Sunday, February 06, 2011

perpetual motion

'Mum. Mum. Mum'
Frieda's trying to get my attention, lying on the sofa in the corner of the kitchen.

Stella's in her high chair campaigning for more grapes, I've a bull terrier underfoot, a phone call to make, lunch on the go, the dishwasher half unpacked, multiple lists compiling in my head  ...

'Yes Frieda?'
'Mum. Stand still.'

'You're always moving so fast Mum. Stand still for a minute.'

It's unnerving when 3 year olds are so perceptive.

I've a friend who's a high-powered attorney. She gets home at 3.30pm everyday and dedicates herself to her young daughter 'til bedtime. No phones, no texts, no chores, no housework (note: obviously she has ample domestic help but even so ...).
She and her girl play, chat, hang out for 2 hours before supper, bath. bed.

Sometimes I wonder if in some ways her daughter, though she sees so much less of her Mum, gets more of her in that short time. Quality over quantity.

This is the dilemma of the stay-at-home Mum.


Stephanie Meade Gresham said...

Cadence used to make this observation and then I got pregnant. Now I move around when she's at school and try to do more "resting" when she gets home. And now I am always "sitting".

It's so hard to fit everything in and we always feel like we have to. What would happen if we dried our hands, let the laundry wrinkle, let the milk droplets dry on the table... and just sat down when they wanted us to?

Every time I give in to their pleas for play, I end up kinda liking it. Barbie fashion shows, shape-sorting. And it makes them so happy.


Let's get maids.

Kathleen said...

I undestand the constant pull of feeling like you arent spending enough "quality time" with them.

I found alot of free time with my daughter having play dates at the house. gives me time to get stuff done and watch them burn off all their excess energy. I also let her paint and do crafts helps me while I paint.

Really a kid will do whatever you are doing That is how I work it in. sweeping the floor is fun to them, because they are helping you!

stephanie is right lets get maids!

kathleen xx

Molly said...


I have a maid ....

Much deliberation with a friend on whether to own up to this to you two after your lovely comments. She reckons I shouldn’t as I’ll just look spoilt and colonialist, and she’s probably right, but the fact is, in SA it’s really easy and affordable to employ a lovely lady to help with the kids and the house, and so most of us do.
So I have a nanny with benefits (she does housework when not doing childcare) 2 days a week. Okay, okay, we’re being honest here – 3 days a week – and still I moan about not having time yada yada.
You can unfollow me for being a privileged whiny cow if you like ... but please don’t, I like having you around.

(Oh and funny story – a friend of mine who lived in the UK for years couldn’t get her head round having a domestic helper when she moved back here, she felt really uncomfortable about it. One day she had to fetch something from her neighbours and was ‘confronted’ by their char and another char/nanny who was there at the time. They wanted to know what her problem was and why she was being ‘selfish’, not employing someone when so many people need employment. They got really crappy with her and as a result she employed one of their sister’s, who’s now been with her for over 5 years.
It’s weird here :)

And I loved your comments on this one. You’re right Stephanie, it’s always more fun succumbing to the games then you think it’ll be and Kathleen, yup – sweeping can be as fun as the games. Frieda’s a big fan of helping with the laundry – she asks if she’ll be able to iron ‘when she’s 4’ ha ha ha.