Hayley's blog: Three

I realised as I was about to start writing this that, other than writing on here, I have written a lot less over the last 12 months than I did in the 12 months before that. I used to write regular blogs about my little boy and how I found balancing work with life as a mummy. I think there are several reasons for the decline in writing.  The first is that whilst I still seem to be learning new things about being a parent almost every day, the speed at which things change and at which I have to adjust to new “phases” has slowed slightly. Alongside that, I just seem to have less time. As well as starting a new job and moving house in the past 12 months, I am still desperately seeking the holy grail of some kind of balance and, whilst I don’t think I get it too wrong in terms of work / home (although I guess this is always subjective), the balance within home is also really tough. I don’t sleep enough, I don’t exercise enough, I don’t eat well enough and so generally the bit where I am meant to look after myself is running at a loss. When I try and build in more exercise, it either means less sleep (which I hate), less time with my son (which I hate even more) or less time trying to get through my endless “to do” list. I listened to Sam Smith speak at the CityParents conference a couple of weeks ago (her talk and the event overall were excellent) and she talked about how efficient she is, even down to saving a couple of minutes a day on the basis that this adds up to an extra half an hour a week which can be used to go for a walk or a run at the weekend. I think I’m pretty well organised and efficient with my time but I did take a couple of things away which I thought were excellent ideas - mass buying birthday party presents and cards for the year was one of my favourites!

As my son is about to turn 3 this week and I feel that this milestone is one of the bigger ones so far. I have to keep stopping myself as I almost refer to him as a toddler - he is definitely no longer a toddler, he’s not a baby either, so now I guess he’s just a “child” or a “little boy”, but then that encompasses such a huge age range it feels overwhelming. I often think about this when I buy my son a children’s meal in a restaurant, as I watch him clear his fish fingers and chips off his plate, I consider whether it’s ok that my 2 year old eats a portion that is equally made for an 8, 9 or 10 year old!!

I have decided to use this blog to reflect on what I’ve learnt over the past 12 months and how much our lives as a family have changed in that time. I have learnt that 2 year olds:
(a) get ill a lot.. just so much illness, which means calpol, broken sleep, missed days at work or juggling working from home, conversations around whose day in the office is the most important the following day and who can stay at home, all on top of the emotions of watching your child in pain and uncomfortable;
(b) whinge and whine and tantrum almost constantly, mainly for no apparent reason, which is exhausting but also sometimes very funny;
(c) sleep less, despite desperately clinging on to the afternoon nap they are becoming much less common;
(d) are hilarious, as they continue to learn about this world they live in, my son's observations and comments make me laugh every day;
(e) are thoughtful and cute when trying to express their feelings and learn about the emotions of others;
(f) are so incredibly clever, this is amazing and scary at the same time - my son is like a sponge with a memory that astounds me most days;
(g) get invited to so many parties! Our weekends now regularly include at least one soft play party - his social calendar is healthier than mine!;
(h) are extremely bossy. (or is that just mine?!)
(i) are completely exhausting - I reminisce about the times we used to hang out in coffee shops together and I could have a whole, almost uninterrupted, conversation with my husband or a friend, now the only time I ever sit down is when I am at work;
(j) are so thoughtful and loving. The hugs and kisses and expressions of love really outweigh any of the negatives of lack of sleep, sheer exhaustion and the tantrums!

So there we go, another 12 months of memories and learning - and now for life with a three year old!

Hayley is a Senior Associate at an international law firm based in London.  She works 4 days a work and spends Mondays with her gorgeous, crazy (almost) 3 year old.

Category: A Citymother's Diary

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