The kids are at the various places they need to be – school, nursery and asleep on my chest. The washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher are all whirring away, the kitchen counters are all clear and have been wiped down, as has the table now it is cleared from breakfast. The floors have been hovered and the first de-toy of the day has taken place (there are 4 as it happens), it’s 9:30am and I feel very accomplished and in control. Having already ordered the food delivery last night (should be here by 10…) and made lunch boxes and breakfast, I have now planned lunch for baby and me, dinner for the kids is ready and I have the next load of washing downstairs waiting in line.
The dog, guinea pigs and fish are all alive, fed and watered and will be exercised (as appropriate) when baby wakes up. I was even contemplating making myself a cup of tea when I decided to write this instead. Mornings are good here, they are productive and tidy and efficient – and so am I.
I’m so sad that you never see this me, or the house this way. You arrive home when the kids are tired and fractious, when I’m clearing up from the fifth meal I have made that day and the dishes are stacked up in the sink looking menacing. When the counters are full of detritus from the day, the table is a mess of homework, drink cups, food spills and laundry to fold. When I’m already working on the things that need to happen for tomorrow, my mind a whirl of lists and I seem so distracted and uninterested in you.
I hate that you only get the worst bits of me – the tired overwhelmed ‘end of the day’ me. I hate that you only get the worst of the kids, when they have lost all control of their behaviour and need their beds. That you take on ‘bedtime’ is a credit to your willingness to be in this team – and I know it’s not always much fun.
The wonderful day we had yesterday I hope is a bit of payback for all you endure. That you got to have fun with us, to see the kids in all their crazy glory – that I was awake!
Parenting is the hardest job ever, and I often wonder what we were thinking to start on that path, but despite what you see and hear for that last hour of the whole families day, every day – it really is the best thing we ever did. Totally. Absolutely. Both Feet In.