Since becoming a mum I’ve developed a handy new skill - the ability to do a range of things for myself, in record time.
I think some people call it self-care.
Mum skills are life skills - done faster
Eating can be done in under five minutes and standing up at various points in my kitchen. Usually while making someone else something to eat, or unpacking the dishwasher at the same time. Very often both.
Exercise takes me 20 minutes. A quick whip on the exercise bike in the living room or a yoga session at the buttcrack of dawn, thanks to YouTube.
I can shop for clothes in Target while tracking one eye on the child racing toward the toy section and the other on the child in the trolley waving and sucking a lollipop, with one ear on my phone to a friend and run a mental grocery list.
And let's not forget the ability to take both the normal garbage bag plus the pile of recycling out the back door and down to the bin, using just one hand and NOT dropping a single item.
Yet of all these skills, none remain as impressive as my ability to have a wonderfully restorative conversation with my friend at daycare drop-off in ten minutes.
Yes, just ten minutes.
The exact same amount of time it used to take me to decide what type of drink I’d have while waiting at the bar six years ago.
And just like that lovely, cold quiet glass of pinot I drank six years ago in delightful solitude, the ten-minute chat at daycare can completely transform my day.
How to ditch "mum guilt" on Kinderling Conversation:
All the important things sorted!
We manage to cover everything from what we each did at work that day, how are partners are faring, what the weekend is holding up, the state of our mental health, gym routines, somebody else’s sister’s event, a bit of gossip, and even a philosophical discussion on exactly what life is about.
Phew. It’s exhausting just reading that list and it’s by no means definitive.
The point is, by the time we are walking back out the daycare gate, a child on a leg, prams and several bags in tow – we’re smiling or laughing.
We’ve caught up.
As I turn on the engine and head towards home, I feel restored.
Someone listened to me and I listened to her, and even though at least one of our four respective children were probably screaming something at us at the same time – we heard each other.
All in just ten short minutes.
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