One thing that I wasn’t really prepared for when I began the journey down the motherhood road three and a half years ago was the constancy of the job. There is no time off, no end of shift, no holidays or sick days and even the middle of the night is not scared. But every so often I do manage to get some days to myself and I have some of these coming up. To be exact I have four whole days when the girls will be at childcare while I’m on school holidays and I have lots of things I plan to fill my days with. Here are my top five…
1. Solo gardening
Of course this one tops my list and I think anyone who loves gardening and who has tried to do it with small children will know just how precious having some alone time with your plants is. Gardening with kids can be fun and is great for developing an awareness of where food comes from and a connection to the environment (that’s the educator in me talking!), but it can also be excruciatingly slow and frustrating and there’s only so much the small ones will put up with before they start demanding my undivided attention. When I’m on my own out there a whole day can slip by without me ever looking at the clock (perhaps I should set the alarm so I remember to go pick them up again), I work my way through the to do list and only stop when the blisters on my hands start to bother me and the light is fading. I love it! I feel completely at peace and my mind – which races a lot of the time making sure my balls all stay in the air – stops for a while. This time it’s lots of planting, preparing, a bit of weeding and some harvesting and clearing out a bed or two on the agenda.
I miss this so much, I used to read a lot especially on a Sunday afternoon or in bed on Saturday morning. Since children came along and even more so as my days have become busier with work, reading as been put to the side. I generally only manage a couple of pages before bed, but I’ve found over the last few months my eyes are so tired and sore that I can barely manage that (hopefully the glasses will help that). Books that I would normally fly through sit on my bedside table for months and the to-read list just keeps getting added to. These holidays at least a few hours are going to be dedicated to reading, now I just need to make sure I choose something REALLY worth reading. Suggestions?
3. Spending some time with my sister
I’m very lucky having a sister I so close with and these holidays she’s using one of her annual leave days so we can spent some time together probably in the city. While we haven’t worked out exactly what we’ll do I suspect it might involve some shopping, books and wool may feature in there and definitely regular stops for refreshments. I always love these days, and having one on a weekday feels very special.
4. Solo Cooking
Like the gardening, cooking in peace and with free-range is so much more satisfying than trying to accommodate small, uncoordinated hands. Don’t get me wrong, when I set out to cook with Miss Three and pick something easy for her to help with we have lots of fun, but if it’s more complicated or needs to be done quickly then doing it on my own works much better. And there is nothing pleasant at all about cooking with Miss One clinging to my leg or pulling every last piece of plasticware out of the cupboard and on to the floor around my feet.
5. Spend some time at home alone
Well most of the above fit into this category, but it deserves it’s own mention because if you’re like me and need your own space, having the house to yourself, quiet and preferably clean, is pure luxury. Lack of my own personal space has been the thing I struggle with most. Sometimes I don’t want anyone touching me, demanding that I go here or do that, following me everywhere I go – showers and toilets are no longer private places. I have also been blessed with two girls who just love to talk or babble in the case of Miss One. Mostly I love that, but boy it can become draining and it really never stops, NEVER. So quiet is so much more appreciated now.
Now in a Utopian world my fours days would be spent in just these ways, but in reality there are a few things I will have to do that don’t feature on my list. Firstly I really need to catch up on some housework that has been seriously neglected over the last ten weeks. And secondly, at least a day will need to be devoted to school work, marking tests, assignments and projects and preparing for the new topics some of which I need to learn myself.
A purely selfish list tonight, please excuse that and for a more informative one on winter veg head on over to Liz’s.