Freedom Fridays

freedom
At the moment, I get two hours to myself every week-this is on a Friday when the eldest child is at nursery, and the youngest is having a nap. When he is asleep, I usually do a tiny freedom dance, before trying to prioritise what needs to be done first, usually before falling asleep and doing nothing. Come September, the littlest will be joining the eldest, in what I jokingly named Freedom Fridays, a name which has now stuck. Even more excitingly, we have had confirmation that they will both now be able to attend all day on a Monday too, in what I immediately named March Forth And Be Free Mondays (admittedly not as catchy as Freedom Fridays, but now it’s kind of stuck too.)

I’ve been delirious with excitement over this upcoming freedom, because apart from the odd night out here and there, or an hour or two during the daytime when my mum has babysat so that I could (mostly) run errands, I haven’t had a whole day, just to do what I want, in 3&1/2 years. Instead of a mini freedom dance on these nursery days, I have imagined that I will be fully Mel Gibsoning the shit out of the day, dropping the children off, and running around screaming ‘FREEDOM’ in random stranger’s faces, and generally Bravehearting my way through the day, terrible Scottish accent and all. I’ve been having all kinds of wild musings and daydreams over how I’m going to spend this new found freedom, mostly including the following:

1. Training my body to poo only on a Monday and Friday. It has been an ongoing dream of mine to poo without someone screaming to be held/fed (in the beginning,) to more recently, having a running commentary: ‘Can I see it mummy? Is it massive mummy? If we take it out of the toilet mummy, will it reach the sky? Squeeze it out mummy, squeeze it out.’ Yes, the amusement factor of these conversations has declined at an alarming rate recently.

2. Putting some trashy magazines in the toilet to read while I’m doing my uninterrupted poos.

3. Having a bath that lasts long enough for my skin to go wrinkly.

4. Having a bath that I’ve had time to clean properly beforehand, so that I’m not constantly worried that the little brown thing by my elbow isn’t part of a rogue fleet of excrement deposits, trying to find its way back to the mothership that one of the children left as a poopy present.

5. Drinking all day.

6. Reading an actual book.

7. Long, laid back lunches with the people I’ve attempted lunch with for the last few years, only to have all of us be distracted by our children, and only managing to throw a few flustered words at each other before giving up and going home. Cue, we have repeated this at least once a week for the last 3&1/2 years.

lone poo

(On my phone, enjoying a lone poo)

However, as September creeps towards me at alarming speed, my delirium has started to be overtaken by classic symptoms that have pretty much defined my entire motherhood experience: Panic, and Guilt. Sending the children away for two whole days now seems really selfish, and I’m wondering if I’m doing it for all the wrong reasons. I’ve been really struggling with being a SAHM recently. I’ve felt impatient and angry, and my mood seems to have taken a huge decline. I’m frustrated that I can never get anything done, and the lack of personal space has been making me claustrophobic and panicky-but these are all things that now seem all kinds of wrong, when said out loud.

My children are still at an age where they need me-they need me constantly. Soon, they won’t need me, so shouldn’t I really just be sucking it up, and putting the need for some time and space to myself on hold? I only have two years, then they will both be at school. Surely I have no right to be angry at them for just being children, and I should be grateful that they follow me everywhere, refuse to play on their own, and scream at the top of their voices if I should even leave the room for a split second. It’s what I always wanted-I needed to be needed, I’m sure, deep down in my slightly damaged psyche, I’d probably admit under hypnosis that it’s probably the reason I had them. To now push them away seems flippant.

As a mother, isn’t this what I’ve signed up for? If you give up your job to look after your children, don’t you, well, stay at home and look after them? I know that I set my expectations of being a mum too high, and have been sporting my Dunce hat over what I thought it’d be, to the shocking reality. In my head, it was going to be all Fairy Gardens and adventures, long snoozes in bed together, all at the same time, and constant sloppy kisses. It’s taken me the best part of the last 3&1/2 years to come to terms with the fact that this would never be a reality, and drop my expectations through the floor. I walk around feeling like a constant failure as it is, but guilt and shame are now making me feel even more of a failure because not only have I let go of most of my motherhood dreams, I’m now going to fail at staying at home to look after my children, because someone else will be doing it for two days.

crafts

(Not the crafts and home baked bread I was hoping for…)

I have all these feelings that I’m battling with-Reason tries to fight Panic and Guilt by telling me that if I have a break and some headspace, I’ll be a much better mum on the days I do have the children. Reason says that they may love nursery, skipping in there with a ‘thank f**k for that, finally someone different to that knob,’ at the same time I’m maniacally screaming FREEDOM to random strangers. There’s also the reality of what I’ll actually be doing when they’re at nursery, which is actually nothing from the above list, and will most likely include:

1. Sorting out my tip of a house, which for the last few years, has had any mess laying around, thrown into the nearest cupboard when we have visitors. There is no more space, and the cupboards are groaning under the strain…

2. Making most of the house fit for human habitation… Like I said-there’s been no time to do ANYTHING…!

3. Not having lazy lunches with friends, because none of us will be child free on the same day.

4. Just doing a quick poo because so much else needs doing.

5. Not drinking all day, because picking the children up half cut will make me look like a terrible parent.

6. Initially, the reasoning behind the two days in nursery was so that I could retrain, ready for re-employment when the children are both at school, only problem with that is that I still do not have a CLUE what I want to do with my life…

hired

(Errr, or not, as the case may be…!)

Reason also tells me that I’m possibly over thinking the whole thing, and to just go with the flow… Wish me luck for September!

reflections from me

33 Comments

  1. August 7, 2016 / 6:40 pm

    I have Wednesday morning weight Watchers. This is my get away and I love it. Who would have thunk!!!so can relate to your post. Enjoy The TIME When You Get it!!

  2. August 7, 2016 / 7:18 pm

    Ha ha, reading this made me smile. I’m thinking about enrolling the mouse in a nursery after she’s two in October…just for a morning or two a week so I can let someone else experience her adrenaline lifestyle just for a few hours. I have wondered if this makes me a terrible mother…however I am brought back to reality by knowing she will frickin LOVE it. As will I 😉

    • This Mum's Life
      August 7, 2016 / 7:24 pm

      It’s amazing what guilt can do to us!! I’ve waited until they’re 3, and I’ve weighed up the pros and cons, and I will definitely be happier with the head space for a couple of days!! Like you say, I’m sure danger mouse will love it!! Let me know how it goes!! Xx

  3. August 8, 2016 / 7:11 am

    Oh my goodness, I feel exactly the same! Torn between feelings of wanting to be free and feeling guilty for wanting to escape. And then wondering what I am even good for anymore. But this was both funny, moving and thought-provoking. Good luck for September, enjoy your freedom, and if you find the secret to curing this feeling, please let me know. #bigpinklink

  4. August 8, 2016 / 8:10 am

    Bollocks to guilt. It’s a futile emotion and you deserve those Monday’s and Fridays to yourself! Your boys will have a fab time nursery making friends and all sorts of different crafts (my fridge can confirm this). Do what you want to do on those days, if you want to poo in peace you have that poo in peace. #bigpinklink

  5. August 8, 2016 / 8:11 am

    Haha, this will be come September when Youngest starts pre-school. She will be in mornings. Oh the freedom. Although a little early to hit the pub at 9am 😉 #BigPinkLink

  6. Nige
    August 8, 2016 / 8:31 am

    Haha come September we get free time can’t wait girls start school full time yay thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  7. August 8, 2016 / 8:46 am

    I loved my freedom Fridays! That was the day I used to have 3 hours alone. Now they are all older and my youngest starts school in 5 weeks. I will have freedom week days!! Enjoy…. Sarah #mg

  8. August 8, 2016 / 10:31 am

    Yes yes yes!!!! Bring on September. I am really struggling with the summer holidays, couldn’t agree more. The guilt thing is ridiculous but I totally get it too – I feel embarrassed as a SAHM when I say my daughter attends nursery so I feel I have to justify it by saying it’s got her social skills (yes, and my sanity). But do you know what I think will happen on those September freedom days? They will get pre school cold after cold and we will all be ill for weeks until half term. FFS. #bigpinklink

  9. August 8, 2016 / 11:30 am

    I am massively looking forward to a time when both boys are at school/nursery at least a couple of times a week so I can have some time to myself. I also had certain expectations and perfect images in my head of parenthood, which have mostly not come to pass. There are many things I tell myself I’d do with the time but the reality is I’d probably end up dithering whilst browsing online until it was time to pick them up!

    Enjoy it when it comes. You deserve it.

    #bigpinklink

  10. August 8, 2016 / 11:56 am

    This made me laugh out loud! This will be me in October when my youngest starts nursery just 2.5 hours on a Monday and Friday morning. For five hours a week, like you will have time to poo in peace, and I’m thinking that actually, twice a week is pretty much doable! My husband on the other hand thinks that I will have 5 hours a week to clean. What does he know?! #bigpinklink

  11. August 8, 2016 / 12:03 pm

    This is brilliant hun but I think you sum it all up yourself in that last sentence; go with the flow and see how it all goes. Enjoy the peace and quiet and try not to overthink things (and maybe keep the trash mags in the loo for those poo breaks ha ha!) xx #bigpinklink

  12. August 8, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    First of all I LOVE that frog on the toilet, super cute and funny!

    Secondly don’t stress too much, my eldest is 12 and still interrupts me on the toilet, yes I am serious! I think we worry so much about have we done enough? And will it all be over so soon and they won’t need me? But the truth is they always need us. At 12, 9 and 6 they need me ALL THE TIME, so trust me you have loads of time being their number one. I was so scared when they started school and I felt like I had failed them, I hadn’t done enough craft or spent enough one on one time, but I have great kids so i did something OK. Don’t let fear or guilt play on your mind. Enjoy some you time, and just breathe. Life will happen, you will figure out what you want, celebrate the small stuff and smile. Trust me you will be needed for a long time! #mg

  13. August 8, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    Freedom Fridays sounds absolutely amazing! I have freedom Fridays envy, enjoy!

    #bigpinklink

  14. August 8, 2016 / 12:33 pm

    Enjoy it you deserve it all Mum’s do. I had freedom Fridays for a short time & loved it although there was always the temptation to cram too much in & be exhausted! I occasionally have a secret day off work. I don’t tell a soul & enjoy nearly 6 hours whilst the kids are at school. I only do ot 2 or 3 times a year but it recharges my soul. #bigpinklink Lifeinthemumslane

  15. August 8, 2016 / 1:22 pm

    Don’t give into to the mum guilt and take some time for you! That said I never get to poo alone either. Even with hubbie at home the kids still follow me around! I’ve had one girlie night out in 3 1/2 years, but they’ll be grown up before we know it. Great post. Thanks for the laughs #BigPinkLink

  16. August 8, 2016 / 3:59 pm

    This had me laughing so much with the poo references as it’s so true. Between trying to stop my son attempting to climb into the bath and then as soon as I stand up trying to put his hand in the toilet, pooing is hard work. 😂😂 I don’t think you need to feel guilty in the slightest, and I reckon you will be feel more positive about your time with the kids when you get a bit of a break. They will love it and I bet you’ll love it too! #bigpinklink

  17. August 8, 2016 / 5:27 pm

    You need time to yourself to get your jobs done and have a bit of me time so that when you are with the kids all these buts are done and your ready and rearing to be with the kids again 🙂 enjoy your days alone come September xx #bigpinklink

  18. August 8, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    Hahaha! An awful lot of your priorities revolve around poo, have you noticed? This post made me giggle but also is very true. Our expectations are always so high aren’t they. #BigPinkLink

  19. August 9, 2016 / 9:48 am

    I’ve just discovered your blog and it’s ace ! Thanks for writing so honestly and making me laugh a lot . Glad it’s not just me re poo . I had to breastfeed whilst attempting to poo this morning . Another cracking start to the day !

    • This Mum's Life
      August 9, 2016 / 10:30 am

      Hi Catherine!! Eeek, the old breastfeeding on the toilet debacle… I’ve pushed those memories firmly to the area of my brain where it will be filed for shredding!! Thanks for the lovely words about my blog-I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! I just had a look at your Facebook blog post-great minds think alike!! You’ve said just what I think!! It looks like your blog is quite new-where can I find you? I looked on Twitter and couldn’t find you!!
      Xx

      • August 9, 2016 / 4:57 pm

        Hi again- I’m a complete beginner in the blogging world and very incompetent technically – still trying to get to grips with it all! Am using WordPress and sneaking the odd minute to do the next bit but sleep deprivation makes it all even harder … Thanks again for great writing and liking my blog too. X

  20. August 9, 2016 / 9:51 am

    Oops – put my name instead of blogging name – have a lovely day ! X

  21. August 9, 2016 / 10:07 am

    My Mrs. is having the very same thoughts and experiences as you are currently as the Little and Big one gear up for 3rd grade and kindergarten. 5 full days of school every week. 5 days of freedom. Same guilt, attraction, fear…I think it is some sort of August-itis that is sweeping the nation of SAHM’s. I hold my tongue and only give empathy and know it will pass. Sending hugs your way. And wishes for the lone poo. It’s been about 8 years for me…unless I’m at work, and that is so unsatisfying. 🙂
    #bigpinklink M’wah!

  22. August 9, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    This is so true – I love the long bath idea, I haven’t had a bath until my skin goes wrinkly in such a long time! You shouldn’t feel guilty at all, enjoy the time 🙂 Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  23. August 11, 2016 / 11:15 am

    Embrace and enjoy your freedom Fridays and March Forth and Be Free Mondays for a couple of weeks and then you can start thinking about what you should be doing. Exciting times and don’t feel guilty. The kids will have a blast, having fun with the other children.

  24. August 11, 2016 / 1:43 pm

    I love this, I feel we have similar mentality sometimes and are or have been in similar places. I think I am a couple of years behind you. My oldest is just two and goes to nursery a day and a half a week and my youngest one. I sometimes struggle with the SAHM thing and long for some freedom. I still have two years until they’re both at pre school and I can revel in the freedom (for a few hours a week anyway) but when I think about it and think I am actually going to be by myself whilst someone else looks after my children that nasty nasty guilt kicks in. Yet I know my comments to you would certainly be, don’t feel guilty, it’s so blooming hard sometimes we need that time even if it is to just get shit done – I can do eff all around my house with my two about. Yet despite saying that to you and believing it to be true, I can’t help but still feel guilty. It’s crazy. But if you get chance, do have a boozy lunch, a trash tv day and a long hot soak in the bath on your freedom days- goodness knows it is deserved! Xx #bigpinklink. Sorry about e essay xx

  25. August 12, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    Don’t you feel guilty for a minute! Nursery is great for them. They get to do all kinds of things that are impossible or impractical at home. Two whole days sounds like a long time but it’s a tiny fraction of the time you spend with them and you’ll be a happier and more patient mummy all round because of it!#bigpinklink

  26. August 12, 2016 / 3:44 pm

    Oh to poo alone…… Try not to feel guilty lovely, its so important for us Mums to have some me time. We all seem to struggle with the idea of time to ourselves when in reality time alone to relax, think and get stuff done then means we have more time, energy and patience (we need a lot of that as Mums don’t we?!) to parent. Enjoy your Freedom Friday’s and March Forth And Be Free Mondays, they are well deserved #bigpinklink xx

  27. August 13, 2016 / 6:56 am

    Anyone who says they haven’t felt like this is a liar! I absolutely adore my girls, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting some time to just be me! I will finally get mine in September too, Siena will be going to nursery on Thursdays and Fridays and I can’t wait! Apart from anything she is so ready for nursery so it will be brilliant for her, but for me as a mum working from home, it will also be a blessing. The unfortunate thing is I have got carried away and planned so many things that I am going to do during those two days they seem more like 2 months! I always was over enthusiastic.

    I say enjoy those days and don’t feel guilty, your kids are going to be having a great time with their friends. Oh and happy poo time ha ha xxx

    #bigpinklink

  28. August 15, 2016 / 3:51 pm

    Good luck. It is hard when they first go but you soon get used to it. However the sorting the house one never happens. My son is a teen now and I am still struggling with that one

  29. December 11, 2016 / 11:06 pm

    With my eldest being 2.5 and my youngest 5 months freedom Fridays are a long way off for me! Great post!

    • This Mum's Life
      December 12, 2016 / 7:24 am

      Thank you! It feels like a long slog, but when that moment of freedom comes, it’s pretty amazing…!!

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