On Friday morning we pulled into the drive after a busy morning running errands. We’d been to the butchers, to buy yet more tights for Mummy, to the library and to the supermarket, and probably half a dozen places in between so it wasn’t the biggest surprise to find two small daughters fast asleep in the back of the car, thumbs tucked into mouths, Elma’s head rolled onto her chest and Kitty curled into her seat with the free hand twizzling blonde knots into the end of her hair.
I carried them inside, tucked Elma into her cot with teddy and blankie, and cosied Kitty up on the sofa, and then I sat down.
The laundry needed loading into the washing machine, the bathrooms needed cleaning, the clean clothes needed putting away, the shopping needed to hop into the cupboard and I needed to work out what ought to be going in the freezer and what could sit it out in the fridge.
And I did – none of it.
I simply sat, and had a drink, read a few pages of my magazine, and knit a few rows.
It’s the stereotypical image of a stay at home mum isn’t it; ignoring the chores to sit there with her feet up all day while the children romp around in the background. Or even a blogging mum, glued to the Internet while the babies sleep.
And yes, it wasn’t the most productive way to spend 20 minutes; all the chores still needed doing and many of them would go a lot faster without tiny interruptions.
But at the same time, the chores will always be there. Even when those ones are done some more will come out of hibernation. Much rarer are the moments when the lovely ladies are both asleep together.
I took those moments for me because I could, because there’s no timetable to being a parent, because I was tired too and wanted to rest a while, and most importantly because that in that little moment the simple pleasures I filled it with topped up my rather depleted reserves of energy, calmed me, relaxed me, melted away much of the frustration that can come from parenting tiny girls round a supermarket and did more good than anything short of a nap could accomplish. What more could I ask of 20 minutes.