I didn’t take huge amounts of maternity leave with either of The Boys. Partly that was a financial decision because the little buggers required food and a place to live and clothes to shit all over. It was also because working something I needed to do for my own sanity. There are people who are wonderful at spending all their time with their children. Patient people. Kind people. Empathetic people. People whose knees aren’t so fucked that they can actually sit on the floor to play for significant periods of time.
The Little One was ill recently and Mr H had already gone to work before we knew about it. This meant me working from home with a sick child. Never ideal but doable. I got him settled on the sofa with the holy trinity of poorly child requirements; unlimited Disney films, a duvet and a sick bowl. Sorted.
Earlier today it occurred to me to check when I started writing Sons Over the Yardarm, and bugger me, it’s exactly a year ago today! I confess I timed it a bit badly in many respects. The Boys are actually becoming marginally less annoying than they used to be (or at least are annoying in less amusing ways) but there we have it. Regardless, an anniversary should be marked. Usually, of course, I’d use any manner of anniversary as an opportunity to get pissed, but Dry January is in full swing and there is only so celebratory you can feel when sober, even if you go nuts and drink Cherryade out of a posh glass.
Ah, January. Christmas is a twinkly memory and everything is a bit rubbish. Nothing new there, we’ll get through it like we always do. Head down. Dry January. Netflix on. Tea in hand. No bother. This too shall pass. The more annoying thing is the endless bloody magazine articles on New Year’s Resolutions, and “self-improvement” and, God help us, fucking “wellness”. And it’s not ideas on how to lose half a stone anymore. I can get behind that. It’s just mad shit. The Saturday Times Magazine this weekend has an article that started off with me rolling my eyes and ended with me readings sections aloud to the cat in utter incredulity.
I don’t really raise my children. I’m very much a part-timer when it comes to parenting. I should probably feel terribly guilty about this. And occasionally I do. Sort of. Mostly, I’m fine with it. I’m a big believer in playing to your strengths and I learned during the long, long (oh so fucking long) days of maternity leave that being with The Boys all day, every day, is not one of my strengths. Certainly not in the way that drinking gin, swearing and masterminding outstanding combinations of nibbles are my strengths, anyway.