One Peaceful Evening
As I am writing this, the house is quiet. The usual things are whirring in the background of course. The washing machine because I chucked in a nappy wash, the TV – although I think I may turn that off soon and have a peaceful read, the odd snuffle from the baby monitor and there’s the dog’s snoring. But the children are asleep and my husband has gone out for the evening.
There are some days I crave this peaceful time like a recovering addict, freedom to just curl up and turn my brain off. To allow myself to have space and remember a fraction of the woman I was before I was a Mum. Not that I ever want to be her again, but there are days I miss her. There are also days where it’s a great time to be productive and get some work done too.
Parenting takes us all by surprise, the intensity, the exhaustion, the whirl of emotions. From the intense, all-consuming love to the crazy frustration. There are some days I think that young children sleep for a long time because it is nature’s way of helping parents survive. Days when I start counting down until bedtime from lunchtime, because my children are driving me so ridiculously crazy.
One of my favourite times is when we sneak into our children’s rooms just before my husband and I go to bed and check on them. Children look so angelic when they sleep, so amazingly wonderful. I sometimes just look and think.. I made you and that’s amazing.
Then there’s that moment where a wail of a cry comes through on the baby monitor and I think, no, not now, I just need to get this done or I just need to rest, or even finish my dinner and I feel guilty. There are other evenings where I think the house seems too quiet, like it’s missing something.
The greatest thing about parenthood that took me by surprise is how fast it seems to be passing. How is my oldest nearly 4? I watched him at his swimming lessons last week, he got a bit overwhelmed with it all, then the teacher called him the wrong name by accident and he crumbled. Full on sobs in the pool. The teacher pulled him into his arms, and comforted him and I realised I needed to step back, it wasn’t the time for me to swoop in. I could be a good Mum in this instance by letting someone else comfort my child and allowing him learn and to see that he could do this. In a year he will be at school, and I am so not ready for him to go yet. But parenting is a process of slowly letting go and giving your children the skills to flourish on their own.
So as I sit here for my much anticipated quiet evening, I must remember if a cry comes, for whatever reason it may be, to embrace it because in years to come I will have a quiet evening and wish I was running up to comfort a crying child instead.