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I’ve begun to realise that life with a baby is one bumpy ride of good patches and bad – often nothing to do with the baby but life in general – and that I am now most definitely in a good patch.
Casting aside the challenges of teething, illness and lack of sleep which never seem to go away, there is a lot to be gained from feeling positive and looking on the bright side of life etc.
Take last weekend for example. I realised I’m having a good patch when, on Saturday afternoon, I happily marched out the door with Arthur, despite the FREEZING conditions, in order to give my husband time to get some work done.
In the past I used to resent the fact that he needs time to work at the weekends, while I continued with the same routine of childcare that I did during the week. But now that I am freelancing and have put Arthur in childcare two days a week, I have less reason to mind.
Because my husband runs his own business, since having Arthur the weekends have often become a bit of a battleground for him to have time to get work done and me to negotiate blocks of time without Arthur so I can enjoy a bath, or get some cleaning done.
I‘m not saying that we never make time to do quality things as a family – we do – but for the majority of weekends we just don’t have time to do family stuff as much as we’d like.
However, now that I am able to pop to the shops without the baby and get those annoying bits of personal admin done during the week – so liberating – I found I had no qualms about leaving the house on Saturday.
Also, I had the perfect place to go on a freezing February day. Don’t laugh but it’s a pub – a pub with a playroom to rival any of the baby groups we go to!
The Florence in Herne Hill is one of those amazing places parents can go to to have a civilised afternoon while their children play in a separate room, although until they’re old enough you obviously need to stay with them – and no drinking is allowed in there (unfortunately).
Arthur is much steadier on his feet now, so would probably be ok by himself while casually observed through the glass wall, but I was happy to sit in there and read my book while he played cookers and tried to eat plastic food.
My husband joined us at about 4.00pm and took over in the play room while I enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine. Then we had a nice family dinner before strolling home in the cold evening air.
Even though it was only a couple of hours, my new positive outlook about family life means that even if finding time will always be a battle, spending it together as a family is more about quality than quantity.
And the snow on Sunday meant no excuse but to all head to the park – freezing but fabulous!