Today was my worst nightmare.
As I sat plugging away at gaping holes in my work schedule, my phone rang. The Italian, in a trying to stay calm tone, informed me that they were in the ambulance but all was ok.
Ambulance?? As he had reached for Bambina’s sippy cup, she had wriggled out of the high chair harness and went for an Olympic gold at floor diving, crashing her head into a marble floor. It took all of twenty seconds to happen but twenty seconds too long.
I gasped a breath. My daughter was in an ambulance on her way to hospital and I was on my way to an “appointment”. My mind raced. What should I do? I had always imagined my immediate reaction to such an incident would be to down tools and go straight home. To my surprise, I found myself in a quandary.
Go home, immediately my conscience told me. Yet, I reasoned with myself that this was the first of many falls and I can’t run home every time. So, I stayed put plugging away at my gaping holes of priority lists.
Then I had an attack of guilt. I had left my poor injured child to go it alone when she needed me!. Am I such a bad mother that I don’t put her at the top of my priority list?
I reasoned again that she wasn’t alone. She was perfectly fine, with her daddy. Perfectly safe, with her daddy. No, I’m not a bad mother for not rushing at every whim. Yet, I do wonder why I didn’t fall immediately into panic mode. Perhaps my motherly instinct told me that the Italian was right, all was actually ok. Bambina was alright, a minor bump to the head but still intact enough to give Dolly a finger-wagging telling off. It was probably Dolly’s fault anyway.
As a first time mum, a working mum, it’s difficult to find the right balance. What I came to accept today is that my decisions may not always be the right ones, that I need to let go of the control reigns a bit more and hand them over, without question or judgement, to the Italian. That I can’t split myself into various forms in order to be everywhere and do everything that might be expected of me, or that I might expect of myself.
How do you do it? How do you find the balance between work and home? I’m sure the answer is practice and that’s what I’m intending to do.
It’s a topic that’s new to me and one that I’m sure I’ll always be in a quandary about.