't work, we don't earn money to support our family.  There is no luxury of Bank Holidays or lazing around in front of the tv for us during the holiday season.  I'm not complaining about this, its just a fact. 

 My worry is that during this time our 6 yr old twins have pretty much occupied themselves playing on computer and Wii games.  They are happy, not fighting and more than content with all this "free" time.  It's me that is having the terrible guilt trip !  They are on Christmas holidays, I should be playing with them, expanding their minds with creative play, taking them for long walks on the beach ( Excuse - I don't have the car to get there, hubby needs it for work). 

 I've been programmed to believe this is how it is, all around me great women are cooking, baking, crafting with their children.  I look out of the window and see the family opposite. Mum, dad, boy, girl.  Always sat at the table together or on the floor playing. You can see directly into their house from our bedroom (I'm not a peeping Tom honest!)  Their TV is rarely on.

I feel pressure, pressure to succeed as a mum, at the job I do after giving up a well paid but hated position to persue my dream (always supported by my wonderful husband), as a wife. 

It's 2011 - My resolutions :

to be a better mummy
to be a better wife
to not shout so much
to listen to my eldest son and trust him when he says he is doing revision for his G.C.S.E's in Jan and June this year !


  1. Thought for a moment i was reading about myself! Sometimes it is easier to stick them in front of the computer or TV, we get some peace, get on with what we need to and they are quiet. Like you say i too feel bad sometimes, we should be baking fairy cakes or making model planes but hey we're human and probably everyone does the the mess would drive me mad...;)

  2. Thank You Emilie, Its reassuring to know I'm not the only one who hates a mess : ) xx

  3. Oh hunny, there are only so many hours in the day and we just can't do everything! Maybe the people across the road have Dad off for Christmas too and so can share chores etc. Some of us though just need to get on with it. You are providing for the boys and as you said they are happy enough being left to get on with it. I have the same problems with working full time and blogging, I'm sure that I should do much more crafty type stuff with Olivia but my concern at the moment is paying the bills so unfortunately she has to use her imagination and play alone sometimes! You are a great Mum and you need to not be so hard on yourself!!! Hugs xxx

  4. You know Karen you have to do what is right for you and your boys and you should not be made to feel like you are a bad mother just because you work hard. If you had the luxury of being a stay at home mum with nothing else to do than bake, craft and play with your children all day long then that would be fine, but believe me despite what you may think there are not that many parents in the fortunate position to be able to do that.

    Yes you do have to work hard and yes there are times when your children have to amuse themselves but you are there with them they are safe and secure in the knowledge that Mum is just in the other room working.

    At least you now have the luxury of taking your children to school each day, picking them up, being there for them when they are not well. They are not packed off to a nursery or childminders. I think that it is always best to look on the positive things and not dwell on the negatives.

    You have three lovely boys and you are a fantastic role model for them...ok so they like to play on their games consoles what boys don't it's freezing out there and playing outdoors is not really an option in this weather. I'm sure when the nicer weather kicks in you will all feel more like getting out and about, but for now turn the heating up, crack on with what you have to do and don't worry your boys are not going to turn into some physco zombies just because they have a few chill out days doing exactly what they enjoy doing best!


  5. LOL! Carole, thank you for your great comment, reading my post back I do sound so sorry for myself. It's not meant to, more of a guilt thing. And you are so right in all that you say. Thank you. Just popped over to your blog and saw your post about Anxiety. It was really interesting and I intend to follow it up for Milo. Thank you so much for taking the time to "get me into perspective" xx

  6. Emma, thank you sweetie, Its just me feeling like I should be doing more for them. Like now they are playing nicely, I am almost done with all my work, so I went in and said shall we play with the trains or Christmas toys, there has a joint chorus of "NO"! So suppose like Carole said let them play xxx

  7. Hey Karen, you didn't sound sorry for yourself at all - sorry if I made you feel that way.

    Guilt is a funny thing and I think that we all feel from time to time that everyone else is doing a much better job at raising their children than we are.

    Glad your boys are healthy, happy and having's what the Christmas holidays are all about :-)

    ps. if you need any info about the Anxiety Management Group we attended then just drop me a line.


  8. You know what you are damned if you do and damned if you don't!

    There is no right way, if there was then we would all be doing it my dear friend.

    I don't think that January is a great month for reflection and all that, it is far to dank, dark and dismal!

  9. Hi Karen, I think you're doing fine, certainly no worse than the rest of us! When I'm neglecting my children and paying more attention to the sewing machine and feeling guilty I just think 'how was it in the olden days?'. I bet the children had to entertain themselves, I don't remember my parents playing or crafting with me, we had to amuse ourselves and I think we turned out ok! Mx

  10. Social pressure is rubbish isn't it?! That's all it is though, it's everyone's desires, wants and lies. There's not a single person out there who can do the 'perfect Mum' thing that we all so aspire to be. If they say they can they're lieing.

    As long as you love your children and they know they're loved that's all that matters.

    I think you're children will be very proud of you when they're grown up and realise what you had to go through to keep a roof over their heads.


  11. *sigh* I think many of us feel exactly the same. I'm at home but feel guilty that I can't manage the children and the house AND hold down a job let alone run a business like you do! The inner career girl in me too thinks that I'm setting my girls in particular such a bad example by being 'just' a housewife too.
    I honestly don't think that there is a right answer as so many of us struggle with the whole life balance malarkey. But do you know what, we can't do anything except love our kids to bits and try our best. And I for one take my hat off to you Karen. You have your three fabulous boys and are working so hard for your family - setting an amazing example. You should be so proud of all that you do you really should!
    Much love xxxx

  12. You girls are just tooo fab ! You make me feel like all is right again with the world. Sometimes we just need to know that there are others out there the same as us and you ladies and your honesty is what blogging is all about. I think if more men shared their real feelings about stuff we might have a happier and safer world. Sorry, bit much I know, but you get the gist ....

  13. Don't be so hard on yourself Karen. Needs must, your boys always have each other - how fab is that with twins?

    I was once told that if you worry you are a good enough mother, then you definately are as the crap ones do not give it a second thought!

    Mich x

  14. Hi Mich,

    Thank you so much for your kind comment. I have come to the conclusion that I love them, I play with them, I feed them well, I talk to them, so if they want a few days playing on age appropriate games that they love, then sod it ! To hear them screaming with laughter rather than at each other is a blessing indeed ! xx

  15. Big hugs. I hear you. I feel guilt like that everyday. But we are under far more pressure to succeed as not only mothers but women in our own right, with a career, etc which our mothers didn't always have. I think you are a fantastic mother and the fact you feel guilt and thik about your children makes you one. Your kids are happy and you do listen to them. Don't beat yourself up over it. Hugs x

  16. Susan, I have said it before and I will say it again. I LOVE YOU . That is all xxx



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