As I write this, Mr5 is in the next room, talking to the television as he watches The Smurfs, snuggled under the slanket (it’s a family garment, you know…). His hair is sticking up straight, giving him that ‘cocky’ allure, his face is sleep rumpled and his soft, dark-blue dressing gown makes his eyes look like the ocean on a stormy day.
I could eat him.
And yet… His little voice breaks my concentration as I try to think of what to write. Papa Smurf’s high-pitched tones are like fingernails down a chalkboard. Mr5 calls out at regular intervals for drinks and snacks and cuddles. All of which I am happy to provide – while part of me thinks ‘deadline, deadline, deadline’.
He is sick. I am on deadline.
It’s just like the old days.
Just weeks ago, I was lamenting on Facebook how much I miss him. How his presence at home two or three days a week gave a rhythm to my week. Procrastination is not possible when time is limited. Now, with him at school and five days a week stretching before me, it’s all too easy to say ‘I’ll do that tomorrow.’
But I had forgotten about this. This feeling of anxiety and stress when you have two pulls on your time. Two demanding pulls. When your heart is torn between wanting to lie down on the sofa and be with your child, and wanting to do the best job that you can. So hard to ignore either when they’re both in the same room with you. Walking away from either is not an option.
Sometimes being a work at home mum makes you all too present.