Monday, 7 November 2011

The Day After The Party

The party was a strange affair where people drank champagne, laughed too loudly, said mean things with a smile to amuse a room, talked about themselves and their accomplishments and assumed that the rest of the world was impressed.

And throughout it all I smiled and drank and laughed along, whilst feeling exhausted and uncomfortable and inadequate.

Because I don't have a closet hung with cocktail dresses, I don't live in a Georgian manor house in the country, I won't be employing two and a half thousand people next summer, I haven't spent hundreds of pounds on Olympic tickets, I haven't been to Sierra Leone or South Africa or India or Vietnam, I've not had dinner with Tony Blair, I've not been introduced to the Queen; I won't be going skiing this winter and I'm not funny or witty or clever in the sort of way that you'd notice.

My life's not interesting or impressive or important.

It's a simple life where I wake up on a Monday morning and cuddle my boy in bed. I wash the blackened Pyrex dish and smile when it sparkles; I let a tired little boy watch cartoons in his pyjamas; I meet up with friends whom I love and tell them that their babes are beautiful; I make my boy beans on toast for lunch and then gently wash his orange face; I gather yet more apples from the grass beneath our tree and I make a jug of apple juice; I sit in silence as John sleeps and remind myself of the beauty of the world; I cook and clean and shop; I sing my boy lullabies before bed; I weave my thoughts into a blog post and I go to bed happy.

It's just a little life, it's not changing the world and it doesn't translate well into dinner party chatter, but it's valid, it's mine and I happen to love it.


  1. I know where I'd rather be.

  2. I can't think of anything more valid than the life you describe so beautifully Helen. And, like Ali, I know where I'd rather be.

    Lovely, lovely post.

  3. Please don't ever say that your life is not interesting, impressive or important because it isn't true and you mustn't believe it. 'Now' is important and so are the stages which come afterwards. There may never be a 'cocktail party stage' but there will be a time when you are not a full time mother and it will be just as important to you as the life you lead now. The people you were with were not in the 'full time motherhood' stage of their lives but it did not make their lives any more or less important. The secret to happiness is to enjoy each part of your life fully and value it - but I think that you know that already.

  4. I think the people above responded very well and said the same things I was going to say! I definitely agree with Sue and Ali!