I work with kids.
And books. Thankfully, I have a nice bookish buffer between me and other people's kids at work, but more often than not, my job involves placating, entertaining and listening to small children.
|Life's always a laugh with these crackers!|
I love it - I really do.
I work in a children's library and I get a real kick out of helping them fire up their imaginations using the written word.
It's a real privilege.
Today, however, I was sent to cover a different department (which is usual for my work - sometimes we are short-staffed and we are expected to cover areas which need to be covered. It's nice to get a wee change); one which is just for the adults.
When you've spent the last goodness-knows-how-long being at the beck and call of small children and their endless crazy demands and challenges and hilarious musings, it was a bit difficult to get myself in the mindset of not speaking to kids.
It was kind of nice.
I got myself a cup of tea in my travel mug.
I found myself glancing over adult fiction and non-fiction. It's been a wee while since I properly had the head-space to do this and it was a weird sensation. Usually I'm looking for ways to entertain, things which sound funny or look funny in the eyes of a child, but today it was all for me.
I read a newspaper at break time.
I spoke to adults about things which weren't about parenting, or housekeeping or what my baby's poo looked like and it was pretty cool.
I could actually feel a different part of my brain being used, and for a second, I kind of remembered who I was.
After my four hours, I went down to my locker and put on my coat. I brushed my hair in the mirror and actually felt the rumbling in my tummy signalling that yet again I had missed lunch.
This time, I resolved to do something about it, rather than the usual of just pushing through and ignoring it.
While walking up the road to my car, I switched back to 'Mum' mode. Switched back on to 'must collect the baby and get the other two from school and plan what to have for tea' mode. Felt the rumbling in my tummy again and tried to forget about it. Felt myself slipping back into responsibility, like putting on an old, worn-out coat with holes in the elbows.
But - for four hours today, I relaxed.
It gave me space to think. To be.
I think I forget to do that sometimes.
That's the thing about having kids; it's relentless. You never stop. And although most of the time it's fun and full of laughter and madness and crazy stuff that you'd never even thought about doing - it's tough going.
Like anything, sometimes you just need a break.