I know I probably shouldn’t write this out loud, but I’m rather enjoying the prospect of becoming a part-time mummy.
Since Tadpole was born, two years ago, my life has been a relentless whirlwind of activity: caring for baby/toddler, delivering her to childminder’s flat, dashing to work, working, and then the same drill, in reverse, at the end of the day. My evenings began at 8.30pm, when Tadpole went to bed, but these were spent caged in our apartment, resentfully waiting for Mr Frog to put in an appearance. Hence my rich virtual life, which filled the gaping void in my offline world.
I can count the number of evenings where Mr Frog was able to relieve me of my duties, allowing me to go out and meet friends for dinner, or attend a blogmeet or whatever it might be, on the fingers of two hands. On those occasions where I did manage to escape for a few hours, I invariably arrived late and frazzled, in a hastily ordered taxi, because Mr Babysitter rarely arrived at the appointed hour.
So, castigate me for being a bad mummy if you will, but I confess I am looking forward to having a social life on the evenings when Mr Frog will pick up Tadpole from the childminder’s and she will spend the whole night at daddy’s house. The very idea of being able to go out for a drink after work, on a whim, meet friends, or even just do a spot of improvised late night shopping, once a week thrills me. Separation, it would seem, has its advantages.
Then there are the alternate weekends… Not only will I no longer have to wend my reluctant way to pay a duty visit to the in-laws every couple of months, but I will now have entire child-free weekends at my disposal. Weekends where I won’t have to get out of bed
at all until I’m good and ready. Weekends where I can hop on a train, with an overnight bag, and fall into my lover’s waiting arms. Space to breathe, the luxury of time to recharge my batteries. Time off, during which I sometimes allow myself to forget, albeit briefly, that I ever became a mother. An illicit pleasure, only slightly diluted by vague pangs of guilt that I shouldn’t really feel this way. But I do, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
Secure in the knowledge that she is in the safest hands after my own, and confident that she is happy spending one on one time with her daddy, my conscience is clear. I miss Tadpole, when we are apart, but I appreciate her tenfold when we are reunited.
I’m tempted to speculate that as a part-timer, I may even make a better mummy.