Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Thinking allowed

The Little One has been with us for two months now. I spent a lot of time yesterday feeling low because I was thinking about all the things I cannot do with two children under three. All the things that would have been populating exuberant blog posts full of successes and challenges. Things like...
  • I cannot cook or bake as much as I'd like. I wish I could be making stews and exotic salads, scones and quiches regularly. But having said that, there's an oxtail stew spending four hours softening away in my oven right now, and I made a lovely birthday cake for the Little One at the weekend.
  • There is never enough time for anything. It was my dad's birthday a fortnight ago and he's yet to receive his 2/3 sewn present. It was the Little One's birthday but he ended up with shop-bought quiches for his birthday picnic and none of the number '2' biscuits I had planned, making me feel thoroughly incompetent (I know I'm not, but every time I have a plan and don't achieve it I feel like a failure). But having said that, I made quiches (shop-bought pastry, but still) the following night for dinner, and I did make the cake. And I suppose sewing any kind of present with a just-out-of-newborn baby and a toddler around is not half bad.
  • I've been late for all the presents I should've given in the last month. There's a seven-year-old child of a friend yet to receive April's present, there's my dad, and a good handful more. But having said that, nothing would've been late if I'd have just bought the presents, and things are starting to move again on the sewing front.
  • The house keeps descending into what my mum called 'A Bomb Sittit' (but once I'd grown up I realised she was saying 'a bomb's hit it'). But having said that, I did get it vacuumed before the weekend. And a grimy sink here and there is not the end of the world.
Oh I could keep on with this list for hours. But today's me has been adding 'having said that' to every item, because today's me is feeling much better. I've achieved a lot more today, not least the oxtail stew. But I've also been remembering to count my blessings. Some of my friends and acquaintances would do anything to have a busy, slightly out-of-control, baby-filled life like mine: theirs are baby-less. And I keep feeling like a failure for not getting the vacuuming done, or for not making the scones I had planned, but then I remember the reason my time's been full: three lovely boys. Three boys who I've been spending time with. A Big One with whom I spent an hour the other night chewing the cud of life when I 'should've' been ironing. A Little One with whom I've been bouncing balls, setting up toy farms, reading stories and going for pottering little walks when I 'should've' been doing the housework. And a Tiny One who I keep feeding then sitting with making him give me more and more cheesy grins when I 'should've' been hurrying to get on with things.

What I should've been doing is exactly what I have been doing. Domesticity can take a slower pace for a while. And domestic tasks can certainly wait. We are getting there with both. But I'm here already mothering these three boys and there's no more successful way to spend my time.

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