It's a new year. I have spent the last two years brewing and birthing Peelings. This has left very little room for other things because bumps and breastfeeding seem to take up a lot of room / time.
This year there are going to be no pregnancies. No births. I will be attempting to bestow some semblance of order onto life with two under two. It's not a task I'm looking forward to really, but it must be done because I think I've reached the point where I need, from the point of retaining my last vestiges of sanity, to create something that's been overlooked.
Time for me.
Not 'me time' in that beautiful, quiet, in a bath with a glass of vino and Einaudi on the stereo kind of serene time - I don't think my mind would handle that much space - but time where I don't have a child clamouring for attention or being sustained in some way.
I want to use my sewing machine for longer than 20 minutes in one go. To reupholster the two wingback chairs bought as a Project when I was pregnant with the first munchkin and had no idea what was about to hit me. To cook real meals that take more than 10 minutes on the hob, or to get stuff done on the house and to feel a sense of achievement afterwards.
Because at the moment, I don't feel like I accomplish anything. Ever. I don't know if I'm alone in this, but it makes me feel a bit flat sometimes. I stumble through the day, making sure we all survive - and with an aim that everyone feels like they're enjoying life for at least a small chunk of the time - trying not to be hideous to my husband when he comes home from work, and getting as much of my Life Admin done online as possible whilst my newest clusterfeeds through the evening. Then I climb into bed too late, get chatted at throughout the night by my good natured Goliath of a baby, who finally falls asleep a couple of hours before the Munchkin wakes up - and around we go again.
Before you read misery into this, I love this odd little Groundhog Day that we live in. My little'uns, hard work as they are, stun me with their awesomeness in copious little ways daily. They're truely the most incredible things. But that doesn't mean there aren't times where I feel thwarted in living the bit of life that they don't occupy. Because they brutally invade and I seem unable to mount a decent counter attack.
Before I get to the point where resentment creeps in, I want to try and order life a little so that a space reappears for me to occupy solo. Or to choose to share with another - like my husband, who I miss chatting with about real stuff rather than aforementioned life admin, or friends who are subjected to the split attention and erratic eye contact of a day time parent.
So here I am, writing this on my phone in the dark, my little man asleep on me, trying to pluck up the courage to leave him sleeping on his own. It's the first night of trying. I'm likely to spend the evening thus: Lay solidly sleeping child down carefully, take ten minutes to retract arms, hands, face, ensure top with smell on is nearby and hold breath - as their eyes ping open at the last hurdle and back to square one we go. And that's my evenings for the next few months, I expect.
It's worth the time, I know, and when I look back it'll seem quicker than a blink.
And every time I feel frustrated that I'm picking him up once again, after hours of feeding and rocking and cuddling, I'm going to remember two things:
1. that, we speculate to accumulate - and I must do this for my own sanity,
2. that just two weeks after I can successfully put him down first time and am free by 7.30 most evenings, I'll be lamenting the loss of my extensive cuddles and wishing time wasn't flying by so fast.