Sunday, 12 September 2010


Very often, before we go to bed James says "We've achieved a lot today" and I feel a little part of me curl into a ball of regret and harden into a seed of resentment.

Because despite the fact that jobs have been struck from the 'to do' list and progress has been made on the house I can't help but feel frustrated.

I haven't saved £200 by fixing the leaking the boiler, I haven't erected a new bedroom wall (or torn down an old one either) I haven't mastered the art of plumbing, and I haven't created lesson plans or done exercise or even cleaned the kitchen.

Instead, I've spent my day blowing raspberries, tickling tummies, making up impromptu rhymes and kissing chubby cheeks.

And whilst such achievements might feel quite legitimate on a quiet day when John and I potter around these rooms alone, they somehow pale into insignificance when hammer blows are ringing from the roof, and are made foolish by the forward march of progress.

I'm ever yearning for the gratification that comes from creation and there's a restlessness that rages within me on weeks when there's no time to bake, sew or write and I have nothing visible to show for my days.

And even though I know that time spent playing with my baby is time well spent indeed, I crave the satisfaction that comes from ticking jobs off a list and seeing something concrete that's been created by my hand and mind.

So today, my own personal to-do list reads like this:

* play peek-a-boo
* sing songs
* read stories
* take a walk
* watch the clouds
* play with our toys
* laugh out loud

And tonight, when James says "we've achieved a lot today," I'm going to look at my sleeping boy and say "Yes, yes we have."


  1. I think you have hit the nail on the head about why quite so many mothers of young children like to do crafts. Because at least there is tangible evidence of your efforts. Bringing up a child is such incremental work, and it is frustrating not to be able to see any finished product.
    But you have a good husband for saying 'we' when he talks of the day's achievement. For he could not do what he does without the part you play. Your list looks like happy work.

  2. When my children were little I had an overpowering need to knit, sew and quilt - preferably in silence. Now that they are older and I have the time the need to create has entirely left me and the need is for chatter and laughter in my quiet home.

  3. Aah I know how you feel - and now many years later I can perhaps see better what we created and what we achieved. Carry on crafting because I think that gives us the short term end product fix to patiently carry on crafting the bigger picture.