It’s the school holidays. We’ve just finished breakfast. The pyjama-clad kids have scarpered. I clear away the bowls, wipe the table and start to unload the dishwasher.
I pause. Waiting.
But it didn’t come.
No yell of “wee wee!” or “poo poo!”
No shriek of children bashing and smashing each other.
Just children playing.
That’s when I realised.
A year ago, it was IMPOSSIBLE to empty the dishwasher after breakfast. I’d try. I’d start. I’d stop to see to some disaster, change a nappy, get a child dressed, prevent world war three.
I’d start again. Pull out a clean cup. I’d stop.
I’d start again. Pull out a clean plate. I’d stop.
I’d start again. Put in a dirty bowl. On top of all the clean ones.
I’d easily loose track of what I was doing and start packing the dirty plates in the half emptied dishwasher.
Creating work, not doing it.
It seemed like I could never get a job done. Everything was left half-finished, half-done. Still waiting for me to return.
At times, I felt overwhelmed. Piles of laundry, mountains of dirty plates, dinner needed cooking and I couldn’t get to any of it.
I couldn’t actually get a job done.
But now, I can see a change. It’s only subtle. If I squint my eyes, I can see a slight shift of focus.
I’m not saying life is “easy”. I have 4 young children with an average age of 4.5 (yes, do the maths.) They need lots of help.
Sometimes they drive me crazy. My son won’t let me put him down while I’m trying to cook dinner. Those shouts of “wee wee” and “poo poo” always seem to correlate with when I’m half way through chopping an onion or balancing a steaming hot pan on the edge of the sink.
The children squawk, the children play, the children squabble.
That is life with kids.
It’s not easy but it’s not dull either.
If you are struggling with young children, remember that it will get easier. As they grow, day to day life becomes easier and they become more independent.
Remember to enjoy ALL of it. I know it’s not easy but it’s LIFE.
And life is awesome.
I close the dishwasher with a click. The children are all playing in the living room, piling pillows on top of each other.
I idly wonder if I can convince them to get dressed.
I doubt it!
Life hasn’t changed that much.
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