Do you ever wonder how other people spend their days – I mean every minute, when they’re at home and there is no-one else watching? I’ve realised that stay-at-home mums have more of those kind of minutes than most other people. Its very easy to dwell on the seeming futility of all the little tasks that make up the huge achievement of bringing up children.
For example, today I have been reading Alfie stories to my two-year-old in our ‘big bed’ while feeding Kirsten. I’ve folded washing while Daniel watched photos of himself on the computer. I’ve collected apples in the garden; bought things from Daniel’s shop (two chairs turned upside down on the patio); raked up leaves; recollected the apples which Daniel tipped out of the bucket (saying to himself: ‘Goodness me, look, what a mess.) We’ve eaten baked beans on toast for lunch and now both my children are sleeping. I am about to mix up some cookie dough so we can make some cookies when Daniel wakes up (its too messy to make cookies from scratch with him). And I’ve just lit the fire.
And then? I try to go out for a walk in the afternoon with both children in the buggy. Daniel might run for a bit but the aim of that part of the day, is my sanity – I need some exercise and its relaxing to know exactly where they both are, know that Kirsten will be sleeping and Daniel will be quite happy to chat away to me from his seat. Today, though, its wet, hence the cookie dough.
Sometime after playing with playdo or lego or books, Daddy will arrive home, I will cook, we will wash the dishes and the children then we will spend too long getting our children to go to sleep before we can sleep ourselves.
And so, since I’m not a man, my son, that’s how I fill each unforgiving minute, with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run.
(Yes, I know, I’ve edited out those minutes I spend on email, facebook, internet shopping. No-one needs to count those.)