It would be easy to look back and wish that the pre-child me had gone out more, travelled further and made every single free weekend count. And I’m not going to lie – I do think that sometimes.
Instead, most of the time, I try to make the most of every day in other ways. Being a parent is the ultimate procrastination killer. You learn to multitask and use your time more smartly from squeezing in an online grocery shop to batch cooking dinners when the children are sleeping. A well-timed nap can see me cleaning, baking, ironing and enjoying a hot mug of tea before my daughter wakes up.
Last year, I went back to work after maternity leave and it took me a while to find any sort of balance between work, being a mum, and managing home life (who knew that four people could create so much washing?). That balance is something I don’t ever think I’ll fully crack, but I’ve now got enough experience of our routine to do my best to achieve it.
By the end of last year, I felt as though I had managed okay in getting most of that balance of work-children-home in place. But there was one crucial part missing – the bit for me.
I, like so many other mothers I know, had put myself at the bottom of the priority list. So at the start of this year, I made a vow to try to carve out a bit more of a life for myself.
- I started walking on my lunch break to help shake off the sluggishness of being at my computer all day.
- I joined a fabulous gym which offered facilities and classes that fitted into our routine and lifestyle.
- I found a marvellous local choir to start using my love of singing and music, which had become a very distant memory.
- I started seizing the opportunities travelling to London for work offers me by watching a show in the West End on the nights I need to stay away from home and miss the children mightily.
These things may be small, but they have helped me to feel like me again.
So while in London for work today I seized the opportunity to visit Tate Britain during my lunch break. I had enough time to take in the works of Turner and an exhibition about Pre Raphaelies on paper and the beautiful architecture. And it was beautiful.