It would appear that circumstances have turned me a bit hermity of late, so this particular post comes from a place of being poorly for a frustratingly long period of time. Being in my house for weeks really highlighted that no matter how incredible your offspring and spouse are, you need other adults. You just do. You may think ‘Nah, I’m good thanks. I like my own company, blah blah blah…’
Yea, that’s what I thought. Let me explain.
Many of us look back with rose-tinted nostalgia on our younger years. Maybe rightly so. We grow up and often don’t even notice it happening. Then you bring more humans into the world and suddenly realise how innocent and gentle we used to be, and how our ways of thinking and behaving have changed. You forget that going to the toilet by yourself is a thing, or that it’s preferable to work without a foul-tempered toddler on your lap. Or that as funny as farts are, there is a limit to the hilarity. You will be pushed right up to the edge of that limit.
Working from home is a pretty sweet gig. It also means that as a stay at home mum, and that fact that I live here – I spend a huge percentage of my time in this house. My compromised immune system has upped that time somewhat and I’ve ended up here; A place where the vast majority of my company is aged 10 and below and it. Is. Tough.
Now, I am not an extroverted party animal by any stretch of the imagination, and I enjoy being with my family. But my perceived isolation and inherent lack of patience point-blank refuse to muster up a smile when my 6-year-old shouts ‘HAH YA LIKE MA NOW..? BRUUUHHHH’ for the millionth time whilst my 10-year-old does the worm on the kitchen floor like a dying walrus. Or when I spent 10 minutes trying to establish what ‘Uuuuuuuugghhhhhhhh’ actually translates too, whilst my toddler wildly flaps about like Hoggle, getting more and more irate that I haven’t put enough effort into this whole fiasco.
I’m aware that these are not unusual things for kids to do, my kids are pretty standard on that front but when this is your day, day in and day out, it wears thin. Normally, I’d go for a run or to the gym, or find someone to go for coffee with, but here’s the clincher – The less you see people, the less you want to see people. And so, the downward spiral begins. The spiral of pj bottoms, no make-up and the general avoidance of as many other humans as possible. It’s not good for anyone.
In light of this, and me needing to crawl back into the world of the living, I have compiled a list of reasons that adult company is important, based solely on my view of things (You’re welcome). I looked for studies/articles to back my theory up and I couldn’t find any. Brilliant. Do feel free to share any you know of with me by the way.
One – Perspective – This vanishes really quickly. All things get blown out of proportion and your view of things outside of your immediate bubble get wildly distorted. Sometimes, all it takes is for a loving adult to give you a shake, point out that you’ve gone a bit wonky and to not be a dick.
Two – Swearing – You may or may not be a sweary person. I am. It’s a pretty valuable part of my vocabulary, but there’s a time and place and I don’t want my toddler shouting obscenities. I mean, it’s funny initially, but then you’ve got a problem to fix because that shit is frowned upon and if any of my kids swear there is no doubt in anyone’s mind where that came from, I’ve literally no defence there. I’m amazed I got this far relatively unscathed if I’m honest. Best to keep it around adult company.
Three – A change of scene (and maybe some clean clothes if you’re going all out) – I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the fresh air or the simple reminder that your home is not actually a prison but a place of comfort and security… Either way, it avoids resentment creeping in. A break is as good as a change and all that jazz. This point doesn’t necessarily involve being around others, but even if you just walk to the shop, you will encounter other people. Face to face, not on a screen and it’ll help with the whole perspective thing.
Four – Be inspired – Talk, listen, be involved. Or at least entertain the idea of being involved. Step out and see what’s going on, you may find it encouraging.
For the rest of the time, seek out your own joy in the innocence of your kids
Disclaimer: I bought this book for my 18-year-old niece, River was so excited about colouring that my niece told her she could colour in a cat. She chose this one. No, she didn’t know what it said, and no, no one told her.
Look after yourself.