Wednesday, September 19, 2007

eyes wide shut

Well, it’s been a long couple of weeks of things happening and I haven’t had much focus or will or anything but here we are in the middle of the cliché that life goes on… and here it is, going on. We’ve actually had some wonderful days here at the end of the summer, with the Spud and friends. We visited the Wetlands Centre in Barnes where the Spud tried to climb dutifully backwards down the slope and into a pond and where he followed the older boys around adoringly and then when he couldn’t keep up, painfully sweetly he played by himself until there were other children to follow. We’ve played in the park, in the garden, in the nursery, in the studio, at other people’s houses, we’re professional players now. We play with blocks and cars and things that go ‘beep’ and things that go ‘bang’ and things that go ‘jangle’ and I’m not just talking about Mummy’s nerves here, although mainly, I suppose, I might be.

I don’t know how all you other Mums out there cope. Really I don’t. Stay At Home Dad once posted that he’d looked longingly at a beer at the Numberjacks hour and I can confirm that not only is that really rather early, it’s also the time at which my vodka receptors tend to have a little twinkle themselves. Not, you understand, that I am making the Spud’s lunch while face-down in the sauce, just that sometimes, on some days, it seems like a tempting choice. I think, if I had even the smallest moment of my own that I might not be so resistant to the attractions of the potato's purest moment however it is astonishing just how much time a good play can take out of the day. I mean, really, by the time we’ve emptied the brick box and knocked down a few towers the morning has disappeared and suddenly there I am in the middle of sandwiches and apple juice and then it’s off to the swings and suddenly it’s time for In the Night Garden and Somebody’s not in bed! Who’s not in bed?

On the days that I work I beetle away down there in my cellar until I happen to glance at the clock and have to lurch up into the light blinking damply to pick up the spud from his Dad after lunch. If I’m very lucky I can sneak in a trip to the shops, or, god forbid, a load of laundry before the afternoon turns into one of those cartoon cyclones with bits of stuff poking out from them – a toy here, a nappy there, an unpaid bill, a dozen grabby fingers and three flailing baby feet, only one of them with a shoe on it. I find myself sitting limply on the sofa at around 9pm having magically scoffed a plate of food that I barely remember because, not having eaten all day, my body has absorbed it before it hit my belly and trying to find something to say to the Frog – who, if he has had child duties that day, is equally washed out.

I was speaking to another Mum today about this and we agree that it’s not actually Motherhood that’s tiring – at least, not with just little spudlet. It’s the rest of life that is tiring. Looking after a child all day is a hoot – wandering around parks and historic buildings, playing with bricks and going on the see-saw. It’s all the other stuff that suddenly seems impossible. Doing any work. Taking the laundry off the line. Paying the bills. Cleaning under the armchairs. Give me a pile of wooden bricks and I’ll amuse myself the spud all day. Give me a pile of laundry and suddenly, I’m exhausted.

Tomorrow I do a few hours work and then it's just me and the Spud with an entire afternoon to waste. Unfortunately we are going to have to waste some of it playing with the vacuum cleaner and so I think I need to get in some extra sleep in preparation. Who's not in bed? I'm not in bed.

31 comments:

Self employed mum said...

You are so right, looking after children is easy it's the housework that makes life difficult, I spoiled myself with a cleaner for a few months and then let her go as I didn't have any spare cash, but boy could I do with her back, working 3 days 9.30-2 and 3 full days 9.30-5, dealing with the kids, who have swimming lessons, Brownies, football and youth club and the house. I keep threatening a full size flip chart with a list of daily and weekly chores to be done that he can feel free to work his way through, he might then appreciate why I'm knackered.

You, like me will get over it and see light at the end of the tunnel, it's just a passing phase, before you move on to the next one. x

Jen said...

So true! When I was pregnant I got a cleaning service, and now I'm addicted. The thought of cleaning the house, when I could be blowing bubbles or taking Dylan to the park, makes me nauseous.

Ivanna said...

:) I can relate. I went from being supermeticulous about sparkly bathrooms, tightly made beds, and over-vaccuumed carpets to piling all the month's laundry on our dining room table and not chocking with horror when..gasp.. there are a few crumbs on the kitchen floor. However, I must say, it gets better. The kids start to learn to put things away, they don't need constant attention so that I can fold the mountains of laundry AND put it away at times :) and, I just made my bed all nice and need this morning! :)

Ivanna said...

ummm.. I meant "nice and neat", of course. I should vaccuum my brain!
:)

Sparx said...

Self Employed Mum - OMG, how on EARTH do you find time to breath? I like the flip chart, might have to try that one...

Jen - I am thinking of doing the same - even if it's only once in a while... having someone clean in the corners would make my damn day.

Ivanna - Sounds like you need your bed too!! Glad to hear it gets better but I'm a long way off.

Thanks for dropping in, everyone.

sufferingsummer said...

This blog resonated with me. I always feel a bit lame when my husband gets home and takes one look around our trashed place and says; "What did you do all day?" with a somewhat confused look on his face because I look as if I must have worked exceedingly hard I'm so exhausted. The playing is fun but it does leave you a bit lacking in the energy area I agree.
Oh and don't go having another baby...this pregnancy thing is all the more tiring whilst chasing a little one around! (of course I say in just, I wouldn't actually want to change a thing!)

Sue said...

I'm so glad V works from home! Makes life that teeny bit less complicated.

Incidentally, I've realised that these days I would mostly rather read some trash while The Bhablet plays next to me. Beats actually playing with him any day.

:)

nutmeg said...

What exhausts me is their constant need to eat. Like three times a day! I clean up from one meal and it's time to start another. Selfish little buggers!

Lindystar the HOR blogger said...

This is the 4th blog I've been to reading about exhausted or exasperated parents just today, and the others aren't even "parent" blogs! WHY does my fiance want children so bad? God help us all.

And Sparx? Sweet dreams when you get there ok? :)

Amy said...

I couldn't agree with this post more! I think my husbands think I'm nutty most the time (which probably has some truth to it) when I am wiped out and begging for sleep at 9 pm. I mean really what DID I do today??? Most days it amounts to 3 hours of working from home...other than that I can't account for much else. But the swimming pool sure is fun!!!

Mike said...

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Threat Assessment & Response Canada said...

Hey, Sparx- looks like you might be famous. :)

My son's early years are a blur. I think I was exhausted every day for years and we're lucky the boy survived it! Walking around half asleep can cause some interesting events from time to time.

Unless someone has stayed home with a child, they don't understand how much time and energy it really takes. The implicit pressure to get the laundry done and clean the floors just adds to the fatigue.

But the little ones are worth it, aren't they!

Suki said...

Well.. I wouldn't know now, would I? But congrats to all you moms for handling things as well as you do. I say every Mom is a supermom! (well... almost. But that doesn't exclude you guys)

and btw.. as for the bloginterviewer.com comment. Please delete it. They're the ones who hacked SM's blog at http://misformommy.blogspot.com . We(me and the Desi Momz club) were all extremely panicked.

lady macleod said...

LOL Oh the memories! Brilliant that you know it's not the playing but the rest of the minutia that is tiring, well done there! I know I have said this before, but enjoy every moment! Not that it won't continue, it will, as he grows it will just be in a different context, but never again so dependent on you. Take a vitamin, drink some expresso, or use my method - hire a housekeeper! Kisses to Spud.

Sparx said...

ack again, I posted responses that never showed up! Here I go again:

Suffering - I can't imagine doing all this AND being pregnant - or doing it with another child. I always wanted at least two children but I'm beginning to see the Frog's point about stoping at one.

Sparx said...

Sue - ah, me too! At least the Bhablet can play by himself... the spud's nearly there.

Sparx said...

Nutmeg - I know!! How DARE they want 3 meals... I mean, II want 3 meals and that's like... six meals! Oh just kidding. I do rather feel like a restaurant already though and I hear it only gets more intensive...

Sparx said...

Lindy - I did have sweet dreams, many thanks. They may have slightly been inspired by your blog though which is always a mistake. Don't worry. When you and the taco reproduce you'll be as exhausted as the rest of us and you won't care either!

Sparx said...

Amy - I'm with you... I have no idea where the day goes. Swimming pool sounds like a great idea... but where do you find the time??

Sparx said...

Mike - thanks. I was really flattered the first time. This time I think you are a bot.

Sparx said...

Laurie - I sure think he's worth it - only time will tell (kidding!). His first year is already a total blur. If it wasn't for this blog I could be persuaded to believe that he was delivered from outer space...

Sparx said...

Suki - thanks for the heads-up... did they really hack a blog? Wild. It's a form invitation definitely, they get one to post one's favourite blogs and then they all get an invitation. Still flattering though as it means at least someone loves one...

Sparx said...

Lady M - in fact, I am just in the process of considering a cleaner. I am also taking vitamins and drinking at least double my RDA of espresso daily... somehow it still doesn't help! Thanks for the reassurance though, I'm looking forward to all the stages really - so far, so good!

Michelle said...

Wow--definitely sounds like my life! I can't get anything done between work, my kids, and the BIG kid--my hubby. I feel like my kids' personal maid/butler. Every 5 minutes, "Mommy! I want...". Being at home is more exhausting than work!

DJ Kirkby said...

STOP being so hilarious about it all, why can't you just be grumpy (like me) once in a while?...hmpfh! BTW what do you work on in your cellar?

Jennie said...

Know what you mean. I used to pull all-nighters all the time. Drinking and dancing til 5 a.m., two hours of sleep, then a ten hour work day: not a problem. But am now knackered after breastfeeding and filing nails for four hours. What gives?

Sparx said...

Michelle - Wow, three of them though... must be exhaustipating! So far I'm knackered with only the one... Good to see you.

Sparx said...

Jennie - ah yes, but breastfeeding is VERY tiring and - what/ You have time to file your nails? With two kids??? That Dante of yours looks like he's got ideas about how to spend his time and I'm sure it doesn't involve you filing your nails!

Sparx said...

DJ! Believe me, I am grumpy as all get-out most of the time! I posted what I do in my last post... you see... terribly dreadfully fearsomely boring.

holly said...

i'm so identifying with the it's-the-rest-of-life-that-is-tiring thing. proverbial nail-hit-on-head!

Sparx said...

Holly - but don't you think it's always been that way, just that now it's thrown into sharp relief!?