My husband is away at the moment. Most women might take this as an ideal opportunity to don matching underwear and go out in search of excitement. Not moi. For me it’s an ideal opportunity to stay at home, wear my old pyjamas and go to bed early with a good book. There is nothing (well, almost nothing) quite as exciting as the prospect of a long, hot bath with lots of nice smelling bubbles, clean sheets and a bed filled with things I have been longing to read all week, such as a New York Review of Books article I’ve been trying to finish since November (why do they make them so LONG?), Elle Magazine and Life of Pi.
The problem with having a husband and children is they’re time-consuming. I’m sure if you asked the average mother what she misses most one of the answers would be “time to myself.” Time to paint my nails, put on a face pack, weed the garden, write a letter, watch Desperate Housewives; whatever. Obviously not all at the same time, good as we are at multi-tasking. The fact is though that once you have children you’re no longer your own boss.
Anything can happen at any time. You no longer even dictate when you sleep. If one of them feels like interrupting your night, they do. And if they want to get up at 6 am, well bad luck. If you have more than one child of course there is the added unpredictability of when they might suddenly decide to murder each other.
This lack of control even extends outside the home. I just dropped the children off at school and was having a nice chat with Bea’s teacher when Olivia decided to pat the teacher’s stomach and interrupt our conversation with the question: “Are you pregnant?” Bea’s teacher is a man.
I may have to take to my bed to recover….
copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007