|via this flickr|
This question stuck with me long after our conversation took place and I now find myself applying a mental test to any efforts I am making - Lou: is this a Charlie Short thing? I have noticed something startling; whilst not working in recent months I have had the opportunity to throw myself into the daily lives of my children. No work meetings that clash with the school run. No corporate conference calls that necessitate their silence in the car as we drive home. No ducking out of parent's evening. No guilt-ridden goodbyes. No feeling that I am missing something. I am now a mother who is at everything; every netball match, every drop-off, I am even ensconced in every bit of school playground gossip; such is my recent dedication! However the more this develops, the more I notice that the same instincts I had about my work are starting to apply to my mothering. I want to be at every coffee morning, I want to know every little detail, I want (and this is the crucial, startling point to me) to be really good at it.
Without even knowing it, I am going for the Charlie Short prize of motherhood! So thankfully, with a drop of self-awareness, I am able to take myself in hand. There is no prize for effort. I don't need to be perfect. I feel like I can look at myself and recognise when I am trying too hard. It's time to get over it Louise! So next time I seem like I am trying too hard - two words to stop me in my tracks please: Charlie Short!