This is it. I've got what I wanted. Ella, Louis and Theo are in full time nursery and my days are now my own. It's great. For all of us. They are ready for it and so am I. Or at least I thought I was. Didn't expect to feel my heart breaking just a little bit. Didn't expect to suddenly be feeling extreme panic at the realisation that I've blinked and missed the last four years of their beautiful little lives.
Suddenly, all I can think of is how much I've moaned. And complained. And whinged on and on about how hard it is and how I just need some time for me. Well, I've got it now - hours of it. And I'm pleased and excited and know that I need it, but I just have to work through this mild grief first.
I don't normally listen when well meaning strangers tell me to enjoy them while they're young becuase 'it all goes so fast'. I normally feel a little irritated. 'It's not going fast!' I want to shout. The days are long and repetitive and I haven't had an unbroken nights sleep or a lie in for years and I feel like I'm aging by the day and my back is going and I'm drowning in laundry and all they do is fight and cry and whinge and grizzle and they don't eat the food I cook or go to bed when I say and I dread the weekend because Saturdays and Sundays are the hardest days of the week and sometimes I feel lonely and like my best years are behind me and sometimes, no, most of the time, I just don't see what's right in front of me. Three little people wanting just a little bit more of my attention. Just wanting me to put down my iphone, to stop mindlessly checking Facebook and instead actually listen to what they're saying. They just want a reponse.
Sometimes, all I hear is noise. From first thing in the morning until well into the evening, noise. I get jumpy and edgy and yell for the telly to be turned down and for Ella to stop grizzling and for Theo to stop shouting and for Jakey to stop pestering. It all just seems like noise. But it isn't. It's life. It's my gorgeous four, alive and vital doing excatly what they be should be doing - asking for what they want, letting the world know when they're happy, sad or downright furious. Letting the world know and expecting, quite rightly, for their mum to listen.
This is a new chapter for all of us. They're going to thrive and blossom with each passing day. I'm going to get my little pockets of peace. It's a win-win situation. And come half past three? Bring on the noise. Lots of noise. I can't wait...