When we choose to have kids, we don’t stop to consider everything else that comes with it. The kids in themselves are both a delight and a challenge – from the funky toddler dance to the threenager tantrums, and let’s not forget how it’s the end of the world when your biscuit becomes two pieces. But aside from the joys and hurdles of parenting, I’m talking about the other stuff that some of us writers have come to refer to as ‘real life’. It’s the full-time job you wish you didn’t have to do as you would rather be at home with the kids (or writing). It’s the part-time work you’re desperately trying to find because you want some independence/opportunity to contribute to the household income/anything else to save you from the insanity of just small people for company, day in, day out. It’s the endless piles of laundry, the bottomless ironing pile, the stacks of paperwork to be filed. The dust-bunnies that you vacuumed only 3 days ago and the activities you have committed to just so you can have something for ‘yourself’.
As a full-time mother who has done the work full-time thing and the stay-at-home thing, I honestly can’t say which one is the easier option. Because, while they (kids) are so small, it doesn’t matter if you have 1, 3 or – God forbid – more), being a parent and running a house and trying to maintain some sanity is bloody hard work.
We’ve just returned from two weeks in Fuerteventura and I think the holiday blues have hit me already. I’m drifting around again looking at everything that needs to be done and wondering where the hell do I start? This isn’t supposed to happen post-holiday. But then, I remind myself that I have children now. This is my life. No matter where I look or what other crazy schemes I try to uncover to find the answers (I don’t even know the question!), I have to tell myself to make the most of these moments. Because, while I’m worrying about my career (or lack of), and my dwindling skills and confidence, my children are growing up. They won’t be small forever, and before I know it, they’ll be teens who might not want to spend time with their annoying and embarrassing mother. Life is so short and precious as it is. So I’m going to go and have a lovely cuddle with them both while they’re not fighting and causing havoc, and try not to fall asleep on the sofa after another night of being kept up by my sweet and innocent (cough) youngest daughter.
Parent or not, don’t let life consume you and just take a few moments to reflect on stuff. Real life isn’t going anywhere and will dutifully wait for you. Stay sane 😘xxx