I played with the children yesterday. Monsters. I turned the lights off upstairs and chased them. All five of us ended up in a pile on my bed. Theo reached such a level of hysteria that at one point I wasn't sure whether he was going to be sick, wet himself or simply punch me round the face. It was fun. Really good fun.
The whole little episode probably lasted for about six minutes before we headed back downstairs. They took up their default positions on the sofa and I headed into the kitchen to find a gold star to give myself for being the kind of mum I want to be. Even if it was just for six minutes.
Earlier that day I'd also cooked. A lot. It's called batch cooking, don't you know. I didn't.
Hearty stews, crumbles and casseroles now fill my freezer. This is a very big deal. We ate hotpot for dinner. Hotpot. And it wasn't Betty's it was mine.
As Louis and Jake fought over the last helping and I scraped the crunchy bits of potato from around the side of dish for Missy Ella - well, I felt like Olivia Walton and the lovely Lynda Bellingham rolled into one. I literally bustled around the room as I cleared the plates away and made a mental note to buy myself a pinny and a rolling pin.
So, this is what being a good mum feels like. I'd kind of forgotten. It's felt like a monumental task lately, one I've not felt up to. Too exhausting, too demanding, too much of everything.
Yesterday, I realised that I don't need to get it right all of the time. I just need to try a bit harder for some of the time. I'm never going to be that mum who gets rid of the telly and throws away the biscuit tin in favour of home schooling and a sugar free diet. There will always be bad days and days when I feel lazy and resentful and like I want somebody else's life. And that's allowed, sometimes...don't you think?
Power parenting, I think I'll call it. Short, intense little bursts of one hundred percent focus on my four. That's got to be better than the painful, sloppy, what's the minimum I can get away with type of approach I've had of late.
It's definitely a learning curve this raising a family thing. Shame I can't get together with Olivia and Lynda for a coffee. They'd sort me out.