It is a well known fact that when you have children you change. There is no denying it. We may all think that we will be young dynamic parents, who will always remember just how boring new parents are, and then we have a baby and we change.
For the next many many years we live a life which revolves around our children. Sleeping in particular is an all consuming occupation. Will our baby sleep the night? Will it wake and go back to sleep easily? Will it decide the morning has arrived when in reality we know it is still night in our adult world?
As a result nights out are rare and not always something we look forward to as we are in a perpetual state of exhaustion.
Thankfully time marches on and despite many years of parenting the time comes when we see light at the end of the tunnel. It begins as a faint light, the children begin to go to sleep when they are put to bed. Then we have the occasional full night sleep, which strangely causes us to be even more exhausted than usual. Eventually not only do they go to bed and sleep all night, but they begin to sleep until it is really morning.
And lo and behold the day comes when you begin to take a nights sleep for granted. It is definitely around this time we parents begin to move to a different level.
At last we can get a babysitter and go out. Slowly we begin to plan nights out. We rekindle old friendships or make new ones. We rediscover our partners and after many years of exhaustion we remember what it feels like to live a life not dominated by our desire to go to bed.
I have thankfully left the sleepless nights of early years parenting in the past. In the last few years I have begun to really enjoy a new life, outside of my children. I can plan to do things and have older children who can step in to mind the younger ones.
So yesterday when my husband told me he was off to Dublin did I want to come with him I jumped at it. The plan was that I could travel up with him and we would stay with my Mom. It’s been a while since I visited her and within minutes I was so looking forward to it. My husband would then go to his meeting the next day, while my Mom and I caught up on life over a million cups of tea.
I broke the news to my kids who were horrified we were not taking them. There were a few minor details, like having the younger one minded for a couple of hours until the older one was home from school, but that was easily sorted.
As we sat around the dinner table yesterday we were all talk about the trip. My eldest daughter had also told us that she too was traveling to Dublin with work. We laughed at the coincidence of it all, that three of us would all be in Dublin on the same night.
Until bed time. It was as my youngest put on her pyjamas that it hit me. I would be in Dublin. My husband would be in Dublin. My eldest daughter would be in Dublin, and my son was away at college.
That would mean my two youngest were home alone, at night!
It looks like I had got a little too carried away by my new life. Even though my children are growing up it looks like I still have a lot of years parenting ahead of me. With a heavy heart I rang my mother, changed my plans and today waved my husband off, wailing inwardly as I outwardly smiled.
However don’t feel too sorry for me, because next week I’m dumping the lot of them. Dublin, as a single me, here I come!