I'm off again tomorrow for a few days (again...but this happens frequently), and am running around like a loony trying to play catch up and prepare for the week ahead. I'll worry about Peewee and the soft furnishings, I'll worry about the homework and the nutritious food that they won't be doing or getting...but there's little I can do about it, so I try and forget about it and have a moan when I get back.
I've got the ironing to do and I'm sitting here writing my blog when I should be doing 1000 other things of more importance. BH keeps looking over my shoulder, asking me what am I doing and have I ironed his shirts yet...get lost!
While I look forward to some "me" time, I really feel guilty about being so far away. They all love me when I get home and I know that they will miss me, cry and beat their chests wailing,
"Mummy, don't go. Do you have to go?".
Well, the answer could easily be no, but unfortunately it's always a yes. I always buy them a gift though, just to assuage the guilt that surfaces each time I begin to enjoy being alone. The gifts are gifts of guilt and the kids know it as they pounce on the case each time I return.
"What have you got me, mummy?" asks Mimi as soon as I step through the door.
They are always happy, appear undamaged, and pleased that I am home, but I think the gift may have something to do with it....even Peewee has learnt to jump into the fray, sniffing the luggage in case something appears for him.
On one occasion I didn't have time to buy them something, so I stopped off at the petrol station and bought them a Freddo the frog chocolate bar each. They were just as happy and I realised that it wasn't the gift that was important, but the fact that I had thought about them while I was away.
I'm often asked how I could leave them? I know I do have a choice and I don't moan about it but it's what I do. I work away from home. I'm lucky I have a great support network. Jude takes them into school. Ma picks them up. Miriam looks after them until BH comes home. Sometimes BH does it all. Most of the time I do. And so far, it's worked well for us all. I believe that I'm teaching them that sometimes we have to do the things we don't want to do; I'm teaching them to be independent (to a certain extent) and when they grow up, they'll be thankful for all of the lessons learnt in the childhood......fingers crossed.
I know it's not a good way of dealing with absence and showering them with gifts on each return teaches them no values of any worth at all.
But I don't care.
The gifts are for me.
They make me feel better.