This weekend has been one of those weekends, we decided to start sorting out the garden for the spring/summer and that involved a lot of weeding, digging and hard work! I try to do my bit but, I’m not the strongest so luckily for me Richard tends to do the manual labour jobs, although I will pitch in when I can. I ended up doing the house work, 3 loads of washing and then ironing and then making the breakfast, lunch and dinner, the list seemed endless this weekend! However, as we had the boys with us it was challenging at times as they just wanted our attention and we were busy with other things, which is unusual as they tend to get most of our attention at weekends.

As a result of this, this ended up with Thomas being fed up that no one was playing with him and then the two of them started arguing because the other one wasn’t doing what the other one wanted them to do and this led to a rather stressful afternoon really for us all. It ended up escalating and Thomas got really upset and then James got quite defiant which wasn’t helpful so we resorted to the step again. However, once everything calmed down though we actually had quite a nice afternoon and played ‘Pie face’ again for the 5th time but, it’s such a funny game that I didn’t mind. The boys laughed so much when I got splatted in the face with squirty cream and they loved it, so it was worth it just to see their faces. Then after that it was a game of, ‘Doggie Doo’ honestly, who makes up these games?!

Once we played that the boys completed their homework rather reluctantly initially, then we bathed them and put a movie on for them so they got the opportunity to just relax before bed, it’d been such a busy weekend with one thing or another that we knew we needed to get them to bed early so they were ready for school tomorrow. Whilst they were watching the movie I made Richard and I a curry and we sat listening to relaxing music whilst having a glass of wine and some good food together, it was bliss! Just what we needed after a busy, quite stressful day!

On reflection Richard and I chatted about the day and what went well and what didn’t, we often do this and we do it with the boys too! We encourage them to think about their day, what their grateful for and what they enjoyed most during the day, we try to do this as often as we can with them. Upon reflection, we realised that up until this point we tend to spend the majority of our time with them during weekends and as a result of this they really struggled today when they didn’t have our attention, this is a lesson learned for us as parents. As parents we do try to spend so much time with them as we can because the weekends are about family for us as well as the odd girls/boys night out too but, after a day like today I do wonder whether we should be encouraging more of their own play rather than them relying on us to create the fun.

When I think back to my own child hood I was always encouraged to play on my own and make my own fun and that’s exactly what I think we’re going to encourage our boys to do more of. It’s a constant balance with bringing up kids and it’s only once we’ve done something that we can look back and reflect upon the consequences and realise that we could possibly do something different going forward.

Life is about balance, reflection and flexibility and it’s been a reflective 6 years for us, we’ve moved house (twice), changed roles at work (both of us) and Richard was made redundant and re-trained to be a teacher, got married and had 2 children only a year apart, it’s been hectic! A long this journey I’ve also had the opportunity to train as a coach and I’ve been on my own personal development journey and this has provided me with a lot of reflection time too. I’m a firm believer that life is a journey and that it’s about living life the way you see fit and as a parent I find we’re constantly reviewing what we do. The boys have a great life but, I also want to encourage them to be independent, grateful and just generally enjoy their own life by being happy and I intend to encourage this at an early stage in their life because after all life is about enjoying the ride too!