So: the children are back at school and pre-school. The delightful hassle of having them all under my feet all week are over. For two mornings, there was just me and the baby in our little castle. Surely I had a productive and happy time, typing with one hand and casually running the vac round with the other, while rocking the baby in her chair with my foot..? Not so. I hate to burst the bubble of my own little fantasy, but it's been a tough few days.
I have done some writing on two evenings, after the blessed relief of bedtime, but generally the uncompromising routine of school has taken over my life.
The school run is more like a commute; our home lies midway between the infant school which the 5 year old goes to, and the junior school which the 7 year old just started at. The three year old is now going to pre-school for three mornings a week, and his pre-school is near the infant school, so we have to organise our route to encompass all three locations, dropping children at the right place at the right time. It's a forty minute round trip, which we're doing at least twice a day - fabulous for my weight-loss aspirations, but difficult on the three year old, especially in the afternoon when his legs 'get out of breath'.
By the time I get home, I'm about ready to collapse - I probably would, if I weren't trying to ring-fence my sleep. I'm forcing myself to go to bed at 10pm (a quick check of the clock now says I'm lying; it's ten-thirty, so I must hurry...) so I can get up at 6am - how can I squeeze writing into this day? Usually clearing up from the bedtime/teatime chaos takes until 9 or so, and then there might be ironing or emails or the need to just sit down and refrain from hyperventilating...
I've had a few panicked moments, wondering what I can cut in my life, but I'm convinced that shortly the routine will fall into place, and I'll be wandering through it with my eyes shut (especially if I keep neglecting my bedtime)....when that happens, I'll be able to get back on track with the things that are important to me. I'll be able to write in the day when the older children are out, and maybe for an hour or so a night after the sandwiches are packed and the towels picked up from the bathroom floor.
Apparently my fantasy bubble is still intact.