It’s been 4 weeks since I started attending classes 3 weeknights a week. By the time I drag my tired body home after class, the kids are already asleep. I can only show how much I miss them by covering them with as much blanket I can extricate without stirring them from their slumber.
I have no classes on Wednesday evenings however, and I make sure I have dinner with the kids. Perhaps absence makes the heart grow fonder, for they fight for my attention the moment I step into the house. They talk non-stop, over and on top of each other. And they would resort to mischief just to get my attention. I catch up with my dearest mum and sister too, so it is pretty difficult to have to split myself into 3 or 4 at once.
Once we are back at our own flat, the same story repeats itself. The kids vie for my attention, “MaMa this, MaMa that”. I try my best to respond to them positively. I am after all trying to make up for lost time, and they use that to their full advantage.
The bedtime ritual becomes draggy. One more hug and kiss, one more flying kiss, one more anything to get MaMa to pay attention to them, whatever works. My nerves get frayed from the repeated shout-out for affection. But guilt and the need to make up for lost time make me hang on, to my detriment.
A stroke of luck saw my class end earlier for once on Tuesday night, and I got home in time just as the kids settled in for the night. To witness the kids “fly” out of their bedrooms to envelop me in waist-high bear hugs when I was barely in through the door lifted my weary spirits and brought smiles to all our faces in the dark. This ‘lucky break’ comes with a price.
Matthew tried a new tactic yesterday night. “MaMa, can you go to school tomorrow and tell your teacher to finish class early, so you can come home earlier to tuck us in bed?” I didn’t know to laugh or cry over his theoretically simple solution – Mummy needed, Teacher, you know what to do. End the class early!
I do need to get a grip on my guilt though; else I risk getting run over by the kids’ demands and lose my time and myself in the process. In the paraphrased words of The (wise) Man, “Keep to the scheduled bedtime, regardless of the kids’ demands. Teach the kids to respect your time.” Timely advice indeed …