Tuesday, June 17, 2014
JourneyMan has a job that means he doesn’t get home until after the kids have had their dinner, bath and are tucked up in bed. So, he gets up in the morning and does the morning routine and spends time with them then. I find doing all of the night time routine on my own taxing sometimes. Not so much physically but more so because I have the same conversations over and over again. JBB, eat your dinner (and repeat 5-7 times), Boo2 sit down in the high chair (and repeat 5-7 times), JBB hop out of the bath, please (and repeat 5-7 times), Boo2, don’t take your nappy off (and repeat 5-7 times), JBB, put on your pj’s (and repeat 5-7 times).
I was with some girlfriends last week and we were discussing our routines. One of them does the morning getting the kids ready and they employ a nanny in the afternoons a couple of times a week to pick the kids up from school / daycare, play with them, give them their dinner and get them ready for bed. Another friend (who is an entrepreneur and has started up her own very successful business since her kids were born) was intrigued and thought that she could that most nights a week. The group of girlfriends are all very successful women. Most have careers, beautiful children, loving husbands and beautiful houses. Every one of them has their own struggles though – whether big or small, they all struggle.
I was genuinely intrigued by the thought of having some help to get the kids ready for bed but then I thought of some other things. Like when I taught JBB how to peel carrots (previous to this, he didn’t like to eat them) and he said to me at the dinner table ‘Thank you for teaching me to peeling the carrots, Mum, I really like it’. Or the time when I bought a new bathmat and the excitement that it brought to the bath time routine was crazy. Boo2 felt it with his feet and started flashdancing on it like no tomorrow, laughing delightedly (while nude of course). JBB immediately started running every part of his body over the bathmat and saying ‘I love it, Mum’. For days afterwards, every person that came through the house was treated to being told about our new bath mat and how great it is (the best $10 ever spent!!). I also thought about the time, I accidentally put Boo2 in the bath with his socks on – JBB laughed till he cried and Boo2 started to scream and clap because of all the laughing - the memory of their happy faces still brings a smile to my face. Or when we read a book that ends with ‘I love you Mum’ and JBB puts his arms around me and says ‘I love YOU Mum’. Or even last night when I was reading JBB his bedtime story, I dropped the book on to my face and he laughed and laughed (and then had to tell JourneyMan about it with the first opportunity that he had).
I don’t judge or begrudge any woman who is trying to make her life easier through getting help. I have stacks of help and still struggle to take care of the kids, work, keep a nice house, cook nutritious meals, stay to a budget, exercise, eat right and do all of the millions of things that a woman is expected to do these days. Life can be super exhausting and there is so much going on all the time that sometimes the drudgery of the night time routine seems to be something I would like to escape from. Then we get a new bath mat and I remember the mantra that I loved in my IF days – ‘take the happiness where you can get it’. And I wonder, what if I missed those laughing, touching moments? There are plenty of moments when you are a parent that can be tough and even mind numbingly repetitive but to take away those, I might also also take away those times when you get a new bath mat and all hell breaks loose.