Anyway, I digress somewhat! Films are one of my biggest vices, and I have absolutely no qualms about watching some of my favourites over and over again. I take full advantage of my children's inability to argue when they are properly poorly, and I will usually put one of my favourite films on for us to watch when we're all snuggled up on the couch with fevers. That might be anything Jane Austeny, or something of an eighties or nineties romantic comedy, or something cheesy like Karate Kid! I love a lot of films that many people wouldn't admit to owning, too many to list. But our rather large DVD collection is not hidden, it's proudly displayed for all who visit to see :) If we had vast amounts of time at our disposal I would probably watch many more films than I do, but at times I do feel guilty for watching them and feel that I should be doing something more productive. But then relaxing is productive as well isn't it? Of course.
The other thing I love, is ... being away from my children :) Oh yes. I love it. I was thinking about it last night, because the boys were sleeping over at my mum's. We will be collecting them a bit later on. But I don't ever feel guilty for being happy to be away from them. Of course, I'm not a completely cold and heartless mother! I'm as happy to see them again after they've been off with someone else, as I am to say goodbye to them. But there's something very precious to me about time alone - quiet time, time to not be needed, time to think in silence, time to leave the house without having to put lots of coats and shoes on little people, time to jump in the car and just set off without having to strap little ones in, time to take my time eating a meal or drinking a cup of tea without being interrupted to mop up spills or pour extra juice, time to work on my writing, time to be. It's just blissful to be on my own, and is one of my favourite things in the world. I try to steal bits of time to myself as often as possible - and it's important to be able to do this, because it's so restorative. I have Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings alone, when James and Matthew are at nursery, and Thomas is at school of course. I write in those mornings, and it's as though, even though I'm very busy and am never just relaxing (and absolutely NEVER do housework in that time - what a waste that would be!!!), I'm recharging, and I'm being allowed to be me. I'm very, very lucky to have that time, I know. But I have to make the most of it, because in two and a bit years, when Matthew goes to school, it's very likely that I will have to go back to work (or Uni, if midwifery is the way!) - hardly anyone makes a living at writing, so I have to expect that I won't.
I went away for a weekend last November, to visit my beloved University town of Aberystwyth. I went with my friend Eleri, who had 'studied' Drama with me. We had a beautiful weekend of reminiscences. We spent two days walking around the town, taking photos and just remembering. It was sad, but lovely. But I barely thought about my children for the whole three days! Of course, I talked about them - Eleri was interested and asked lots about them. But it never occurred to me to spend any time missing them, or dwelling on thoughts of them. I was in Aberystwyth to remember the time I had ten years ago - it was a weekend about the me that I was when I was 19/20/21/22.
I'm going to Barbados for Noomski and Jessica's wedding in October - Kev and the boys are not going because we can't afford for us all to go. Will I miss my boys? Well, I will miss them in the sense that I will think of them fondly while I'm away, he he! But I will not spend time under a palm tree crying and pining! I will be enjoying my time, and making the most of being afforded the most excellent opportunity of being Linda, not Mummy for a week!
And the year after I may well go on a writing retreat for a week - same goes for that. (Kev's allowed a week off if he wants one, any time: he just hasn't requested one yet!) I will enoy myself immensely and not feel guilty for abandoning my children at all. I'm proud to be selfish - no-one's going to offer me precious time alone, so I have to ask for it. I do believe it's allowed, for mums to enjoy being without their children, and to admit that they'd like to be away from them from time to time. Yes, I know that I signed up for a life of being constantly needed and bombarded with questions - and I do LOVE it (of course, being with my children is another thing that I do love very much - but I think that goes without saying), but it doesn't have to be the only thing I do. I'm not just a 'Primary Carer', I'm many, many other things as well. I just can't properly describe how lovely it is right now not to have to make breakfast for three messy little boys - it's just divine. Mmm, simple pleasures, eh? :)