1.The coffee break

Baby and toddler fall asleep in the car. You pull into the driveway/carpark/layby. You ignore the angry environmentalist voice inside and keep the car engine running because you're afraid Baby would wake up (in any case you're losing on the climate change front because of that second kid anyway. Did you know the single greatest thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to have one less kid?).

 

You pull out your thermos/travel mug and the chocolate you've been hiding (from the toddler) in the glove compartment. You develop your skills in this area, become familiar with the location of the most scenic lay-bys and you get to take in the view while you scoff the chocolate and coffee (check out my view above).

 

2. The spa day

Ok, it's not a spa day, but it's close. A shower! You hand Baby over to husband/granny/the next visitor who knocks on the door and you disappear for a whole 10 minutes. Maybe you even WASH YOUR HAIR.

 

3. The toilet break

You go to the toilet. On your own. With the door closed, locked even. Doesn't count if the two-year-old is pawing at the door handle yelling.

 

But I LIKE to come in with you to the bathroom.  WHY does peoples like to do poos on their OWN?

 

4. Podcast hour

You lie down on the bed hoping to convince overstimulated toddler you are asleep. Any movement from you sparks a renewed effort on toddler's part to stay awake, while crawling all over you/kicking your chin/head-butting the wall. You select a number of podcasts to listen to as you wait for thrashing toddler to keel over into sleep. You get through your selection in a week. You discover there is an infinite number of podcasts out there. Score.

 

5. Sneaky social media

The calm after the storm; that moment while the kids are eating lunch/dinner/breakfast and making contented chewing sounds while smearing food all over their faces/the floor/the cat. You scoff yours quickly, move out of sight and sneakily check Facebook.

 

 

6. The roadtrip

Driving anywhere without the kids. You turn up the radio, drive that little bit faster and imagine you're cruising in the sunshine with the top down à la Thelma and Louise.

 

You are in fact driving to Aldi in the rain; your top covered in porridge stains.

 

7. The SUPER market trip

The supermarket. Alone. Once a chore; now you fight over whose turn it is to amble about the aisles pushing a trolley instead of a buggy. The checkouts are moving particularly fast today so you zip through the aisles, get everything done extra fast and grab a quick coffee. You tell your husband the checkouts were particularly slow today because you feel guilty about the coffee.

 

8. The cinema date

Parent and baby cinema. It's a real thing! You put on some mascara, change into your only top that isn't covered in drool, and imagine you are going on an actual date. Baby shows his disdain for this reverie by spitting up on the top as you're ready to leave the house. But no matter; you get to watch a movie in the middle of the day, sitting in a comfy seat and eating ice cream. It's dark anyway and chances are all of the other mums also have drool/milk/poo on their clothes.

 

9. The bedtime chats

Baby in arms, lights down low. You feed him to sleep while you chat on WhatsApp with the friends that you never get to talk to anymore because Baby thinks the phone is a teething toy and the only phone conversation the toddler will let you have is one that involves him, a dinosaur teddy and a spatula.

 

10. Netflix and chill (the PG version)

Baby likes to nod off while feeding but wakes up as soon as he senses your arms lowering him towards his cot. The solution? You let him win this round and remain glued to the sofa. BUT you win too by placing the remote/tea/biscuits all within arm distance and turning on your Netflix of choice.

 

You think of all your work colleagues sitting in the office right now. Sure they get to drink coffee alone and have adult conversation whenever they feel like it, but none of them are watching Downton Abbey at 11am on a Tuesday morning. You win.

I'm a mum of two small boys and I write to make sense of this thing called motherhood. Former world traveller, in recent years I divide my time between the beaches, forests and hills of the Northwest and the cafes of Dublin 7.

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