I had one of those days yesterday where I was rushing about from beginning to end. Thursdays are a often like that here as it’s one of my work days. It’s also a day when M has an after school club and needs to take kit for it and my mum looks after K so I have to prepare things for her and then get everyone in the right place at the right time with the right bag of stuff. And all by 8.30am. Now, that’s normally do-able if not exactly fun, but G was out after work last night too, which meant that where I normally start to wind down around 6pm when he gets home, instead I had an extra couple of hours of ‘parenting’ before I could put my feet up with a nice bowl of chilli bean risotto.
So, all of this busy busy busy got me to thinking about how utterly lovely it is when you do finally have a minute to yourself and actually how important that time is in an otherwise hectic life.
I sometimes wonder how I used to fill all that free time I had before children. I’m sure I didn’t appreciate it because it wasn’t limited back then. All I had to do when I wasn’t at work, was keep our little flat reasonably clean and tidy, stick a wash on once or twice a week, cook a bit and then that was more or less it. The rest of the time was gloriously free of chores.
These days, I consider myself lucky if I get to sit and have a cup of tea without having to get up several times to deal with someone or something. G’s much better at doing this than me. He seems to have the ability to switch himself off from his surroundings and spend half an hour playing his guitar or reading the paper. For some reason, the girls don’t seem to pester him in the same way that they do me and I have to say, sometimes that in itself drives me crazy.
I remember seeing an ad campaign for Twinings tea recently (other teas are available) which featured a woman having a few moments to herself in the midst of a busy life. I think the slogan was “getting you back to you” or something like that. It was a deliberately simple ad, but one I remembered because its message made sense.
Now, I expect we all have different ideas about how to fill these little windows of oportunity, but here are some things that I like to do given half the chance:
Have a quiet, uninterrupted cup of tea (I promise I’m not being sponsored by the tea industry)
Read a magazine (I subscribe to one of the glossies, but generally read it on about four separate attempts)
Go for a run (one advantage of being a fairly crap runner is that I can only manage about 20 minutes tops)
Have a bath
Catch up with my favourite blogs
Do a bit of online shopping
Do nothing, just sit and think
What about you? How do you chill?
*In the time it took to write this blog post, I have also done the following: taken K to the loo, put Angelina Ballerina DVD on, made K a snack, wiped K’s nose, wiped K’s hands*