I’d forgotten how life with a baby can sometimes feel a little relentless. It’s easy to get caught up in the repetition and forget to focus on the magic. Yesterday started well, with berry muffins freshly baked and cooling down at 9.30am. Sophie, still home from Kindi with a cold, played well and Alice was happy.
But by midday the sun had made a break through the clouds and I was feeling the need to escape the confines of the house. The morning is usually my ‘quiet’ time with Alice; with Sophie at Kindi and Charlotte at school. Mornings are when I catch up on the washing, pop the hoover round, enjoy a walk on sunny days whilst Alice takes a nap in the front-pack. But this morning, as much as it was great to see Sophie playing independently, her path of leftovers was chipping away at my patience levels.
First there was the ‘tea’ table she’d set up. She’d sweetly climbed into the cupboard and produced two of everything for us to share morning tea. There were two cups of water (and plenty of spillage too), boxed drinks of black-currant, packets of sweets, biscuits… enough to feed a nursery of children. At her repeated insistence I left my organising of Birthday presents for relatives overseas (thankful at least for online shopping and no need to make a trip to the post office) and joined her at the little table for morning tea. The formalities of drinking water from plastic cups with our little fingers pointing out to attention were quickly over with and she moved on to the train set.
The train set was soon given up for lego… and then building blocks… and then a puzzle… all the while the carpet was disappearing under a sea of obstacles waiting like tentacles of giant kelp to snare my foot and take me down.
I had to get out!
Unfortunately Sophie wasn’t feeling up to it and I failed to persuade her otherwise. The more I focused on wanting to get out the more resentful I felt at not being able to. I could have done with the release of a swim or a jog. Instead I put Alice in her little chair in the bathroom and had a quick shower, whilst Sophie happily amused herself. I’d just read Juggling Motherhood’s post, ‘Lessons in Motherhood: Comfort vs Fashion‘ and I reluctantly nodded to being very much in the ‘comfort’ category. My hair is tied back in a pony-tail so it doesn’t get pulled out from the roots or end up entwined around Alice’s fingers like a sharp net. My ear-rings and delicate necklaces are left forgotten in the jewelry box. I am forced to carry a giant ‘I am a Mummy’ bag around with me… and so it goes on – definitely not very attractive.
Well, I decided to forget the relentlessness and play ‘make believe’ for a milli-second. I brushed my wet hair away from my face and let it hang loose. I applied a little lip-stick and smiled at my reflection in the mirror. And then I stood out in the sunshine on my driveway and smiled at the trees thinking, ‘Focus on the magic!’
Sophie finally left the interior of the house and found some energy to run around the garden playing hide and seek. I inhaled the fresh air and looked hopefully for signs of spring. I found daffodil bulbs with buds close to opening and found a little positive focus away from the relentlessness of the housework.
The day ended with me hanging out for bedtime to come, rather than looking forward to stories curled up with my children – not a great ending. The night was diabolical, with Alice being extremely wakeful and unsettled (that’ll be the solids taking affect on her digestive system and absence of bowel motion in two day’s – oh the joys!). I looked at the clock shouting, ‘I need sleep!’ as she accidentally bit me several times whilst feeding and her sharp little finger nails clawed and scratched me like a mewing kitten.
So here I am, Friday morning. Another day. Do I choose to focus on the relentlessness of motherhood or do I find the magic?
So far, so good. Alice napped in the front pack as I walked my older daughter up to school in the sunshine. Dan dropped Sophie at Kindi for me. I wished my dear folks in England a very Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary on the phone. I’ve felt released from the relentless grind whilst writing this morning. Now my baby has woken and is a little grumbly. I suspect she will continue to be until her bowels move! It’s a long day ahead, with swimming and a Kindi disco to survive. At least they will get me out of the house, away from rounds of food preparation, feeding and moping up (oh the joys of starting solids!).
Off I go, back into the thick of it, looking for the silver lining along the way x