I feel like a child again. For the first time in years I have a lazy summer holiday ahead of me. Now, I feel like it’s reward for all the hard work. Now, I realise what it’s all about. Now, I remember why I gave up my job. Now, I understand I did the right thing. Now, I’m having fun.
Somehow in the blur of birth and the chaos of child-rearing I careered into seeing being a mum as a job, with hard long tedious repetitive hours, little appreciation and not much gratification. It seemed there were days that all I did was respond to the needs of others. And when my job was done, I was too tired to respond to my own needs and write. But suddenly the sun has appeared from behind the clouds (metaphorically I assure you, as the sun is definitely staying away this summer) and the summer holidays are upon me. School’s out for summer and I’m no longer a mum. I’m just a kid, hanging out with her friends. Because suddenly, that’s what my two girls have become. Suddenly, I don’t feel I have to do every single thing for them. Suddenly Daisy can dress herself and Poppy can make a pretty good attempt. Suddenly the possibility of no nappies is nearly upon me. Suddenly they can all talk and chatter and play together and I’m no longer the only person who can satisfy them. Suddenly I want to join in and it has all come together and despite the crappy weather (oh the joys of an Irish summer) it’s just me and the girls…. and girls just wanna have fun. While hubby still trundles the toiling treadmill (oh how I used to resent his ‘escape’ to the outside world), we live in a different world – a world of picnics and playdates, adventures and days out, lunches and high teas, breakfasts in the garden, lunch in the park, tea in Applejacks up the road. And while he still marches to the rules of work and wage, we dance to a different tune, our routine random and reckless. I dreaded Daisy finishing up at playschool for the summer, and now I dread her returning in September. My holiday will be over along with hers. Oh I still have colour coded schedules on the fridge (you can take the girl out of work but you cannot take the project manager out of the girl!), but now it is filled with new activities (red), lists of parks to picnic in (green), beaches to explore (yellow), daytrips to plan (blue)…. lazy mornings at home in the garden (sun permitting), or baking (rain insisting) not colour coded but as important as the rest.
And so once again, motherhood turns me on my head. For years now, I have resented my hubby’s ‘freedom’, planned Houdini escapes to capture some me time, organised our days in minute detail to save my sanity, dreamt of running away from the crushing neediness of my two adorable girls. And now? Now, I feel guilty when he goes to work, leaving us in bed to read stories, because suddenly there is nowhere else I’d be. Now, I hate having too many things in the diary because suddenly an unplanned day is a joy. Now, I can join in the fun and stop being the boss, because suddenly we are interacting and talking, and playing as friends. I read somewhere that time shapes with silent hands. Often I’ve resented that time, but now I give it freely because suddenly it seems we’ve all grown up, me most of all.