Over a much needed flat white a girlfriend of mine -a crazy, talented, hectic mum of two under 7’s shuffled her chair in closer to me, and whispered her dirty little secret. She said, ‘Working is a good thing you know. Ok, so it’s an hour of pain and struggle, to get them where they have to be in the morning. But then, you get your self radar back’. I had no idea what she meant – until now. Ok, parents so we might be working, but for a few hours a day – It’s all about you – leave your guilt suitcase at the door please. Here is my Top 4 for you.
1. I can hold a full conversation without getting interrupted and with full interaction with another adult; without keeping one eye on the climbing frame, paint brush, glue pot, potted plant, glass vase, the scissors and Lily’s best friend Finley’s hair. I might actually listen to someone again and fully engage in what they are saying.
2. I can stop guiltily wandering around the house, in permanent clean up mode; with an armful of everything constantly putting stuff back where it’s supposed to belong, only to find something else in its place that’s needs to be somewhere else. The toothpaste on the kitchen counter, to find socks in the bathroom sink, colouring pencils in the sock drawer and your favourite YSL lipstick in the Pencil Pot….and so it goes on….all day, over and over and over. I must walk 20km around the house – easily. But if I am not there – who cares?
3. I can eat a sandwich sitting down. Or moreover I can eat a sandwich and eat it all by myself, whilst having a conversation with another human being; who too, is only interested in the conversation and maybe how much they are enjoying the taste of their Ham and cheese on toasted Rye.
4. My name is Paula. Not Lily’s mum, or Mummy or Darling (although all are just lovely) but just for a few hours. Just a few….Its all about me.
I could go on. But I have to go and find a job now. If you have any of your own to add to the list please lets hear them!