Home invasion

It was bound to happen. Fine weather can only hold out for so long. Our mother’s group has taken to meeting at a local park which has a conveniently located coffee shop across the road where we can go and get a good take away coffee. It’s a great spot, not too far from the river, which has shady trees and is cool even on a hot day. One of the mums even has a super-sized picnic blanket that can accommodate several mums and bubs. We were on to a good thing, until it rained.

We do have a wet weather plan, which involves going to the chocolate-themed coffee shop up the road from the park, but as the bubs get more mobile (Little Birdie is leading the vanguard by crawling), it is a less attractive option. So there was a little confusion on our Facebook group page as to what we should do.

I was pretty much the last person to log on to see what the plan was. It was the morning we were supposed to meet and it was raining. Some of the more organized mums had seen the weather reports the night before and flagged that there was a problem by posting to our shared Facebook page, but there was no general agreement on where to meet. In my usual last minute fashion, I logged on an hour and a half before we were supposed to leave and saw there was willingness by a couple of girls to meet up, but no agreed venue. One girl had offered her house, but it hadn’t been conformed. I knew one thing, however, I was looking forward to the catch-up. I knew what I had to do.

So I put my hand up for everyone to come around to our place. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, unless you are a parent. LB takes up a lot the majority of my time and I try to fit cleaning and everything else around that. Not to mention the fact that I am a pretty ordinary housekeeper at the best of times. It doesn’t come naturally to me and I’m always on the back foot with the house. Hubby and I had agreed to a program of spring-cleaning, but it fell by the wayside pretty quickly because our weekends always seem to be so full and we work very hard to preserve the structure of LB’s day so she can get some sleep. To compound matters, I had had food poisoning earlier in the week and decided to take things a little easier so I could recover faster. So, I really had no business offering up our house, but I did anyway. I really treasure my time with my mother’s group and I know I would have been disappointed if I hadn’t seen the girls.

Of course, the minute the invitation was out, I had to click into action. As soon as LB went down for her morning nap, I raced around cleaning toilets and basins, sweeping floors, tidying and getting dressed. It was a losing battle.

You have to turn off part of your brain when you are a perfectionist and a parent. My house was pretty untidy when the mums and bubs from mother’s group turned up but it wasn’t embarrassingly dirty. The babies had a lovely play on the mat in the lounge room, with access to all LB’s toys and the visitors got to see another side to LB, because she is a lot more confident in her own home. We also didn’t have to worry about ants, or the elements or parking. In fact, it was super good for me, because when LB started getting really tired, I put her down for a nap in her cot straight away and we went downstairs and continued our chatting. We have a coffee machine and I had bought some biscuits the day before to bring along anyway, so it was cheap and easy and comfortable.

As always, after the mums and bubs had gone home and I was thinking over our morning, I thought about how things had turned out better then I had expected. I refused to dwell on the fact that people had seen my imperfect house, instead choosing to focus on all the benefits of the day. One of the biggest plusses was that I had actually done a lot of housework in a short time while preparing for the visitors to arrive. I had sorted washing, put more washing on, cleaned, tidied, sorted and organized. It was very likely more than I would have done normally. I also had all afternoon to organize dinner.

As I am so often finding since becoming a mother, somehow you always get there in the end. So many times since LB was born I have wondered where all this was going to end up and yet we have just scraped through. I have also learnt that it is important to make the effort to get out and catch up with people, because it can be so lonely and depressing if you do not. That little bit of stress in the morning was worth it for the lovely time I had with the mums and bubs. It was also worthwhile because it lifted my mood and got me moving.

I don’t like having visitors when my house is messy, that will not ever change, but sometimes we have to accept that we cannot always be perfect and just move on. There’s also a little motivation to be gained from the experience. The wet weather was also a timely reminder to always be prepared for the unexpected. I think it’s time for hubby and I to get back to our program of spring-cleaning!

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