From the moment I am woken at sunrise by a child I am catapulted into the day with one eye continually on the time and the other on what needs to be done now and next. It’s a hamster wheel of chores and demands being levelled at me until bed time when the house is restored to quiet and calm and soft lighting.
My girls are my world, they literally rock it and have brought with them a meaning that I doubt would have been felt without their presence. I love them separately and individually but the same. Smiles can make my heart burst and tears can break it.
What works for us is a routine, we know what is coming next. The good thing about a routine, is that we are in a routine. The bad thing about a routine, is that we are in routine.
By the time 7pm strikes in our house, pyjamas are on, warm milk is being drunk and sleepy heads are being lifted into their beds. It’s that time of the day I look to knowing calm and peace will be restored. Toys are put away, cushions put back and my space is tidy.
I eat my dinner in peace, I watch my programmes and i read online articles without distraction. In the three hours each night I have to myself while my babies are in bed I can feel the restorative work doing its magic. I’m like a battery on charge.
Sometimes my mind will think back over the days events and irrationally dwell on any moments I should have been a better parent. I always think i can do better and will try harder tomorrow. I think this is what people refer to as Mummy Guilt. Doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, you feel it. You want the very best for them.
By the time I check on them in their beds and I hear their warm breath in the quiet I find myself marvelling at them in wonder. They look so peaceful, so still. I’m tempted to pick them up and cradle them, shower them with kisses. I’m tempted to wake them to tell them how much i love them, to read and play with them.
I will stroke their faces and touch their warm hands, should they stir and look like they might actually wake I freeze. I don’t make a move. I even stop breathing to lessen the quiet. I back out of their rooms slowly, terrified I might actually wake them because as much as I adore my girls, I need those few hours each night to listen to the ephemeral quiet.