I have to admit to getting easily wrapped up in what can feel like the everyday drudgery and exhaustion of being a part time working mother of a young toddler and a pre-schooler. I don’t like to think of myself as ‘glass half empty’ or a pessimist, negative-thinker, etc, etc, but sometimes I guess someone who doesn’t know me better might be mistaken for thinking that I am that way inclined due to the fact that I sometimes air negative feelings in public forums instead of trying to project a relentlessly cheerful and upbeat portrait of my life at all times. In actual fact it gets me down when I’m around an ‘Eeyore’ personality and makes me realise that in practice, I err on the side of positivity and always try to remember that life is not just a flat line but a series of ups and downs, good times and bad times.
This past weekend I have been reminded of some of the nicer parts of this parenting experience. Saturday morning we all got up early, pulled on some clothes and drove over to the hubster’s current favourite Park Run – a 5k run organised on Saturday mornings in parks throughout the UK – open to all, no obligation, no competition, just a chance to improve on your own time each week. On the way we picked up my nine-year-old step daughter who had expressed an interest in doing the run with her dad. It was a beautiful, crisp, sunny and frosty November morning and, although I wasn’t running myself, it was just pleasant to be outside in such glorious autumn weather. After the run, all of us (including the hubster’s parents) headed over to the nearby leisure centre for lattes & babyccinos all round.
Next up on the agenda – home for EJ to have a quick nap before the kids and I headed into town for their friend’s 3rd Birthday Party at Mccy D’s – one of the only ‘soft play’ venues you can book for your children to have exclusivly to themselves on a busy crowded Saturday (Christmas Light Switch On by Katy from Cbeebies “I Can Cook” – more popular than you might imagine) – and no-one’s going to turn their noses up at ‘Al McDonald’s’ Happy food either! Below: the two of them enjoying party bag treats!
The next part of my day was more unusual for me nowadays, a little bit exciting too – a solo trip to the cinema to see real grown up fare! I managed to get the hubster to agree to take the reigns for a couple of hours so that I could see what all the fuss was about with so-called film of the year “Gravity” (in 3D).
Edge of the seat stuff with a chain of events in space leading to a ponder of sorts on the nature of humanity, isolation and the psychological necessity of human connection. I guess John Donne didn’t write “No man is an island” for no reason. As someone who, pre-kid, used to pride herself on being a bit of a (minor) film buff, it felt really good to be able to finally get back into that world, if only for a short 90 minutes. I look forward to more of the same in the near future.
When I finally resurfaced at home it was getting dark outside and I had promised to take JJ out to our town’s two-week delayed firework display. After tea and putting EJ to bed we both headed out of the door with our pocket torches and walked up to the park where loud music was blasting out and flashing lights in the form of fairy wands, light sabres, glowing angel haloes and random batons blinded you wherever you looked. This event boasts a special ‘children’s display at 6.45 set to the music from Cbeebies (I know – ear worm, right? But the children loved it). Unfortunately, having paid £10 for the two of us to basically enter a park and watch ten minutes of flashing lights, there wasn’t much else that I was willing to splash out on. I did however succumb to a £2 multicoloured flashing baton which JJ was pretty excited about! Considering public firework displays don’t allow sparklers anymore it was the best we could do (pity though – it now feels like waving a sparkler is an experience filled with nostalgia for a simpler time, singed fingers aside).
JJ was pretty good about going straight to bed when we got home and I then watched an episode of ‘Misfits’ on C4OD before crashing out, exhausted myself, but for all the right reasons, and counting my blessings for family, friends, health and happiness.