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Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Choose happiness

I whisked all three kids off for the day yesterday, leaving my husband Paul at home alone to have some 'down time' (hmm, I must investigate this concept some time...!) It was Bank Holiday Monday, but outside it was absolutely pelting down with rain. It could have been a bit of a miserable day, but I felt good driving along the A3 to Hampton Court, with the kids safe and dry in the back and a day out with friends to look forward to.
On arrival, it was announced that we were being taken to the local Pizza Express, which resulted in great excitement all round. Several hours, a handful of pizzas, countless dough balls and too many sticky puddings later, the rain had cleared and the children were almost comatose with repletion. We sent them for a good run around outside and settled back for coffee and conversation. On being asked how work was going, I explained how exciting I'm finding it right now, being part of an industry undergoing so much change. "But how do you feel being back at work?" my friends asked? "Mostly, I love it," I replied. And I think this was a pretty honest response, really. My best mate's husband, Mark, had recently had to continue to run his documentary-making business whilst taking on the running of the household and a big chunk of the childcare while his wife, Keely, saw to some family matters back in her home town for the period of one month. He was run ragged by the end of the month and utterly relieved to have her back. We swapped wry comments about the juggling act that all this entailed.
This morning Keely texted me: "Great to see you. You seemed well. Mark v impressed with how happy you look!"I texted back: "Ah, well, I am very lucky. Not much excuse to be miserable!" And that's about the sum of how I feel. Yes, maybe I don't see as much of my children as I'd like in an ideal world; yes, maybe my house is on the untidier side of acceptable, most of the time; and yes, sometimes I feel like the proverbial swan (paddling madly underneath the surface to maintain the appearance of unflappable calm) and that much of my life is a big, fat compromise. But the bottom line is that I have three happy, healthy children and a great job which I really enjoy. And I choose happiness.


Drunk Mummy said...

I think most of us have a 'big fat compromise' in our lives, but we always tend to focus on the bits we've had to give up, rather than the bits we've gained. It seems like you've got it very well-balanced at the moment - good for you!

Dina said...

Oh you sound so happy with your life. I had to give up a good job too to bring up my two children... sometimes I wish I could just get out and do something grown up for a bit.

Working Mum said...

Thanks, ladies. I try my best! I know that sometimes my friends and parents worry that I try to manage too many things too perfectly... but I think I'd be bored if I weren't juggling like a nutcase!

Kate said...

I like the way you identify those moments of exhaling, when you realize that in spite of the exhaustion, and the noise and the worry and mess, life is pretty bloody marvelous.
Really want to say thanks for your comments about "Princesses" book- made my day (see comment on that page)

Jan said...

Great that you recognise how good stuff is while you're in the here and now....too many people can only appreciate stuff in hindsight.
Your life sounds happy tiring but buzzy and that's The Best!