Parenthood is an oxymoron

I am rekindling my passion for writing. It’s been a while since I wrote anything formally as I became more interested in vlogging and that’s a real shame as I feel like I missed an opportunity during the past few months to record and blog the events and daily grind of lockdown. However, hindsight and reflection are also viable and blog worthy and we aren’t out of the covid woods yet so I guess there is no time like the present. 

Today was the first day since mid March that my son and I haven’t been together 24/7. I both loved and hated it in equal measure. 

Schools and my business were closed at the same time and my boy and I had eight weeks in our home together without anyone else around. Those eight weeks were extremely precious. We had the gift of time. Lots of time. He had my full attention and, aside from the stress of having no income, there were wonderful days filled with sunshine and walking and talking and board games and star gazing. There were days that we will never get back and that I’m so pleased to have had. Of course there were also days when it rained and homeschooling became a chore and the weekly shopping delivery was fraught with disappointment when things didn’t arrive and I missed my family –  but the unit that is he and I was a beautiful and glorious thing. 

Playing board games in the sun
pretending that we are camping

Once my business could reopen it became a little more difficult. Still no school and no other possible childcare options, my son has to come to work with me. We are extremely lucky that he can do that but he lost my full attention as I have staff and clients to tend to and a business to run. A work environment isn’t an exciting place for a ten year old boy to be every day. He hasn’t seen another child in three months now and that’s incredibly sad to me. Kids need other kids to be kids with. I was also extremely busy having to catch up on 8 weeks of client needs and when I got home I was quite exhausted. My son, on the other hand, was wired and bouncing off of the walls (literally). Two opposites in mood are not a comfortable mix and so the last month has been hard. We needed a break but there was no way to get one. 

When Boris Johnson announced “support bubbles” for single adults and single parents I actually cried. I could hug my parents and my son could have his grandparents back. It made the world of difference to me, psychologically. 

You’ll have seen from my earlier blog and vlog that we went to Knebworth house as a group and … oh my word … it was immense to have three of us to give attention to Little Dude. For a few hours I wasn’t the only pair of eyes and I felt like I had breathing space that I simply couldn’t explain. I watched my son walking along, holding his grandad’s hand and the pressure of sole responsibility to be the educator, entertainer, support, companion and carer was taken from my shoulders for a small while. I hadn’t quite realised how heavy that responsibility had begun to feel. I could feel myself relax as the incessant chatter that is normally directed at me was shared amongst us. I didn’t have to have an answer for every single question about every single thing that pops into his head. I could have a conversation with a grown up that didn’t involve poo jokes or conversations about blowing things up (don’t ask … at the moment TNT is his favourite topic for discussion. I blame Minecraft). I relaxed. Occasional childcare is now an option. 

Today was the day. Today I dropped him off with is grandparents whilst I went to work and I didn’t have to divide my attention and wear a multitude of hats. I could concentrate on my job without feeling guilty and I knew that he would have his grandparents wrapped around his little finger and yet … I missed him. I couldn’t wait to pick him up and bring him home again. I couldn’t wait for the incessant chatter and the noise that accompanies him wherever he goes. 

Parenthood is an oxymoron. Forever conflicted with huge variations in emotion that nobody could ever possibly describe sufficiently enough to be understood without the experience of it. 

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