An Extra 45 minutes/45-minute shift

9th August, 2018

I've just got back this afternoon from a lovely few hours in Styal (Quarry Bank) with a good friend, and so have had my 'Lisa fix', the boost I get from her company and encouragement. I've realised how vital it is for my mental health (Dad calls it 'psychological Vitamin D') to see my good friends. And I think this is especially true for all mums. As a full-time mum (still looking for a term which describes that, which I like, by the way), I can spend much of my day out of the company of adults. And I need that fix, that boost, that encouragment that I'm doing a good enough job, to be okay... I've had my 'Lisa fix' twice this week, from two of my brilliant Lisas, and it has done me no end of good. I would heartily recommend this 'friend fix' for all mums. And a regular fix at that. And this afternoon was much needed, after I was in another 'grump' this morning.


What might have happened, you could ask? Well, only this. I woke up about 6ish and Isaac needed his usual early-morning feed. Fine. But then I had a thought... what if I got up? I've heard that it can change your life to get up an hour before the kids and have the hour to yourself. I've only done it as many times as I can count on one hand. So... I was torn. I did really want to go back to my duvet - but the thought of a magical dawn-imbued 45 minutes of solitude, downstairs, in the lounge? Hmm. What would I even do with it? Who knew?





Okay, I was decided. I even managed to get Isaac asleep on the mattress on the floor, so he couldn't roll off the bed. Success. Then I crept to the loo... Unsuccessful. Grace woke up. She wanted to come in. Then she started chirping, in her not-fully-awake way that she has, that she wanted to finish off her breakfast from yesterday morning. 'Shhh', I was saying, as we descended, breakfast-bound. 'Don't wake Isaac.' Too late. One crying babe. Right. So I went back up, collected Isaac and went to get Gracie's outfit (at least I could get some fresh, morning air) and ... felt the familiar sensation of warmth on my hip. What is it with these nappies?? Pampers Plus? They are supposed to be fail-proof!


So that was my morning. Within twenty minutes both were crying about one thing or another and the Ikea table I had set up with Mickey and Minnie Mouse 'reading' their (Usbourne even!) books was only semi-successful. Sigh. Will I ever be a non-grumpy person, ever again? And if so, when?? And if so, will it still involve chocolate?


But Styal was just the tonic. Just being outside, amongst tall trees - even if I did get there early and neither the cafe nor the upper garden were open, and I was really hungry - was 'balm to the soul.' I'd recommend days like that to all parents at home. And then I had a double tonic with a friend like Lisa. Just what the Grump Doctor ordered.  Grace's sentence for today: 'Say thank you to your sister, Isaac' (me) 'He can't really say thank you , Mummy.' Thank you, Gracie. Always good to be given a reality check.

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