Shorty. It's your birthday...........

Turning 36 was good. The sun was shining. I made it to 36 in one piece and largely unscathed by the ravages of modern life. I'm just glad to be here with so many wonderful people here both big and small. I'm also happy to eat frozen Toblerone cake.

See I even took a picture to commemorate the passing of another fantastic year.

They are all so lovely no?

I feel like I've made peace with my birthday which I appreciate is a strange statement to make. They always made me feel a bit melancholy. I think it's common for children of divorced parents to feel a bit displaced on 'special days'. I always had a sense that I was missing something or wasn't in the right place or just felt a bit off. I didn't want a big fuss but would be childishly upset if no-one made a fuss of me.

But now I have three little people who love having a day of celebration and it would take a heart of stone not to join in with their exuberance. 

Were you and I to have a chat on any normal day I would possibly moan about the little things. Whinge about the work. Prattle on about why there are never enough hours in the day. But I hope what you would hear would be how fortunate I am. The blessing of a house to clean, of food to cook and children to squeeze.

This life is the one I hoped was in front of me as I grew up. Being the middle of a noisy, messy, glorious family. A partner who I truly consider to be the best human being I know. And a small but amazing network of friends I know are always there. Yes indeed. 

So that was April

The news I know you've all been waiting for. I bought a pair of dungarees. I have failed to wear them out of the house yet but I will!

I logged on to the old bliggety blog this morning and realised it's been a whole month since I've posted which might be the longest time I've not blogged since January 2011 when I first hopped on this train.

There's a whole host of reasons why, which you may or may not be interested in but I'm hoping to get back into writing here more regularly and keeping our family album up to date. Does anyone out there actually have a family album filled with printed photos?

I wrote last time that Whole 30 has been a huge change in my life. It has changed food, meals, shopping and more around here. I think it's sparked change in other changes of my life too. I'm trying to be more deliberate and conscious about all the stuff.

For years now when people ask me what I do I explain apologetically that I only work one day a week and the rest of the time I only at home parent my three small children. So I decided to stop doing that because it's rubbish. I work very hard when I'm at work and I work very hard when I'm at home, no apology needed.  And I do it this way because I choose to. This way what I earn contributes to our family finances rather than pays for childcare. This way I get to do most of the school runs and I get to spend as much time with my children as I can whilst they are young. I get to colour and paint and dress up and Lego everyday. I am making memories and shaping little minds. No need to be sorry about that so I won't.

I suspect people think that at home parents have more 'free' time than parents who work outside the home. I don't know who's right on that one I just know that while my kids are awake my time is spoken for. If I'm not actually doing, reading, changing, feeding etc I'm cleaning and preparing for what's coming next. Go me.

But I also know that even when no one 'needs' me I feel like I can't switch off. There's always something I could (should?) be doing. As a result I don't feel like there was much time left for me to choose what I want to do. Or there wasn't and that was making me crankier and grumpier than I needed to be. And no one was going to sanction that time for me so I had to take it myself. The one thing I do have is flexibility. There are a few times in my day when I need to be in a certain place at a certain time but the rest of the stuff I do I'm free to do anytime I please.

So I decided to change the way my day happens, to fit things in here and there, to prioritise some things over others and to see how I felt.

I felt like I had the food thing much more under control. I also know I wanted to fit exercise in to my daily life. Not just moving around - I already do a lot of that - but dedicated, committed breaking a sweat exercise. I want to be a good example and I want to feel fitter and healthier. It's that simple.

I signed up for Beachbody on Demand so that I could work out at home with my laptop. I completed 60 days of the Insanity workout. It was hard. Making time for that was hard. Missing other things to do that 6 days a week was hard. Working out at 9pm on work days was hard. But would you believe it worked? I'm fitter for sure and now I really want to continue. I've created a new habit which I wasn't sure I would manage. I don't want to recommend the Beachbody route specifically because it's definitely not for everyone. But I would recommend making plans to do something for you and sticking to it come metaphorical hell or high water. I'm excited to see what happens next.

Baxter has dropped his morning nap so I usually try to exercise when he is sleeping at lunchtime. That means for the 40 minutes or so I'm doing that Grier is more than likely watching television, sometimes drawing or playing. And I feel guilty about that but this is the easiest way for me to get it done and still be able to keep on top of everything else. 

So that's my long winded explanation of why the blog has dropped off the priority list for a while. I would like to find a way to make a little space for it but we shall see what happens. I feel like we all deserve a little time and space to do more of what makes us happy, don't you?

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Golden Hour

I really want the kids to remember the evenings we abandoned baths and balanced meals and sensible bedtimes and threw together a poorly conceived picnic and headed to the country park. I want them to do it for themselves one day, to forgoe what they should do for what feels good. To make the most of sunshine and loved ones and squeeze the last drops out of the day.
 

Somtimes doing less feels like living more, would you agree?