From There to Here- there is life after the toddler years.

To all those struggling, exhausted parents I want to let you know. There is light at the end of the tunnel.You will sleep again. You will lose at least some of the black shadows from under your eyes. You will remember that you have a name other than Mummy/Daddy.

I'm here at Here
I write this now from the comfort of a very lovely cafe called Here in a nearby town (Berkhamsted). There is gentle jazzy music playing. I have a lovely creamy hot chocolate next to my laptop and my friendly waiter even propped a tasty home-made shortbread biscuit on the saucer for dunking purposes. I am warm, and relaxed, and happy. No-one is asking me anything apart from checking I'm OK.

I am here and, yes, I'm OK thanks, in a striking contrast to yesterday when unusually I had a disturbed night with my youngest, Grumpy, who had developed a croupy cough. I kept him off school and (already tired) was totally unprepared for the hard work that comes with having a child at home. I once again had to think more about his needs than mine. He needed food, entertainment, medicine, cuddles, nap time because he was poorly. It was lovely having some one on one time with him but at the end of the day I was exhausted. My ears were bleeding - that boy doesn't stop talking! Luckily his cough turned back very quicky into a normal cough  and he's back to his normal self so today he's gone back to school.

It's bizarre that it seemed so odd having him at home because he only started full time school in September - prior to that I had at least one child with me continuously since 1994 when DS#1 was born. And of course there's weekends and holidays but somehow they are different.

tired poorly boy
It amazed me how quickly I had got used to my weekday routine with no children. I've taken up crochet, crafting, rediscovered baking, makeup, grooming. I even have time to read, and write. And sit in cafes like Here where I can actually eat my own food (currently a rather yummy, moist, not-too-sweet chocolate brownie). And can listen to the music instead of answering endless questions from a curious toddler who wants to know:"Why has that man got so much hair up his nose?" or "Where does poo come from?"

Don't get me wrong I adore my children. I love spending time with them and chatting to them. But I need that time, the time that has (annoyingly) become known as "me" time.

I'm sure all of you out there reading this with a baby on your lap, or with a toddler tugging your sleeve, or with one eye on the clock because you have a mid-day nursery pick-up are thinking that this me-time is a long way off.

But it's not, it's really not. And soon you will be sitting alone in a cafe somewhere wondering where the years have gone, but relishing the next phase of motherhood which incorporates some freedom. Enjoy it pals, the teenage years are only round the corner and that brings a whole new set of challenges plus (probably) some more sleepless nights as you wonder when your "baby" will return from the pub/club safe and well.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.
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