Last week a chest infection meant we had to skip our usual week of baby groups and I wondered how quickly someone can go mad if they don’t leave the house with a baby. (Answer: surprisingly fast.) A week at home was too much, but after throwing ourselves back into sensory groups, music, dance and babychinos I’ve appreciated the house for what it is – a place to do sod all.
The kitchen worktops have decreased in size by 90% thanks to days of washing up going ignored. One of G’s jumpers decided to unravel, leaving blobs of fluff coating every carpet (and making me think there was a spider approx every thirty seconds), but they’ve gone unhoovered anyway. Don’t even ask about the bathroom. We’re about three days off being forced onto a daytime TV programme about people who don’t clean their homes, but Mads is happy, I’m less stressed and we’ve had loads of fun instead. All we’ve got to do is hope nobody wants to visit in the next week or they’ll accuse us of playing Jenga with piles of washing and I’ll be morbidly embarrassed, but otherwise it’s fine.
Thursdays seem to be the only day we don’t routinely have plans lately, and it was so nice to just do nothing this week. Mads stayed in pyjamas until lunchtime, I didn’t go near my make-up, and we both hoped nobody came to the door. But we played, we chilled out, we pulled faces at each other and snacked on cereals all day, and I really needed it. It’s true that while partners are at work they’re generally under a lot more stress, and that being the full time parent is usually fun and really rewarding, but it’s also incredibly full on. It’s not even that it’s all practical stuff either. When I’m not in the middle of doing something I’m constantly thinking ahead and planning the day in detail. Getting asked to attend something involves planning how we’ll manage it a full 24 hours in advance. Every feed, nap and mealtime has a knock-on effect to the next thing and if they’re not thought out it can be impossible to get to where you need to be on time. A day at home lets you just enjoy the day in the present, and parent the way I prefer, which is reactionary and meeting Maddie’s demands as and when they occur. I’ll write a separate post on the pros and cons of routines vs on-demand parenting another time. Both have their place but I much prefer doing things on-demand. Who enjoys the exact same amount of sleep at the same time everyday, or the same size meals?
I think Thursdays might become a regular chill day for us, especially now autumn is definitely here. More hot chocolate, blankets and cosying up with a book is something I think we could all use.
If you’d like to read more from me, I also write a parenting blog at http://www.snufflebabe.wordpress.com