I’ve been extremely busy and just a bit preoccupied the past week or so and it’s fair to say I’ve neglected my usual maternal duties, or even any sense of duty except to myself if I’m honest. It’s a bit of a baptism by fire this week then, as I find myself single-parenting again during one of the worst and certainly the longest sandstorms in my time here. Even as we creep towards March the weather is still good, stunning even, except the past four days have seen our entire garden and house covered in sand over, and over, then over again. I hate sand. It gets everywhere and our garden is covered. The fake grass can’t be played in until I arrange for it to be vacuumed and the parks are still too blowy to be fun to run around in. And quite honestly the last place I want to go with my son to play is in a playground consisting entirely of sand with a slide, a couple of see saws and a sandpit in it. A sandpit in a sandpit in a sandpit. No thanks.
So the past day or so we’ve spent indoors, and what a great time we’ve had of it. My son is getting to the age now where you can actually start to have fun, I mean proper fun, doing all sorts of silly things to fill the time. Top of the list has been playing in the ‘blue house’ aka a pop up tent usually reserved for the beach. It’s been really great to watch him use his imagination and fill the tent with ‘sleeping’ stuffed toys, toys that are being ‘good’ and therefore are allowed in, and on occasions, Mummy, who must be forced to knock at the door before entering and then not allowed to leave under any circumstances unless it involves ice cream.
We have skyped family for hours, played the piano as loudly as possible, and had picnics in front of the TV for lunch. We have done drawing and I have watched, amused, as he struts around the house with a pad of paper making ‘lists’ that mainly consist of snippets of my own meal planning and shopping lists. I have spent a considerable amount of time rescuing our various electronic devices from being a) procured for imaginary play that will undoubtedly end in breakage or b) if they aren’t portable, ruined by having shoelaces, drink mats, or other suspect objects poked into them.
I look back to last week when I was merely a person acting on the stage for a few days and I do miss the freedom and the individuality it gave me, a chance to lose the mummy shackles for a short time and be just ‘me’. But today I realise I am taking just as much pleasure from hanging out with my little boy this week as I did last week by not hanging out with him. Being away has renewed my enthusiasm to be here. It proved to me that a change is as good as a rest – and I must continue to find this balance in my life, because I really do enjoy being a mum a lot more when I’ve had some time to be myself too.