Celebrating Me

Because the world is in the kind of disarray that makes my head spin and because I never do. So I should.

The world is so hard right now. To watch all these scary things happen because of stupid and selfish people, to feel too afraid to step outside the front door and try and claim back bits of the world. It’s true enough, for me at least, that home is the best place to be.

It is my domain. I am in control. It is where I keep safe all the things, namely the people I love the most.

And if I cannot be the woman that floods social media with all the images of the beautiful places I have gone for some peace, I will be the woman that was constructive in all that time she didn’t leave the house.

The final year of my six year part time degree programme with the Open University officially begins the first week of October. To stop my head spinning, to feel busy and fulfilled as one daughter enjoys nursery and the other sleeps (and sleeps, not even sorry!) I have already begun.

I always do. I like to get ahead, to give myself time for stumbling blocks and freak outs when the time comes for writing essays.

So last week, this was me:

Laptop open, baby in my sling top, game face on. (For anyone worrying about Gabster’s position, my arm is beneath her head. She could happily sit up in the sling, but she prefers to throw herself down to be held!) Ultimate multi-tasking! I felt like a proper “working mum” then, because my degree has always been something I work at “for me”, to show my girls that I am not “just” Mum and that it is possible to work at anything they want.

Through lockdown, we have concentrated on the massive list of jobs that need doing to renovate our house. We managed to get the garden redone and a million other little changes that have started to make this place our home.

Coat hooks in the hallway, a letter rack, photos of our wonderful family. New blinds and light fittings, plans for a new coffee table and moving Squidge into the bigger room so she can share with the Gabster and we can turn the box room into the office that apparently every home needs amidst a pandemic. Stupid little things that would never have happened but for all this time with nothing to do and nowhere to go.

I am awful for trying to engage tradesmen for the things Kev can’t do but at least I have time to do it. We’re making changes and progress. My latest job is to get a couple of the windows changed. They’re too high up to legally be allowed to open sideways so only have the little top opening and oh my days, we boil in the summer. But I’m on it. I am. Motivated.

So I may not be at work (though Kev often points out that being Mum is my job and I shouldn’t overlook that) but I do feel very fulfilled just recently. I made a new human for goodness sake. That’s not unique, but it is such an undertaking. I’m keeping a whole family alive, day and night.

As daft and as insignificant as it may seem to some, I get a genuine kick out of knowing that the bottles are washed, the bedding’s clean and dinner’s cooking. Now I’m not daft and Kev and I were equally thrilled when our weekly cleaner came back last week (we didn’t allow them back in May when they returned to work due to my decision to shield the pregnancy). It’s so bloody marvellous neither of us having to kill ourselves physically to keep on top of the house.

It’s back to being my domain and I’m really hitting a stride I think. I can do a grocery shop in under 20 minutes online, can do about 6 different jobs in the kitchen within 5 minutes and I’ve nearly finished Christmas shopping for the year (God bless Amazon is all I can say!)

I really think, as much as I am missing the world, that I have found my domain here. Yes, I miss people, friends and activities, but while this is the one place I know I can feel safe with the people I love most, I will give it my all. It brings me a lot of peace, in uncertain times when it is in short supply, to look around and know that here, I have everything I need. And I did that. Bloody well done me.

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