Sometimes I feel like I’m in a scene from About a Boy – my time is now divided into units and I repeat each unit a certain number of times a day. For the past five months, typically I wake, hang out with our son during breakfast, see my husband and him out the door, feed our baby girls, clean the house while they sleep, feed them again, go for a walk and buy the day’s grocery(ies) and a coffee, play with and feed them again, do laundry and dinner while they take a long nap set the table as they’re waking up and (you guessed it) feed them again just as my husband arrives home with our son for dinner, playtime, bath time, milk and storytime and then I feed the girls as he gets tucked in, we play with the girls together for a couple of hours and they head off to bed leaving Cam and I thirty precious minutes of conversation and catch up time before I become comatose.
So why aren’t I going crazy? Why do I still love this so much? I think its because I feel oddly proud of myself for getting cool meals on the table each night, for having empty laundry baskets and a clean house and babies that giggle and even though I still have thighs that jiggle and black circles under my eyes I feel like the fact that I can produce for our family makes me an accomplished person. I thrive on planning meals that will be more than just ho-hum dinners, planning get-togethers that will engage us, our friends and our kids at the same time, planning events with details that will leave our guests with a special memory or a unique takeaway.
Don’t get me wrong – about once a week I ask myself when I’m gonna get off this ride. I miss dinners after 8pm and lingering over wine with friends or my husband for hours. I miss showers that last longer than three minutes and shirts that are not tattooed with unidentified white substances. I miss not having to explain everything I do from going to the bathroom to making tea to our two-year old. But ultimately I love this. I love that Charlotte sits quietly and raises her eyebrows when I look her way and her whole face smiles when I wink at her now. I love that Kate can be screaming, tears streaming down her red face and it will end in a rainbow of a huge toothless smile just like that when I pick her up. I love “lelo” (lego) with Matty and that he always wants to hold his sisters hands and for “kake kake and sharlot” to smile for him. I love love love my husband who can make me laugh at our crazy life all the while holding one baby and playing trains with our son. I love treating them to a not-always clean but always entertaining and creative house with good food and a balance of fun and values. The fact that we can still actually have people over with three children under two is a treat in itself. Does that make me a throw back Mrs Clever? I don’t think so. I think there is a new brand of woman out there that can do it all, almost. I think loving home-life is not weak, it’s in fact pretty cool. Because we can re-brand those units of time so that the ordinary regiment of life is inspired and extraordinary.
This little story is about our life – the five of us. Its about how the finer things don’t have to be forgotten when you have a busy household of children and working parents – and how we can still entertain, cook, delight, be polite and enjoy the friends and family that endure us. It’s a mix of our stories, great finds, and how we ensure that etiquette and our own brand of fine living still exist alongside our crazy little clan of Cam (husband) Matty (just turned two-year old son) and Charlotte and Kate (twins 5 month old daughters) … now THAT’s entertaining.