'Just four days until the holidays,' I found myself muttering under my breath this morning as I tried to take a shower in peace. That peace being broken repeatedly by eldest daughter, first, needing a wee, then a 'number two', then teeth brushing, by which point the hot water had seemingly gone and I had given up on the shower idea altogether. I long for the holidays, I have missed my little girl so much since she started school, I can't wait for lazy days with nothing to do and nowhere to be. I shall be pleased to see the back of the mental mornings, screaming at her to find her socks or shoes, in an attempt to be out of the door at precisely 8.10 (NEVER happens). It was only once I had waved her off into class and the toddler and I made our very slow stroll back home that I suddenly realised how easily I say that now, 'I can't wait until,' 'I wish it could be this now..' If I really think about it I have been wishing time away fairly constantly.
Five years ago when my first tiny bundle of joy was tentatively placed into my arms I practically felt my insides turn to mush, so full of love but so full of worry. For nine whole months you worry about your pregnancy going well, anticipating that day when your baby will be safe in your arms. When that moment comes however, you realise how easy it was to care for them on the inside, compared to all the dangers in the outside world. So the worrying begins, having already been an anxious person pre kids, trust me, now I can have days where I don't stop worrying.
It began straight away, I didn't want to put her down in her Moses basket, she was so small, I worried endlessly about cot death, was she too hot, too cold, too many layers or not enough? She had colic and reflux, would she be sick in the night and choke and I wouldn't be awake to help her? I looked at parents with older babies, 'they are so lucky, they have made it through this phase,' I would think to myself, 'they don't have to worry'. But once you are over one phase of worrying then another begins; climbing toddlers; will they hurt themselves, at nursery; are they being looked after, at school; are they happy? And so with each phase comes the inadvertent wishing it would be over. On sleepless nights I can't help but daydream of days when they sleep through the night. When they are curled up with a bug I look forward to next week, when they are well again, and I try so hard not to, but every Monday, as we rush to school, no doubt in the rain, I am already looking forward to the weekend.
Will there ever be a point in my life when I can stop wishing it away? Of course here and there we have days that I don't want it to end; sunny days on the beach where we are all together, happy and well, or cosy Sunday afternoons snuggled up on the sofa with hot chocolate, watching a favourite film. It seems these days are few and far between. Last week I sat down after a hard day of school runs in the rain, girls with snotty noses, horrible bills to pay and I said to my husband, 'let's run away, let's just sell everything and go on an adventure- see the world, where we can be together everyday and nothing would get in the way.' It's a lovely thought, a beautiful daydream, but my husband is a practical man, and I was soon reminded that I would no doubt worry even more if we didn't have regular jobs with regular money so we could always feed our children. Or if we were stuck in a country where I couldn't speak the language with a sick child, it's not quite the same as just being on holiday.
Following this stark reminder, that the grass always seems greener on the other side, I decided instead of wishing the tiny stressful moments away, I shall instead try to embrace each day for what it is. I will always worry, it's what I do, but what happens, happens, whether I worry about it or not. So I shall endeavour to kiss my girls 'sore bits' and think, 'they are here and they are safe' instead of, 'I wish this pain would be over.' As we rush to school in the wet I will do my best to make it fun, splash in the puddles and dance in the rain, instead of picturing us home and dry at the end of the day. As much as we say that we shouldn't take it for granted, every time we wish a little something away we are taking it for granted. I know it won't be easy, but these are my girls and one day they will have flown the nest to start new lives, largely without me, and so it's time to take the bad with the good and to make every little moment count, because one day I won't be able to anymore.