Albert Einstein once said that “time is an illusion” I wonder if this comment was based on some amazing physicist’s insight, or whether he said it when he had 2 small boys kicking round and he spent days failing entirely to achieve anything.
My awareness of time has changed dramatically since having the children. Prior to having them, I believed myself to be really very busy. There wasn’t a spare moment. I did a stressful job in the city, it was long hours which were often extended by the need to drink slighty wanky cocktails in slightly wanky bars. At the weekend I managed to fit in the ironing of the duvet in between being so hungover I couldn’t move, and spending 8 hours shopping. I’d probably squeeze in two trips to Costa and might even manage both Friday and Saturday nights out on the piss. I’d have some serious TV to catch up on which would sometimes take up an entire Sunday. We would take weekends out to decorate the house. This all felt terribly busy and hard work. Our diaries were booked out weeks in advance with trips to visit friends, birthday nights out and mini-breaks. Me and the Hubster were hard people to pin down. We had important shit to do.
Skip forward a few years and my concept of busy has changed dramatically. The idea that I would ever have time to iron a duvet cover makes me laugh till a bit of wee comes out. If on a Saturday I manage to find 5 minutes to have a cup of coffee with my husband, it’s like discovering a tenner in the bottom of my handbag. I’m incredibly “busy” but yet I achieve very little.
So in the words of the irritating Granny Murray (you’ll know who I mean if you regularly get stuck watching CBeebies at 6am) “Where did the time go?”
I still kind of don’t know. I swear it was only 5 minutes ago that I was begging for an epidural. But 4 and a half years have passed me by in the blink of an eye. Having children has seen me lose friends and gain friends. Hours of whinging and crying drag by, and days get lost in a haze of sleeplessness. I still don’t really know where I am half the time, and I suddenly understand what my Mum meant when she told the 8 year old me that there aren’t enough hours in the day. There aren’t. Because these hours are generally filled with the shit I don’t actually want to do. Washing to process, meals to prepare, plastic crockery to wash up, children to nag, homework to agonise over, sorrows to drown, sleep to avoid.
So what do I want to do with my time? I’m not entirely sure I know. I’m pretty sure that it isn’t asking a 4 year old 14 times to put their shoes on. And I’m confident that it isn’t scrubbing an actual human shit out of a pair of spiderman pants. I suspect that all I want is a good laugh and a good nights sleep. But I’m probably about as likely to achieve this as I am to iron a duvet cover.
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