I feel a bit of a cheat. My last blog obviously gave the impression I was some sort of smiling Stepford wife, happily baking and whipping up a trifle whilst knocking the oven door shut with my hip, loaf cooking and emitting Nigella warm and cosy smells into the kitchen, while the children play happily at my feet, all Walton-like and wholesome.
Yes, indeed, our house has turned into a hotel for the foreseeable future. And yes, I am prone to the odd bit of home baking. Last week I even skinned a salmon (won’t be doing that again). Waltons, however, we are not. There are no sweet serenades at the end of the evening, as we sing Goodnight to each other through the walls. “Goodnight Johnboy” is now a rather a high pitched “GO TO BED” as I collapse onto the sofa to write the 150 Christmas cards I’ve just made on the computer. Yesterday I actually (really, actually) thought I was going to have a heart attack as I raced from a meeting with Poppy under one arm (try trying to look like a professional with your toddler in tow because the childminder you have for a whole 3 hours a week cancelled), and her lunch under the other as I had to feed her in the car on the way to pick up Daisy who I was late for and had to call another mother to hold onto her for me till I got there, so that I could put Poppy to sleep as soon as we got home, so I could make the mince pies for the freezer, so I could get Poppy up and Daisy and I out to the shopping centre to get all the stuff I need for this weekend’s visitors, and back in time to give them their tea so I could get the presents wrapped and the lists done for four days of Xmas meals around Christmas so I could order the turkey and ham today and get the cards printed so I could write them today so I can post them tomorrow (50 done, 100 to go), so I could change the sheets because my mum was down last night and my father-in-law is over tomorrow and we only have one set, and then Daisy wet the bed last night at 3am and I had to get up and change it and so I had to get the waterproof sheet dried to go back on the bed tonight, and shit, I haven’t hovered, but I might have time tomorrow after I’ve dropped Daisy to school and taken Poppy to ClapHandies and walked home and made the dessert for dinner before getting Daisy up and taking her to dance class at 4.30pm on a Friday afternoon at the other end of town but she likes it and all her old friends are there from our old house so we go there instead of the one down the road with no friends and then get back about 6.30pm and try and feed, bath and TV them before 7pm, when I am supposed to then get my novel out and get inspired and write for 3 hours, but usually only manage the sofa and a box of Black Magic. Did i mention I shout a lot?
Can someone please tell me why I can’t make life easier for myself? Why can’t I just go to the bloody shops and buy a packet of biscuits? Why can I not relax and enjoy the moment? Today, I took my mum and the two girls to the National Concert Hall to watch the Snowman, while the orchestra play the score live and a choir sings. It was stunning and beautiful and special. And I almost didn’t enjoy it because I was so stressed about the fact Poppy didn’t sleep in the car on the way, and my well-planned, well-ordered day was at risk of falling apart. Thankfully at one point, I rested my head on my mum’s shoulder as Daisy sat mesmerised holding my hand, and Poppy nestled into my chest and I took a deep breath. It was a good moment. Why can’t I take more deep breaths? Is it just me? I don’t think so…. Why are we so pulled apart from every day living? Why is motherhood so hard? When am I going to be able to take a deep breath, and when oh when did it all get so bloody complicated? Even the girls are finding Christmas too much! I think all I want from Santa is a day off.