So here's an experience I'd rather not blog about - but I'm going to do it anyway. I hung out for a while with my son the other evening - we read, maybe watched a show, I really don't remember everything. When I was helping him get ready for his bath I told him what a good time I had and that I really enjoyed spending time with him.
He said: "Yeah. It was nice - but I know you're usually too busy to do things with me."
I told him I was sorry that I made him feel that way and he immediately said: "No, it's really ok, Mom."
The rough part is that my husband overheard the whole thing and he has (very nicely) tried to raise that subject with me over the past year. So that added a whole new level of cringe-worthiness to the situation. I'm a LOT more present with my kids than I was a few years ago but clearly I have a long way to go. When push comes to shove, I still have not found the right balance between doing what I feel I need to do for myself (to keep myself from disappearing into the woodwork and being unfulfilled) and what I need/want to do for my kids in the short time I have them in my house, to let them know how much they are cherished. Plus, I still need to sleep at some point.
Here's where I ended up philosophically after that experience: I refuse to beat myself up. Instead, I thanked Allah (lately I've been using that name in my prayers, not really sure why) for revealing to me that my son had this perception so that I can change my actions accordingly. I've been trying to remember it each evening so that I can find a little more one-on-one time with my kids.
Things like this don't get fixed overnight. It's the same dynamic as my weight gain and my broken leg. I WANT to fix both of those things overnight and if I allow myself, I'll become depressed about the fact that I CAN'T fix them right away. So...I'm trying to be grateful for the fact that I do have control over how I interact with my kids and how I eat/exericse (to be honest, I've got less control over the exercise piece now that I have a broken leg...) so I can make a difference with both of those issues - it's just going to take time. Maybe a lot of time. The trick for me is not allowing myself to give up. And not allowing myself to beat myself up.
Much easier said than done. But, like I've said before - one day at a time. That's about all I can tackle.