It's hard to find them, those moments of calm in a busy life. But I've learnt a couple of ways to grab them in my fifteen years of being a parent.
For me it doesn't involve lots of nights out with the Husband, weekends away (yeah, three nights away in all of those years. I'm not going to say any more lest I get all bitter and twisted), play schemes or spa days.
And I'm not saying any of this in a "gosh, what a fabulous person I am" kind of way because, believe me, if any of the above were remotely in my grasp I would be clutching them and holding on for dear life.
But necessity is the mother of invention so what I've invented for me is a different kind of attitude. It's not easy but it's doable. First off you just have to nurture the attitude of spotting potential moments, no matter how small, and thanking your lucky stars.
Then you have to let that moment of calm seep into every pore. Milk it for all you're worth. And yes, I do know what it's like to have toddlers, older children, babies under feet and no sign of any other adult for at least another eight hours. If that's your reality, I feel your tiredness.
So when, yesterday, I was able to leave the children very briefly in the car (it wasn't remotely warm, in fact I think autumn arrived) to quickly visit a health food shop I felt myself relax.
Even when my five-year-old told me that 15 minutes was the most fun out of the whole day. Even more fun apparently than a train ride to the sea and watching Horrid Henry The Movie (which I really enjoyed, much more than I thought I would). Yep, deep breaths. Let that calm sink in...
PS. Apologies for the general reply to your very generous comments (it seems I either have time to write posts or replies at the moment) but I wanted to say a big thank you for leaving me such lovely words. I feel emboldened now to write the posts here that I really want, rather than not really writing at all. I know it doesn't matter in the slightest, really, what this blog is about but somehow it sort of mattered to me. And I felt that unless I was posting about gardening I couldn't post. Silly, I know. But thank you (and yes, someone did unsub!).