Well, hubby has been a full blown stay at home dad for a week now, and I must say is doing pretty well. He has reported that he has found it more exhausting than any job he’s ever done before, but he has also enjoyed it, and coped pretty darn well I think.
Mondays he has support from his mum, who used to mind the girls on that day anyway. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Lilly goes to nursery in the afternoons so he has been able to give Isla some one-on-one attention, which she has been loving! Apparently when they get back home after dropping Lilly off he says Isla is round the house like she owns the place, finally getting her hands on all the toys that Lilly quite often snatches off her or hides away in little trinket boxes! And on Fridays he has both the girls all day on his own, so we are calling that “adventure day” when the girls get to go somewhere really exciting with their daddy. Last week it was the zoo, this week it was the Boat Museum in Ellesmere Port (where Lilly insisted on getting a keyring with the name ‘Craig’ written on it, because it had a picture of a tiger, which is her current obsession). I have been packing them a picnic for their adventure days and so far they have worked really well.
I am getting used to working five days. It feels a bit weird because the week is one day longer and the weekend is one day shorter – how is that fair?!?!
This weekend I must admit I felt like a bit of a crap mum on Saturday. After working all week and only seeing the girls a few hours in the morning, a few hours at night, I felt totally exhausted on Saturday and just couldn’t muster the energy to do much with them. In the end I had to ask Tony if I could go for an hours nap, so he took the girls to his mums while I slept. I felt really bad as they waved ‘bye bye mummy’ for what felt like the umpteenth time that week. But after an hours kip I tried to be a bit better – we played in the garden, blew bubbles and I helped Isla ride up and down the path on her trike with Lilly on her bike. But it was one of those exhausted pregnant days.
The day did get better though – as in the evening hubby and I went to see The Bluetones (probably my all time favourite band) playing in Manchester as an early birthday treat – and even though we went to bed pretty late as a result maybe it has left me a bit more refreshed and with renewed enthusiasm, because today has been much better.
I got up with the girls at 5.30am, we played a little then I did breakfasts. Afterwards, while Isla had her nap and hubby was still having his lie in I decided to get Lilly to help me make the dinner. I had seen this recipe for Saucy Sausage Stew by the lovely Jenny Paulin at Mummy Mishaps and thought it looked like something everyone in this house would like (the main ingredients being sausages and baked beans – what’s not to like?!) Lilly and I have made quite a few cakes together but one of my goals for this year was to get her more involved with cooking generally – so this seemed like an ideal opportunity.
We had a great time, Lilly helped me prepare all the ingredients and we talked about everything we were putting in, what it was, where it came from and also what letter of the alphabet it began with. Lilly was really good and could even be trusted to help me cut up the vegetables (obviously I was doing all the cutting, she just helped me hold the knife).
Lilly is a lot more fussy of late with food than she needs to be – she used to be one of those lovely children who would eat everything you put in front of them. But now I felt a bit nervous about how leek would be received (surprisingly she didn’t comment on the leek even when eating it, but she was a bit put out when it made her eyes sting while we sliced it) and I tried to skim around the words “chopped tomatoes” when adding them to the pan as she claims to not like tomatoes either.
Anyway the finished result was a triumph – we’ve all just eaten it for dinner, including Isla, and plenty more portions have gone in the freezer too. At first Fuss Pot said she didn’t like the “flat stuff” (bacon) but then announced she was going to eat it all up – and pretty much did that too.
The rest of the day has been nice as well, I’ve felt like a much better mummy with a bit more energy and have had a real giggle with the girls today. Even the supermarket trip was fun.
But, as I was reading Lilly her bedtime story and thinking how well the day had gone, she said, in a sad voice: “Mummy, you forgot to play play-dough with me! Maybe you can do it tomorrow morning?”