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"I forgot how to be a good mother."

The day I stopped cleaning, and just played with my daughter.  

Cold coffee and concealer, half brushed hair and little sleep
Tugging, pulling on my shirt, the thumps of toddler feet
A never ending list of tasks seem longer every day
And here I have a little girl who just wants me to sit and play

And yes I play, I’m always there but I’m always multitasking
I play and cook, I play and clean, but my time is all she’s asking
The lists are never ending, in washing I am drowning
Trying to keep things perfect at times, feels overwhelming

I remember once upon a time, when floors were always clean
When washing wasn’t overflowing, a time of size 10 jeans
A time when showers were for one, and toys weren’t in the cupboard
A time that when the lights went out, it meant sleep uninterrupted

Now your breakfast stains my shirt, your tears are in my hair
Your snot is on my shoulder, you’re always just. right. there.
You are my tiny shadow, you want me all the time
You want to show me everything, to see things through your eyes

Now I sit and stop and watch you play, you tip things on the floor
I see your mind tick over as you rummage and explore
A shake of this, a bang of that, a bounce, a crayon swirl
You’re so busy being busy in your own 3yr old world

Everything you do, you do it just for me
A drawing, a song rendition – you just want me to see
You want to see me smile and you love to hear my praise
Nothing is more magic to you than me joining in your games

I looked at you, curls bouncing as you danced around to The Wiggles
I stopped, ignored the mess for once, and listened to your giggles
I forced myself not to jump when you tipped glitter on the floor
And instead watched you study it and sprinkle it in awe
I let my phone go to voicemail when I heard it ring three times
And told myself the world can wait, these moments are yours and mine

There was play dough in the carpet, there was a sea of toys
But today, I left them where they were and joined in making noise
I stomped and jumped and sung with you, you squealed in such delight
‘Mummy play!’ you said, your face so full of light
Your smile lit up the room yet broke my heart in two
You don’t care about all of the mess , you just want me to be with you

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Right there in that moment, my tears I tried to cover
I’ve been so busy and distracted while trying to be the perfect mother

A clean and tidy home was high up on my list
And while I’ve been multitasking, magic moments I have missed
Often saying ‘won’t be long’ or ‘please just wait a minute’
Now I realise that what makes a home is just how you live in it

So, today I didn’t clean a thing, I let the house become a mess
I didn’t do the dishes, and the washing is still wet
I didn’t break away from play, nothing shone or glistened
I simply stopped, appreciated, played with you and listened

I know it isn’t possible to leave everything each day
I know things need to get done and the folding put away
I know there are errands to run, to get dinner on the plate
But I vow to make more days like this, where everything else can wait

Today I saw things for what they were
Today I felt ashamed
I’ve been trying to be so perfect
But forgot how to just stop and play
I forgot the point of all of this
Consumed in all life’s to do’s
I forgot how to just be mummy , for it to just be me and you

I’m learning that it doesn’t matter just how much mess we make
As long as we are together.. the mess… Well it can wait

What advice do you wish you listened to as a mum?

Want more? Try:

“Don’t judge me, but… I’d absolutely keep the ring.”

The most common messes your kids will make (and how to clean them).

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