Wordy Wednesday: Tempus Fugit
Time flies when you’re having fun. I heard somebody say. (It was Gloria Estefan (remember her?!).)
But time flies when you’re just busy too. And having children certainly ensures that you never, ever have any time to yourself anymore. In fact, just writing this post is a defiance of time! I have to grab the odd 5 minutes here and there between other things to type as much as I can in as little time as possible. I started while I had a cup of tea after shopping, then did some more while the dinner was baking, and then finished it off once the girls went to bed.
One of the reasons I had children was because I felt that life was a bit boring really. Get up, go to work, go to the pub or a club, maybe go on holiday somewhere, or to a fancy restaurant. But after a while, these things all became a little bit, well, dull. I love eating out, staying in posh hotels, going away and exploring somewhere new, but there was something missing.
One day, I think while we were in Barcelona on a weekend away, I just suddenly realised how much more fun it would be to do these things with children. Well, maybe not young children, as anyone who’s tried it will know: posh restaurants and small children don’t mix; a swanky hotel room is just a prison cell for all involved once you have a toddler; flying anywhere with children is a logistical nightmare, certainly packing for a weekend away requires more than cabin baggage these days! And even the majority of pubs aren’t exactly child-friendlywith people walking around, carefully carrying three full pint glasses as they navigate their way from the bar to their table. Add an excited toddler to the mix who, 1) can’t be seen beneath the pint glasses, and 2) thinks that tables are for crawling under, and chairs are for climbing on, and there’s a disaster waiting to happen. Even a beer garden isn’t without its risks as I found to my horror the first time I tried it with Bunny and Bear, only to discover a barely walking Bear chewing on an old cigarette butt she’d picked up off the grass! My heart stopped at that one!
So now my time is taken up with getting up and showered, getting dressed, getting the girls breakfasted, washed, dressed and ready. Doing my hair and make up, doing Bunny’s hair. Getting her water bottle and any school books she’s borrowed and (usually) rushing out of the house. Drop Bunny at nursery, drive (or cycle if the weather ever gets better!) to work. Work. Finish work, go home, have lunch while simultaneously changing Bear’s nappy, rushing Bunny to the toilet and making sure the change bag is fully equipped with nappies, changes of clothes, water beakers, snacks, etc. Then we’ll head out somewhere. Maybe the supermarket if the house has run out of essentials, or the park if the sun’s shining. Perhaps we’ll head to the seafront with the scooters or to the beach to hunt for shells and crabs, or we might go somewhere special that we’ve never been to before (that bit about exploring new places is the one we can still do!). Then we have our weekly playdate with Bunny’s best friend either at their house or ours or as part of the cloth nappy library we run. A few hours later, we come home, the girls play and I get on with dinner and washing up the day’s dirty dishes. Then we sit down and have dinner. Bunny usually takes about half an hour to eat hers, lots of nagging and lots of bribery. She then wolfs down pudding and asks for more as she’s still hungry. Then we go upstairs and start the getting ready for bed ritual. I’ll put away any dry washing, get out the next day’s clean clothes for Bunny, and then Wife will read to Bunny, while I take Bear downstairs for “Mowk”. As she falls asleep on my lap, I take some time to read through all my emails, and then Wife takes her upstairs. I then try and fit in a quick blog post and reply to any comments (and if there’s time read some others and comment too!). It’s also the only time I get to do any paperwork (form-filling, replying to emails, sending emails, etc). Then we’ll watch an episode of something and then Bear will wake up and we get ready for bed. Ad infinitum. Apart from the occasional days we stay at home in the afternoon and do some messy play, or crafting, or play (work) in the garden, or bake cookies and cakes. But otherwise, still no time!
I’d love to have a bath, with wine and candles and a trashy magazine; uninterrupted. I’d like to read a book. The one that I started when I was commuting still in 2011 and only just pregnant with Bear that sits in the car just in case I ever get a moment where they both fall asleep and I can sit there. I’d like to go wander round the shops, trying on clothes and just browsing. I’d like to go through my clothes and catalogue what goes with what. I’d like to try some more sewing projects. I’d love to create some photobooks of my new family. I’d like to edit all the home videos we’ve made (including our wedding which I don’t think I’ve even watched yet!) and burn the succinct versions to DVDs. I’d like to do some meal planning, not just look in the larder and cobble something together. I have so many projects and ideas in my head, yet even blogging is a stretch to fit in. If I wasn’t still feeding overnight, I don’t think I’d have time to ever read other blogs too. Yet, I love being a mum and I love being busy which must be why I keep taking on more and more (new job, town team project, this blog, designing nursery prints).
When does this change? When they’re both at school full-time? Or is that just a fallacy as I’ll have to fit work in around that anyway? Why does it always feel like I’m the only person that doesn’t have any time to myself? Is it self-inflicted, or is this actually how it is for all parents? I’m not complaining, I just think I’m surprised by just how much time the children take up each day. From 6.30am until 7.30-8pm, they’re there, wanting attention, help, fun, food, drink. And then I get a precious hour or two (if I’m lucky) to myself before one of them wakes up or I fall asleep on the sofa and have to drag myself upstairs.
And on that note, I’m going to run upstairs to grab some nail polish and try and paint my nails before I have a baby to feed again!