On Saturday morning, my mostly-lovely husband said to me: ‘I want you to have a couple of hours to yourself this morning, go into town and I’ll take the kids for a long walk with the trailer’. Really? Time to myself? OMG. I RAN, obviously.
Spent a lovely hour in Pret with a latte, breakfast items, and the paper, then wandered round looking for properly opaque leggings that pale wobbly thighs don’t show through. No pushchair, baby or small person to manhandle, cajole and bribe with rice cakes and the promise of stickers. None of the general impossibility of clothes shopping with children. I used the escalator rather than queuing for the one lift in M&S, even! I didn’t buy anything, it was just blissful to wander round with space in my head.
Now I’ve got two children, these little bubbles of time out are rare and precious. The space and peace to read the newspaper with a coffee and window-shop. It doesn’t sound like much, but when I got home, to two happy and fresh-aired babas and a grateful-to-be-relieved husband, I felt like I’d had a mini spa-break or something. Not to say that I don’t want to go back to Pennyhill Park very soon, but even a couple of hours to myself meant I spent more time smiling than barking for the rest of the day.
Everyone wins when mummy’s calm and relaxed. As my amazing coach Lee Chalmers once said to me, there’s a reason why parents on aeroplanes are told to put an oxygen mask on themselves before their children.