In every job, there are pros and cons. It’s best to start this series being honest about the drawbacks and benefits of flying solo. Sometimes they blend into one situation.
At the moment I have a palava with the toddler getting dried after her bath and then into her pajamas every single night. It sounds cute. Well after a 12 hour day it is not. It’s just irritating. Bath time runs smoothly (once she’s in, there’s usually a protest getting in and then getting out) and then getting the toddler into her pajamas is like trying to get a drugged up jellyfish into a caboo carrier.
Tonight, after a good 5 minutes of ‘drugged-up jellyfish’ (a term now to be added to the Mummy Rules dictionary), she eventually played ball: using a section of my hair to support herself whilst getting her legs into her bear-printed bottoms. Ouch.
Yes, ouch! Most of the hair stayed on my scalp, luckily.
As I endured the pain for the sake of progress, I meditated on this: the gin and tonic I would soon be sipping in front of Pretty Little Liars.
I would close the children’s bedroom door, strip naked, get into my dressing gown, pour gin and press the Netflix button all within the space of a few seconds. The dream was not far away…
Soon I had forgotten about my scalp pain, and then I was back in the room. Toddler was demanding her toothbrush. After making a big scene of putting her toothbrush back into each available toothbrush holder hole option and changing her mind several times (there are 4 holes, mine was the only one in there because my goddamn – I mean DARLING husband – isn’t here, and the baby has only got 2 teeth) we eventually zoomed towards her bedroom for storytime and bed.
Minutes later I was in HEAVEN with my canned gin and the Netflix button. Every bit of me ached (particularly my scalp), I’d had a particularly stressful day (not just the kids, other shizznicks) and to be quite honest I was feeling really down in the dumps – not in a depressed way, more of an FFS/I’m knackered/AGAIN/grumpy way. It was at that moment a GOOD thing that my husband hasn’t then returned from work.
I didn’t need anything other than Netflix and gin, nothing else could make me feel better. And after a day’s work did he really want to come into a grumpy knackered wife? (Really G?!?)
So. The pros and cons of a typical evening flying solo:
You don’t have to speak to anyone at the end of the day: this is essential recharging after a day of constantly repeating your words and sentences. It also means you won’t sound like a whinging cow because you don’t have anyone to whine to.
*Unless you text your husband saying you’ve “had a shit day and feel like shit!!!! and yar-da-yar-da-ya-da….” I used to do that but most of the time I don’t bother now, because I realize I’m just giving myself bad press when in fact I’ve been absolutely flipping fabulous getting through a tough day and having happy (ish) children that are safe and fed etc. And most of my hair is still on my scalp.
Also, it doesn’t make me feel better. It can make me feel sad, angry, resentful, lonely. So I’ve stopped text moaning. If it’s been that bad I just message: ”goodnight ” and pick up the remote. It also means the next day, the day before isn’t hanging over me on my phone messages.
You can watch whatever you want on Netflix and no one will judge (out loud or silently). I’ve just finished Gossip Girl and now I’m all over PLL. In those moments, I’m a glossy-haired, popular 16-year-old with issues about who to go with to Prom.
You don’t have to think about dinner – you can just eat a lump of cheese (see my future post on Meals).
You can go to bed at 8 pm and just go straight to sleep.
You can starfish in the bed.
You don’t get a cuddle.
You have to clear up the trail of mess from the daytime to bathtime, to bed all by yourself. That sucks.
You have to either cook for yourself or eat badly. The first is a tiring short term. The second makes you tired long term (low in iron, certain vitamins etc, vicious circle).
You can get addicted to Netflix. It’s serious.
The bed is cold. I’m not being melodramatic, it is bloody cold! I have to put dressing gowns on top of our duvet or sometimes put an electric blanket on in August.
You could run out of gin. It happened to me once.
Stay tuned for my next post, it will have useful tips, I promise…