that you could just pack your children away for a day or two? Not because you don't adore them, but because you could just do with a real rest? I am having one of those days when I long to be without children. They don't happen often, but lately I have just been feeling so tired that I just want to go to bed without the fear that at some point in the night/early morning a small boy will worm his way under the duvet and snuffle and cough into my ear until I awaken, groggy and disoriented.
I was talking to another mum with three small children today, and bemoaning the loss of down time that is the lot of the parent with many children. There is never a time when you shouldn't be doing something other than curling up on the sofa with a good book. This is not to say that I don't regularly skive off and do just that, but there is always a nagging sensation at the back of my mind that really I should be ferreting through the dirty laundry to put on yet another wash, or that I should have made that urgent phone call for work, or that I should sew the elastic onto the eldest's new ballet shoes or that there are a full week's worth of school shirts that need ironing.
It is exhausting just thinking about all the work that goes into keeping the family ticking over, let alone actually doing it. My to do list is a Sisyphean task that will, as you might expect, never been completed. There are always birthday presents to be bought, name labels to be stuck in, odd socks to be paired up again, food to be bought, cooked and managed. Mostly I just get on with it, but sometimes I just want to book the next ticket out to Rio de Janeiro and forget that I am a working mum of four.
I want to toss away my responsibilites like so many Dickensian chains around my neck, and lie, guilt free on a sandy beach, with nothing to worry about beyond where my next cocktail is coming from. It's bizarre really as when I was footloose and fancy free, I always felt there was more to life and that all the hedonistic pleasures of life were somewhat superficial. To a point I was right as my children bring meaning to my life, and I wouldn't really be without them, it's just that on occassion I want to skip off to that parallel universe where there isn't always something else I should be doing.
Perhaps I am just a bit tired and run down, but to have a few days when exhaustion wasn't my constant companion would be such a delight. To stay up late and sleep in in the morning until I wanted to wake up, and to spend my day doing exactly what I wanted to do, not what I ought to do, to have a weekend dominated by adult pursuits rather than driving to a myriad of classes and hanging around in crowded playgrounds, that would be very heaven in this time of parenthood.