Recently, I have come to realise that my life is lacking a certain routine and organisation.
Now, while it is perfectly acceptable to wing it for a while when you have a newborn, there comes a time when you have to pull yourself together and get some control over your days. Otherwise, it's just a long slide in a daytime telly addiction and, before you know you it, you are behind with everything – be it housework, book writing, child bathing or any such little or large things.I'm also starting to approach my return to work – something which fills me with both a mixture of joy and fear.
The joy comes with the prospect of being able to eat my lunch without a child clinging off me, the return of adult conversation to my life and the excuse to use my brain for things more taxing than remembering when the baby was last fed/changed/burped etc.The fear comes at the very thought of trying to juggle it all again.
I could juggle it with one child – just about – but with two it could all go horribly, horribly wrong.So, I decided to be very organised in advance and bought myself a diary from a company called Organised Mum which allows me to list what me and all my family members are up to and when. There is a very nifty monthly planner section, a section for shopping list and even a Christmas budget planner.
To my absolute delight there is even a section where you can write a wee "To Do" list, complete with boxes to tick when the assigned task is completed.And – as the big wain in me was delighted to discover – it comes with lots of stickers.So, on Tuesday night, delighted with my purchase and my new super-organised self – I set about filling in birthdays, marking (with stickers!) when the car tax was due and when the boy will return to school etc., I even wrote in my best, neat writing - which is not as easy as it sounds after 10 years of shorthand writing in the name of journalism.
By 10.30 pm, I was sitting, glass of wine in hand, feeling really rather smug.And yet. I could not shake the feeling that I was forgetting something. I started to run through things in my head and mentally tick things off my list. (The diary doesn't start 'til the end of August…).
All my children (and yes, I know there are only two of them and they should be easy enough to keep an eye on - but the boy in particular is a sneaky wee blighter…) were at home and in bed.
The bottles were washed . The bills that were due were paid (which made me weep a little). I had just finished the copy-edit of my third book (I refuse to miss a chance for a plug) and I was on top of reading a new book for work related purposes.My house was even vaguely tidy and the washing machine was whirring nicely in the background.This was me – super organised. Possibly the only thing I had left to do was sleep – but sleep is pretty much a foreign concept these days so it never features on any to do list – be it in paper or in my head.I congratulated myself. I allowed myself to sit back and watch some telly. (The Insiders on Channel 4 – which I can't decide if I love or hate with a passion).
In fact, it was only as the opening titles started that it dawned on me what I had forgotten and I'm sorry to say, dear reader, it was to write this column.
Since I went on maternity leave, I have dedicated Tuesday nights to column writing, so why it slipped my mind on this occasion I have no idea. Except that, perhaps, my brain has melted completely and my ordering of the Organised Mum diary was very well timed.I tried not to blush as I recalled how just earlier that evening I had tweeted (that's posted on Twitter to those who don't know) that I was now very organised and a wee bit smug.
But, when I think about it, it's no wonder. We, women, (and yes, I'm playing the battle of the sexes card once again) have so much going on, it is no wonder that, Organised Mum diary or not, sometimes things slip through the net. Between the balancing of home, work, children and other family commitments we would be superhuman if sometimes – just sometimes – things did go just a little bit wrong.
At least that is what I'm telling myself – I may not be the organised or superhuman mammy I thought I was, but I'm just like every other mammy out there and each and every one of us should sit back and pat ourselves on the back.