The start of the week often feels like it needs a boost of energy – there are new tasks to be completed. But how about making a conscious effort to begin the week slowly; to be patient? Annie Ridout explores this idea…
As a full time mother to two young children – a three-year-old and a five-month-old – weekends are precious. It’s the time for us to be a family of four. My husband’s working week ends on Friday so on Saturday, he can help me out with the hard stuff (tantrums, tears, poonamis), but also share in the lovely stuff (laughter, new words, first foods).
This means that our weekends are spent hanging out, seeing friends, in the pub, visiting museums, having family to stay. They are rarely quiet – and we like it that way. But it also means that there’s no time to just be. Or to get work done (unless it’s marked firmly in the diary that one of us has a work project on).
So by the time Monday swings round again, I’m ready to get my head down. This usually isn’t possible, as I’m back on my own with two kids, but I might be able to sneak in an hour or two while they nap. If they nap. And if it’s at the same time.
I’ve written about feeling more productive since having children, because I definitely do, but I’m also a lot more tired. I don’t always have an evening to tick off tasks, because I sometimes go to bed at 8.30pm, shortly after putting the kids down. And I’m already up at 5.30am with the baby, so can’t really get up earlier to achieve anything.
Some of it can wait until tomorrow, when my daughter’s in nursery and I have a few more naps to utilise, and some can wait until next year
Before baby two came along, I had my firstborn in nursery two days a week. That time was invaluable for working on The Early Hour, and my other freelance writing. She is still in nursery two days, but with a baby to look after full time, I spend my days pounding the streets to get him to sleep, finding a bench and manically typing notes/an article/a pitch – then feeding him when he wakes. And the cycle repeats.
While lamenting my freedom to work, in an Instagram post, (and to write that novel, do a course, publish some poetry etc) one wise mother said you need to be patient. It doesn’t all have to happen today. And she is so right. The ideas will continue to flow, but at some stage I will have evenings and early mornings back. The baby will be older and go to nursery. Again, I’ll have the luxury of time alone.
So that’s how I try to start the week, now. By reminding myself that we’ve had a fun weekend and that there’s work to be done – but that it doesn’t all have to be done RIGHT NOW. It can wait. Some of it can wait until tomorrow, when my daughter’s in nursery and I have a few more naps to utilise, and some can wait until next year when I’m no longer breastfeeding or with the baby 24/7.
Be patient. It doesn’t all have to happen today.