Sunday, 13 October 2013

All by myself

Being a parent is great.  Most of the time.  But like other great things, *go ahead, insert your own list of great things*, you can have too much of it.  I'm not talking about those occasions when a soak in a candle-lit scented bubble bath or half a gallon of gin will sort you out.  No, I mean the times when your head is about to explode because you have well and truly had a belly full of being in demand by EVERYONE ALL OF THE TIME!!

Usually, what l I need to get over such a gluttonous excess of parenting  is a few hours to myself. And I mean completely to myself.  Not going on a rare and lovely 'date' with The Husband.  or a fabulous catch-up with a good friend.  Just me. On my own.  A chance to clear my head.  To think about no-one else's needs and wants.  No compromising.  No effort to make conversation. No pressure to do anything that isn't exactly what I don't want to do.

So, imagine my delight, when The (very kind) In-Laws who have been staying with us for a few days, offered their services as 'resident babysitters'.  Having felt a little stifled by life of late, I snapped up the offer and almost ran from the house.   Actually, this isn't quite true.  I first did the 'decent thing' and gave them the option to opt out:  "are you sure you don't mind?"  Now, if I'm being completely honest, I probably only risked this question because I know that they far from mind, rather they relish the opportunity to enjoy the freedom of time with their grandchildren without the children's parents being around to 'interfere' and spoil the fun - my words, not theirs.

So, with the Nine Year old deposited at school for the day and The Two Year Old off adventuring with his 'Nanny and Grandad' I was a free woman.  A free woman with the day stretching out in front of her.  No responsibilities. No expectations.  No-one to answer to.  And no idea what to do with myself and feeling a bit lost!

I got a grip. Walked into town in the Autumn sunshine. And took myself off for a leisurely swim.  I love to swim and stayed in the pool for almost an hour.  An (almost) hour of actual swimming rather than being in the water and making sure that the little people you have taken with you are safe.   And then I went clothes shopping. Oh my, it felt good.  I ate lunch on my own.  Quite a fancy lunch which  I took my time in devouring as I sat and watched the world go by, luxuriating in the fact that I didn't need to swallow the food wholesale in order to get out of the restaurant before The Two Year Old ran out of patience.

By the time I returned home, I felt happy, relaxed and fully equipped to return to the bustling chaos of family life....with a smile on my face, a little less cash in my purse, and a lovey new outfit to wear on my next escape :)  And you know what?  I am loving and enjoying my little family all the more for it.

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