Do you hate to feel like you are missing out?
I feel like I have been present at most of the important events in my children’s lives. Many of them are engraved on my memory, and I am sure I will treasure them in years to come (when they no longer want to spend so much time with me!). I have, however, missed out on a number in the past year.
My little boy was very excited about his first Beaver Camp. My husband and I were less excited because one of us had to camp with him. We did rock, paper, scissors, and one of us was still unhappy with the result. In the end we both had the appropriate DBS check and agreed to see how things were closer to the time.
Looking forward to it?
It looked like I would be the one going, and, against my will, I started to look forward to it. A whole weekend in the sunshine (how wrong that supposition was!) and my tan would be well on its way from blue to off-white. I would get to see my boy enjoy himself with his friends. I left my diary as blank as I could for the Monday afterwards so that I could recover.
Well, a few days beforehand I was advised that I would put the recovery from my recent surgery in jeopardy if I were to camp, so I had to hand over the baton to my beloved. I was surprised that Instead of feeling relief, I began to suffer from fear of missing out. How could I miss the experience of his first camp? Was I a negligent mother by not being desperate to go? It also bothered me that if I went, Dad and daughter would have a weekend together that I would miss. But I couldn’t do both.
I think my boy had a better time with his Dad than he would have if I had gone to camp. I’m pretty sure his Dad spent more time talking to him than to the other parents, which I think would have happened had it been me. The boys survived, and my husband enjoyed himself far more than he expected to. It was a success.
This fear happened again in the summer holidays. We were due to go camping with an old school friend of my husband’s plus his three children. Did I take some time out for myself to recover from what had been a physically and mentally draining few months, or did I go with the family because I couldn’t bear to miss out on what they would be enjoying?
Taking the time out
It was liberating to let go in this way. I was sent a few photos of them enjoying themselves, but I truly appreciated having the chance to sleep in and not having to go through the ordeal that is our bedtime routine for a couple of nights. I caught up on some work that had been on my mind, and even hoovered under the beds. (I know, I know how to live it up!) I was refreshed and ready to enjoy the rest of the summer with my family. We all benefitted from my absence.
When we can take time away from social media, away from believing that others are somehow having a better time than us, we can be present and truly enjoy the moment. We can appreciate the gifts we have been blessed with, and have gratitude for the things we enjoy, no matter how small they are. Others are unlikely to be having a much better time than we are, even if it feels like that. Enjoy the moment while you are in it.
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