Friday, 31 December 2010

Looking forward

So it's the last day of 2010, a year notable for almost complete lack of blogging from my perspective and complete hectic frenzy on most other fronts. And not because of any life changing events or major projects on the go, nothing that could really be described as IMPORTANT. Only the constant struggle to fit 2 full time working parents (one of whom spends a number of weeks out of the year on another continent), one full time nursery toddler, some family holidays, the bare minimum of home maintenance, extra curricular time for family, friends, swimming lessons and weekly chores, and about 10 minutes every week for a moment to sit down and think, into the last 12 months since I went back to work.

It's actually been a really tough year as well as a wonderful one. Gemma has come on so much in her physical, mental and social development and is a right little lovely monkey now (see for her progress updates) - this past Christmas and 2nd birthday have been fantastic. One of the funniest moments was having lunch out with friends yesterday - after a big bowl of ice cream and much excitedness, Gemma put her spoon down, looked at everyone and said earnestly, "I'm a bit hyper now".

However, I have found it really tough working full time as well as being a full time mother. I don't feel I have deprived Gemma in any real way - I'm sure she would love a day or two extra a week at home with mummy but overall she loves nursery so much and it has brought her on in so many ways that I actually feel they have done a better job than I would have in some respects. After all there is still no designated 'messy play' area in our house for her and I will always veer towards the story reading/walk to the park/swimming/play with toys type of entertainment rather than getting the play dough or pens or paints out. Some of the sweetest moments this Christmas have been late afternoon, on a bit of a wind down from all the chocolate and overexcitedness, snuggled on the sofa with her watching a kids film.

No, it's more the breathing space that I'm missing, and the realisation that actually I am more of a homebody than I had previously thought, and hate not being able to get all the things done round the home that I constantly spot need doing. I find it incredibly frustrating that I don't have the time to sort out the garden or plan stuff that needs to be done around the house or actually finish more than one piece of knitting per 6 month period. Clothes shopping is a furtive 20 minutes at work on the internet at lunchtime. Meal planning for our week is more 'what's in the veg box and how many fishfingers do we have left in the freezer' rather than looking creatively at what we have and browsing a few recipe books for inspiration. And always the nagging guilt that we should be spending much more quality time together as a family at the weekends rather than me martialling everyone from swimming to supermarket to swings to home and nap time while the cleaning is done, repeat ad infinitum...

2011? I don't think it will be much different to begin with. My work year is not going to be any less hectic, for a start. But as Gemma grows up and will become less demanding (maybe not quite yet, but hopefully at some point this year!) maybe we'll be able to plan our out of work lives to be a bit more fulfilling, and I can take pleasure from the little things and stop fretting over the big stuff. After all, we have so much to be thankful for. So thanks, 2010 and hello 2011. May your days be merry and bright.


Kathryn said...

jeepers what a moaning minnie I sound. Maybe it's being in work on New Year's Eve that did it ;o)

Helloitsgemma said...

Thank you for popping into my blog. I read your post and repeatedly nodded in agreement. I hope 2011 finds you more time for your own pleasures. Keep blogging. Lovely to meet you

woe is me said...

You think this is moany, wait until you read the letter that's on its way to you. I'm so pleased to see you're posting again!