Once a week I go out. I have a lovely babysitter who has watched my kids one evening a week for years. I pay her of course because she is worth her weight in gold. She is great with my son and I am so grateful for that small break each week. Even if the evening consists of going to the supermarket, I just need the time away.
The problem comes when I get home. It’s never too late, usually half nine/ten, and there is no way I could possibly expect the babysitter to attempt to get my son to bed so the kids are generally up when I get home. My daughter is normally in her room. My son will be playing a computer game or throwing bottles of water round my living room trying to get them to land upright.
What happens next makes me wonder if it’s worth paying someone to watch my kids while I have a couple of hours away from them.
I come in and start the very long process of getting my children to bed. A process that is usually at least half way through by this time. I inform my son it is bed time. He usually then takes telling at least twenty seven times to turn off the computer, go upstairs, put on his pyjamas etc etc.
Generally, my daughter verbally attacks him as he is getting ready. This is her way of avoiding having to get ready for bed and goes on until his very tired self is ready to burst. Cue meltdown!
I remove my daughter from the same room as my son so she verbally attacks me and also takes her usual two and a half hours (that isn’t an exaggeration) to get ready for bed.
I iron uniforms which won’t be worn unless they are ironed, spread them out where they need to be or they cant be worn and sort out every problem under the sun.
My kids then decide to start world war three between them. I end up splitting them up and making my daughter (the war instigator) move to the furthest possible room in the house, so my son, who by this time is trying to punch right through the wall next to his bed, can have time to calm down.
My daughter decides she isn’t sleeping because she hates me, throws the contents of one side of my kitchen into the other side and then sits on a chair in the kitchen refusing to go to bed and calling me every name under the sun because she would rather be dead than go to bed.
This all goes on for quite some time until everything settles down and people start to be in the right places suggesting they might go to sleep.
I get ready for bed and realise it is nearly 1am, my kids have just gone to bed and I’ve forgotten to make them clean their teeth.
So is it worth it? Totally! I might be shattered and fed up but I got two hours of peace and normality, if there is such a thing?