Today was Mother’s Day in the UK. We totally overfilled our time and it was a bit frazzled, to be honest.
It was a long drive back from Bristol with a toddler, who despite sleeping for the last 40 minutes was extremely overstimulated and overtired before we even started our day. Due to a miscommunication, we had wanted to meet Ben’s parents for a quick lunch for Ben to pass on his Mother’s Day gift, but they had already eaten. So we ended up at a park instead.
Once I got over the initial annoyance at the change of plans and missed opportunity for hot food I didn’t cook myself, this seemed okay at the time (although I was exhausted already by the time we got there). But we seriously regretted it later after Aeryn had a complete meltdown when we finally got home.
It was just too much in one day, really. She’s two and she needs to go home after a long trip to recharge, she’d had a really packed 2 days already before the park trip.
I knew that the tantrum would happened if we stayed out too long. I know my daughter, I know her limits. But for some reason, I didn’t take a stand and insist on what we all needed, which was to go home and rest and eat something decent.
I’ve decided I need to be more assertive in my parenting choices and stop worrying quite so much about upsetting others or letting people down by rescheduling. Which is easy to say after the fact, and difficult to practice at the time.
I also need to recognise when I’m at my own limit, and not feel as bad about prioritising what I need sometimes. It’s great to have a close relationship with extended family, but it can feel really hard to prioritise our little family unit over the wider group. But actually, it should make it easier, because we see them frequently as it is. If it hadn’t have been actual Mother’s Day, maybe we would have just rescheduled. But it felt like we had to fit everything in and in the end we just overdid it all.
I think next year, especially with two children, I will try very hard to build a day more around what I would like to do myself. Not that it isn’t lovely to see friends and family and make the most of our time. But slowing down and spreading out those experiences make me appreciate them a whole, whole lot more.