Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Spinning plates

I really must get out of the habit of calling the baby, 'the baby'.  Even the older two children are getting sick of it.

My daughter, who thinks she knows everything because she's the eldest, has begun correcting me:  He's not a baby, Mummy, he's a toddler.  I suppose she must be right, as I'm beginning to feel as if my life is my own again.  It's quite refreshing.  I even - bliss! - have had chance to read a few books lately, without anyone falling down the stairs or colouring on the doors.

But  they're all growing, too fast, and I daren't look away in case I miss anything special.  So I'm trying to keep all the plates spinning; working part-time as a teacher;  being a good mum;  taking time to enjoy the children while they're all mine; trying to scrape by as a wife.  (It's a good job my other half doesn't get to fill in a performance management review).   And on top of that, I've realised that while I load the washing machine and walk the children to school and pre-school,  and all the rest of that housework/mothering business, my dreams are getting dusty.

So I thought I'd start by trying some new things this year - like writing a blog.  And, like millions of others, I've always dreamed of being an author.  I even wrote a book once.  I'd sit at the computer and find myself still there hours later, and not quite know how I'd got from there to here.  Then I re-read my book, and it was dreadful.  Real dross.  The worst thing: I couldn't figure out what had gone wrong.  So I gave up, and had three babies in fairly swift succession instead.

That was  six years ago now.  And it makes my mouth dry thinking about it, but this is the year I'm going to really aim for that dream.  I wrote the first draft of a new book last year, any time the children were asleep or out.  I'm still writing stuttering prose, and I have an immense amount still to learn, but I'm going to take it one step at a time.  I'm going to remember that a first draft is just that - a beginning, an early attempt that will be much improved by rewriting.   I'm going to practise and practise until I begin to make progress.

Now all I need is for the children to stay asleep...

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