I always wanted to stay home when I had kids. I imagined a life with plenty of time to do things. Play with the kids. Cook nice meals. Lunch at cafes. Take long walks at the parks. Find a new career, work on a new talent, find myself.
Some days are filled with nice things like that, but most are relentlessly busy. Five years on, I'm still surprised by it.
First and foremost, when there are kids in the house all day there is always something to clean, wash or tidy. It's like the Harbour Bridge by the time you get to one end of the house the other end needs tidying again. You've prepared and tidied up one meal and then it's time for another.
There's always piles of washing to do, hang out and put away.
Then there's preschool drop offs and pick ups.
There's always some kind of phone call to be made or chore to be done, which takes 50 times longer with a small child hanging off you.
This week there was a broken windscreen and a dead fridge to deal with.
Then there's shopping, mindlessly dull park visits, lunches to pack, bags to pack, bums to wipe, half-drunk cups of tea to clear, bills to pay, the list goes on.
The only thing I really do for me or that is solely about me is write this blog. Which is usually done while eating breakfast or lunch or, as I'm doing right now, pushing a swing (god bless iPhones!).
I don't mind this life. I don't resent it. Most of the time I enjoy it. Its strangely fulfulling. It's just I'm surprised that five years on I'm still surprised how relentless it is. The lack of time that I thought would be abundant to do things for me. Dreams of pursuing a dream or exercise or reading or anything else are still dreams. Or even to sit and dream is just a dream.
When I worked I had lunch hours or a commute to work to focus on myself. Now life is more about short snatches of time.
Life is infinitely more fun though, in a different way to I expected.