Being up and awake before anyone else in the house is
I used to read these magazine or newspaper articles where some famous/successful/interesting woman would be interviewed and she'd say something along the lines of:
"My favourite time of the day is first thing in the morning. I like to get up at [the crack of sparrowfart, or earlier] before everyone else gets up. It's so peaceful, and I can have that time to myself before the demands of the day kick in".
and I'd be thinking to myself how crazy she was, and that she could be sleeping!
Oh, how little I knew.
Since becoming a mother, I have a window of approximately 30 seconds in the morning, where, if all goes well, I can go back to sleep. Anything beyond that and it's too late. I'm up for the day. I didn't used to be like this. I sometimes really wish I wasn't like this.
There is something kind of magical about the peace and quiet in those early hours. The gift they give of being able to come in to yourself slowly. With a cup of tea and a book, or some knitting, or the breakfast you want, when you want it, without a tiny human hanging off your legs. To sit on the toilet without someone actually sitting on you. The time to be you. Not mum, not wife, not host. No demands, no conversation, no noise.
I knew about hand cream before I became a mum. And occasionally I bought some, thinking that I should really use it, but I never really did.
Then I became a mum and the hand-washing really started. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I was a dirty skank before. I washed my hands. I just didn't have the need to wash my hands quite so bloody much before.
Never mind washing that man right out of your hair - babies will make you wash that skin right offa your hands.
Hand cream. Bloody brilliant. Current fave: Neal's Yard Melissa Hand Cream.
Sure, they're nice and all, but you can get the same effect just having a bath and doing stuff at home, right?
That was before I knew that actually having the time to run a bath, get into it, have a soak, a read, a relax, uninterrupted for at least an hour, was likely to be rarer than hen's teeth.
Sometimes, I fantasise about running away to a Premier Inn for a night. Just so I can have a bloody bath and not have to sleep with one ear open, in case Junior needs me.
That you can't call in sick to being a mum
As I enter week 3 of the virus that keeps on giving, I'm reminded again that no matter what else is going on, I can't just retire to my bed with a box of Kleenex Balsam and all of netflix for days, until I feel better. That's not to say that MrP doesn't help - he does, but sometimes, only mummy will do. So unless I'm out of the house, I'm very very rarely entirely off duty.
I know this will get better as he gets older, but sometimes, when I'm feeling really really awful, I just want to hibernate and not have to deal with anyone else's needs.