Recently, my fiancée said to me “it feels a bit more normal now, doesn’t it?”.
This was following an afternoon where I had been out for a friend’s birthday, leaving him with the children. Now, a year or two ago this event would have been accompanied by a set of instructions. Sometimes, these would even be written down, forming a ‘schedule’.
It would look something like this:
- 2pm: Afternoon bottle. 7 oz.
- 3pm: Oldest may want a snack. These are in the snack box, which is in the changing bag. Check little one’s nappy.
- 3:30pm: Nap time. Place littlest one in pram – she will need rocking. Usually has 40 mins.
- 4pm: Start preparing tea – easiest to do this whilst littlest one is still asleep. Pasta and pesto for ease. Little one will follow with baby yoghurt – in fridge.
…and so on. This weekend, we both realised that I had just gone out. With no, or very little, instructions.
Now they’re nearly 4 and nearly 2 they’re a lot more independent and can just get on with things. They had a fab time that afternoon – they went to the shop to pick up some items we’d ordered, watched a film and had a lovely tea. They were – the shock of it – even half ready for bed when I got in! They had freshly washed hair!
Not that I’ve been previously unconfident in my fiancée’s ability. I currently work part time so I’ve been the one who’s more familiar with the routine. When fiancée was suddenly plonked in the middle of it, it was daunting. Now, we don’t need so much of a routine to keep everyone happy. We can muddle along ok!
We’ve noticed other things that have become easier. The house is a lot tidier these days, with fewer toys strewn around our lovely lounge. It’s less of a flap to go out in the evenings when we have a babysitter, and I’m not on pins anymore, wondering if the baby has woken up and started screaming. They can communicate now – if they need something they can just ask the babysitter. (Interesting point here – I told this to my nearly-4 year old and she promptly appeared at the top of the stairs after we’d gone out, shouting to the babysitter “I NEED SOMETHING!”).
It feels like the beginning of a new stage and new adventures – with I’m sure many obstacles and issues along the way, but it feels good. My eldest girl starts pre-school in September which will be a big change for all of us, but she’s ready for it, and we feel ready for our new beginnings as a family.