Honest Motherhood: Mummy’s Moment of Freedom

I had my first solo day out since pre-lockdown times on Saturday. Eleven dreamy child-free hours. It was the longest I’d ever left Leo, and I’d been anxious about it on and off for weeks, for no real concrete reason.I wasn’t sure if he would take the bottle of milk I had agonisingly pumped for him the night before.
“Is anything actually coming out?” I enquired as I sat trying to will milk out of me. 
“NOPE!” Maia assuringly replied, head tilted staring at the empty bottle. 
I eventually managed a solid 30ml before getting bored and giving up. As predicted Leo wasn’t interested on the day, preferring his beaker of water. It’s still sat in the fridge now, my half-hearted but well-meaning attempts at pumping an utter waste of time.
I took an early train to London and relished every moment. Time to myself, alone with my thoughts; blissful. It was quite possibly the longest I’ve been able to sit and read my novel without being interrupted. Or falling asleep.
This is a nightly conflict of mine and many tired parents; the children are asleep, one finally has a moment to themselves, but how to fill this sacred time? Does one: 
A.) Pursue a fun activity (anything that feels good from your crochet hobby to organising your sock drawer). 
B.) Catch up on the one Netflix show you and your partner could agree on but rarely find the time to watch together because you’re both always so tired and inevitably end up sliding into options E and F.   
C) Get some work done. Because it is the tedious reality that many parents have to squeeze their work in to narrow pockets of child-free time, day or night. 
D.) Attempt to read. I’m often too sleepy to concentrate so end up reading most pages twice. I’ve concluded this is better than not reading at all, even if I do take double the time and subsequently end up reading the entire book twice. 
E.) Mindlessly scroll their phone for hours. “A bit of escapism” but also desperately depressing, time would be better spent on literally any of the other options. 
F.) Sleep. That old thing.
I hadn’t been to London since February 2020 and had forgotten how much I loved it. I quickly found myself playing tourist, looking around bewildered as if I’d never been to the city before. At one point I started taking photos of a row of apartments just because they looked cool. (And also because, without the children, I had the luxury of both hands free to do this sort of thing.) 

The day itself was glorious. A hen do with some of my childhood best friends, women I’ve known since the first day of primary school. We had brunch at one of those beautiful restaurants where the bathroom’s interior decor provides an exquisite background for a selfie, and you want to go back for the expensive-smelling-hand cream. The food was delicious, healthy and wholesome. It was nice not to have to wipe up the floor afterwards. Or hose down anyone covered in fruit. 
We went on to play crazy golf for hours in the sunshine, laughing at how horrendous we all were then repeatedly holding up the people behind us with our nattering. It was wonderful. I’d missed just being silly with a group of friends. Thankfully, I have three humans at home who are more than available for general silliness when required. Not that they need any encouragement.


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