Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No Time

I've realised where all my time has gone, but I'm not quite sure why it has taken me this long to work it out (perhaps because I have a Brain of Mush), but at least I have worked it out.

This time last year I had a 4yo, a 2yo, and a 3mo baby, and I was writing a shorty a week. Now that the small boy is at school, and the small girl at playgroup every day, you'd think I'd be managing a shorty every day, but no...the baby has given up her morning nap.

Sounds trivial, doesn't it. Not exactly world-stopping news. Rather boring coffee-morning-type news, in fact (and I'm talking here about mothers' coffee mornings, rather than the somewhat more interesting Novel Racers' coffee mornings).

But a year ago, when both the baby and the small girl were napping, I had ten hours a week in which I could reckon to write effectively (my brain doesn't work in the evenings). This dropped to about six hours a week, and, now, I have none.
And that's it, until the baby starts playgroup in fifteen months time.

But, you know what? In fifteen years time, I want to look back on this pre-school bit and remember it as a time I enjoyed with the kids. So often, in teashops and such places, older women come up to me (with my children) and say, 'make the most of them, they grow up so quickly', and I think, yeah, yeah, you've forgotten how hard it is; but they haven't. They just know that this is a really good bit. So, despite the six hours a day I'll get in a few years time, I'm not in a hurry for my kids to trot off to school.

Not even when I wish I could write more.


HelenMH said...

Aaah, big hugs to you. What a lovely photo of the three of them x

SpiralSkies said...

You are right. You're lucky to have realised it now rather than in hindsight.

Until a year ago, No 1 Son (he's 14 now!) lay in bed every evening, saying 'cuddle' in a slow and infuriating way until I went up and lay in bed with him. 'Rub my back,' he'd drone, 'just five minutes more.'

And I really resented it. I wanted to veg out, read, watch telly, finish my wine.

'Just go to bloody sleep,' I thought, dragging myself up the stairs. No, I'm not proud.

How much do you think I have to beg for those hugs now?


Littlies really ARE hideously hard work but, yes, it truly is the best bit. Oh dear, need a little cry now. Do excuse me.

Lane said...

The photo is adorable!

You're so right - and very wise. Like Spiral I fear I may have tried to rush through things that I should have enjoyed. And then - it's gone and they're doing their own stuff.
My mother always said 'don't wish their life away'. I thought she was mad but she was right ... as are you.

KAREN said...

Indeed. I've become one of those mothers saying that to other people now. I don't even know where the last 10 years have gone, so definitely do make the most of it :o) Lovely photo, by the way.

womagwriter said...

What they all said. Enjoy them while you can. They're gorgeous.

JJ said...

I read this on the feed, and meant to come back and comment. But they've all said it already. You're right; absolutely right. It's a magic time ... tough, unrelenting but it's over all too quick.

JJ said...

I've tagged you Leigh, over at mine.

Debs said...

Lovely photo of your babes. You're quite right to make the most of them right now. My son is about to go and check out universities and next week is off for a month to Cambodia/Thailand and I can't believe that he's so grown up all of a sudden.

Mind you looking at my sister with her 2yo and 4yo I remember how exhausting it was to look after them. Lovely times though too.

Maddie Moon said...

Aw, what a beautiful photo! Yes, enjoy it while you can. They'll be grunting teenagers before you know it.

Leigh said...

Helen - It's a goodun, innit? They remained still only for the 1/60th of a second it took to fire the shutter!

Sprial - Oh, I'll miss the cuddles when they've gone. I think that'll be the hardest for me too.

Lane - Not wise, but just trying to find some positives in the chaos. I so often find myself thinking, 'oh, once they're all at school...' but I always stop myself. I'll hate it, I know I will.

Karen - Well, you keep on saying it! It's a lovely thing to hear, and a good reminder that it's all worth the struggle.

Womag - Thank you! I do try.

JJ - Tough times they might be, but they've made me stronger for it. I wouldn't want to be one of those who let their own mothers and/or a nanny to do it all for them. At least this way I get the real reward too.

Debs Exhausting ain't the word. Red Bull is rapidly become my tipple of choice!

Maddie - Ah! Yes, I remember going through the grunting phase myself! Mmm, I'm not looking forward to that one.