There are moments when you wish everyone would leave you alone. Just half an hour more sleep, a trip to the toilet without small followers, a shower by yourself so you can shave your legs, a quiet moment to read the paper and have a cup of tea without fear of spilling it on a child.
It is in those moments that our family has established a little tradition that has made a world of difference, not just to me, but also to my kids and to my partner.
We have our pram set up at the front door ready to go. It has nappies and wipes in our carefully packed Nappy bag. My partner is a “man’s man” and baulked at the one that we had for my daughter. We ended up getting a black one that I am happy to use, but so is he.
I keep a bunch of snack bars in there all the time along with sunscreen and insect repellent. I always have fruit chopped in little containers for school and am willing to sacrifice one or two of those for a moment’s peace. Throw in the water bottles or baby bottles if they’re little, and they’re off.
Over the last year, they have progressed from little fifteen minute walks around the block, to outings with scooters and bikes that range from parks to local mulberry trees. They have discovered a mutual love of dinosaurs, an interest in how things work and insects. I used to throw in a baby wrap to cover the pram when the little man fell asleep, but these days it gets used as a makeshift picnic rug.
When all three of them come home, they have had fun, they’re tired and usually the little one is ready for a nap. I have had my alone time, and I’m ready to not just love them, but like them again.