Hi, I’m Mimi, and I live in a little Victorian cottage with my husband and little girl. I’ve been a full time mum until now, but have just started working for myself for a few hours a week doing admin. I’ll be writing here from time to time about my life as a vintage housekeeper and mum…
I know all of us will have different situations – I have one child, you may have two, three or more. Mine is nearly a year and a half, and you may be a mama to a wee baby, or perhaps a nearly-teenager. Nursery, school, nanny or nothing, so many different variations. But we’ll all have this in common – loving our babbas and wanting to give them a Brocante childhood.
Rhythm and Routine
As vintage housekeepers, rhythm and routine are familiar friends. Wash day, shopping day, puttery evenings, seasonal scrubs. They underpin our lives, don’t they? And we are either on top of them or chasing behind. Whether we do the washing or not, it is still there, either waiting to be pegged on the line, or piling up in the basket.
When you become a mum, suddenly there are a multitude of other rhythms which fill your world. Sleeping, waking, crying babies. Feeding on demand, or feeding on a schedule. Nappies to be changed, tiny bodies to be bathed and snuggled. Life somehow has to fit in around the edges.
Then there are the rhythms of work, either our own jobs, or those of the people who live with us. School days, nursery days, story time at the library days. Dustbin days, family days…days, days, days.
All those rhythms swirling and whirling around us, and us in the middle. Some days I feel like I am at the centre of a whirlwind, other days I feel like a ringmaster in a glorious circus. The latter happens more when I am in control of the different rhythms and routines which run our lives. I love the feeling of having a meal plan, knowing who is where tomorrow and what they need is ready. But it is all too easy to slip into the centre of the whirlwind and want to throw my apron over my head and hide.
Now, do you notice what is missing from all those rhythms and routines and patterns? Me. I’m there making them happen or chasing trying to catch up with them, but what about me for my own sake? It is so easy in trying to get everything done, to make sure everyone is fed and clothed and happy, to forget about yourself. To have put the baby to bed, come downstairs and tidied the toys, washed up the dinner things and realised it is ten to ten, and my evening is just starting now…but I’m so, so sleepy.
So easy for my little one to settle for a nap, and for me to think that I’ll have a few minutes to myself, and get drawn into Facebook or Pinterest, and suddenly the time has gone and the baby is awake and ready to play, and I don’t feel like I had a rest at all.
I’ve been mulling this over for a few weeks. Truth be told, I’ve been writing this in my head for a month or more, in snatches when pushing the pram or doing the dishes. I’m so careful with Jessica’s routines – we have toddler group day, nanny day, grandma day, library day. We have meal times, snack times, rest times, play times, story times. Her life unfolds like a ribbon, her needs are met and she knows what to expect. I think it’s time I took a dose of my own medicine, and start applying this to myself.
Seven Days, Seven Things
So, seven days, seven things which bring me joy, peace or pleasure. Something just for me. I’m undecided yet as to whether I shall assign one particular thing to each day, or if I will just see what I feel like on the day. I think the first option appeals more to me at the moment though.
Perhaps every Monday I shall make time to sit down with my favourite cup and saucer, make a pot of tea with my Ceylon Orange Pekoe leaves, and drink it while doing nothing else.
Tuesday I will listen to a podcast from radio 4 while laying down.
Wednesday will be my day for painting my nails pillar box red.
Thursday I will crochet a single triangle of granny square bunting, and I will only do this now. A chain of bunting as a physical manifestation of time spent on me.
On Fridays I will read a chapter of a book kept just for Fridays. I’ll enjoy the anticipation of waiting to find out what happens next.
Saturday will be my day for a soak in the bath.
Sundays I’ll leave open, with the idea of being in the kitchen, cooking something unnecessary. Finally getting to grips with meringues perhaps, or perfecting my apple pie recipe.
But wait…all of this is about me, and this is meant to be a column about being a mum. Well, the thing I’ve learnt since becoming a Mum is that while you would give your last breath to your child, you have to take that breath first in order to have it to give. Likewise, half an hour for me makes me much happier, less snappy. When I make a bit of time for me, I get my sparkle back, and it helps me to be a better Mummy.
So, please, join in with me, and spend half an hour today planing your weekly pleasures.
Note from Alison… I’m so thrilled to have Mimi from Little Sips of Tea back writing at BrocanteHome. She was one of my very first readers and as I think you can tell, she has so scrumptiously embraced the spirit of Brocante while creating a truly lovely, life less ordinary for her little family…