Friday, 25 April 2014

They're Only Young Once (or Why My House Looks Like Landfill)

I was laying bed this morning with an impeccable little angel dosing beside me, when it occurred to me that any normal person would probably use that time to perform some chores. With a small baby demanding my attention almost constantly, housework has become a bit hit and miss, and I'm probably only a few days from environmental health stepping in. 

When Blake was very young, he slept a lot and I spent an awful lot of time watching him do so. Nowadays he sleeps very well at night, but barely at all in the day, and housework generally has to be carried out in frantic ten minute increments whilst himself is suitably distracted by Mr Tumble; today it took me three hours just to finish cleaning the bathroom. Most of the time though, it just gets left. Not because I'm a tramp, just because I'm usually doing something else. Like playing. 

I had been feeling pretty guilty about my lack of domestic harmony. Mostly due to the fact that my poor husband works all day, and then comes home to find me sat in chaos like Stig of the Dump, grinning with baby sick on my shoulder. He smirks as I try to justify what I've been doing all day, Netflix betraying me with my 'recently watched' list. 

It has gotten to the point where, on the odd occasion that I do manage to have a good clear up, I have to fight the very real urge to invite over every single person that I know. I want to ring every contact in my phone and say, "Come for dinner! The house is clean and I don't want you to miss it!" After today's bathroom clean, I almost went out into the street and flagged down strangers to come and use our toilet. 

It wasn't until this morning, lying next to my slumbering Prince, that I realised that I've nothing to feel guilty about. I could have gotten up and used the time to mop the kitchen floor or fold some washing, but the other option was to lie there with my baby. He was cuddled up to me in that special way that he does first thing in the morning, my nose in his mouth, and there was nothing in the world that could have persuaded me to leave him. During the day, when I drop everything to tickle a giggling baby on his play mat, I know that I've absolutely got my priorities straight; and the fact that I'd rather dance around my kitchen for entertainment purposes than clean it doesn't make me a bad person.

Childhood is fleeting, especially these very early months, and sometimes we forget to make the most of it. We're so busy worrying about what we think we ought to be doing, we neglect to make the most of the things that are really important. Before you know it, they're grown up and you're lucky to get a brief hug, let alone have them fall asleep using your nose as a dummy. So, with that in mind, I've decided to stop feeling guilty: I've nothing to feel guilty about. After all, the housework will still be there in the morning, but every cuddle I miss will be gone forever, and I want to catch as many as I can.

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