In 2019, I resolve to be ... more selfish
APPARENTLY New Year's resolutions are old-fashioned these days. Instead it's more popular to choose a single word that will guide you through the year ahead.
I have my doubts that one word can change how I live, love and work, but in the spirit of the season I settled on a word I think could help me stay on top of things in the year to come. It's not a pretty word and I feel a bit uncomfortable saying it out loud, but my word for the year is selfish.
It's not a word usually associated with mums and nannas, and I feel a bit shocked I am even contemplating being more selfish. But I ended last year feeling tired, exhausted and pulled in so many directions.
I'm always happy and a little relieved my grown-up kids want to spend time with us. I love having them at our house and I love that their kids know where to find the toys. But people are always telling me I do too much for them.
"It's time for you to do your own thing,” my friends say.
Workmates share their exciting weekend plans and there's always a raised eyebrow or two when I say I'll be spending time with my grandkids.
My days off and weekends tend to be a blur. Chasing after toddlers, picking squashed sandwiches off the floor and saving a treasured toy from the dog's slobbery jaws are all part of my busy day. In between all that there are chats with toddlers who tell me I'm beautiful and a baby who has just started to reach out to me for cuddles.
Those moments make it all worthwhile, but some days I would give just about anything for a bit of peace and quiet.
In the spirit of being selfish, I headed to the shops alone last weekend and found myself chatting to another grandma as we waited for our coffee orders.
We were comparing notes and getting along beautifully, until she told me she had given up a high-paying job she loved to move states to permanently care for her toddler granddaughter due to some serious issues with the little girl's parents.
Suddenly my plan to be a bit more selfish seemed mean and incredibly ... selfish. Here was a woman who had given up a lot more than me, and while she was overwhelmed and perpetually tired, she said she had no choice but to put this little girl first. As soon I got my coffee I headed off to my daughter's place for a bit of "grandma” time, taking comfort that this was a choice I was free to make.
My heart goes out to all the grandparents caring for their grandies - you are making a difference to little lives.