I remember being childless and single. And I relished it.
Around the time I was doing uni and freedom, a lot of my friends were having kids. I clearly recall arriving at dinners, BBQs, parks etc and it took me no longer than 5-6 seconds to get out of the car. Turn car off, grab handbag, out. If I ever (and I often did) arrived at the exact same time as a friend with kids, I’d be inside and half way through my first glass of wine before they were even crossing the driveway. Oh how you may laugh now.
We used to live in China, near Shanghai and would do weekends in Shangers with nary a suitcase. Little backpack, book, go. I still remember our first weekend trip with our first child. I was embarrassed at the amount of stuff we had to take. Made worse in China because you could never guarantee that you could find a forgotten item at the shops. Dummies, bottles, baby food, even nappies were not a given so you had to go prepared for EVERYTHING. Things have eased up just a little now, given the twins are 18 months. If we forget something, it isn’t likely to be an extreme emergency the likes of not having a bottle or 8 spare nappies for a 6 month old. Plus our day care centre does food, which is like an hour of my day I get back.
Leaving the house in the mornings though, my giddy aunt. It is a circus. Imagine being in a really loud nightclub. It’s so crowded you can’t move freely and you are trying to get through with three backpacks, your lap top bag, your work compendium holding a zillion loose bits of paper, your lunch and your thermos coffee cup. Now add two toddlers clinging to your legs. Now add the talented Mr 4 continuing his list of requirements for the farm in his room. Now you have to let your husband know that there’s a really important appointment at 3 that you can’t miss and you need him to get out of work early to pick up the kids, oh and you also are totally out of milk and if someone doesn’t get some today the twins are going to go postal tonight. Your work phone rings. Can’t find your shoes.
You finally get to work, which is like a peaceful, air conditioned, adult nirvana and someone says something like…I don’t know how you manage to handle working with three young children. I don’t know how I’d manage not working with three young kids.