Tuesday, 19 October 2010
"Cocktails and Kiddies...DO Mix!"
Okay, by socialising I suppose I mean drinking wine, having cocktails on the beach and general frivolity...(ie. acting like the teenagers we definitely no longer are).
But to those who would scorn or deride us for such indulgence, for attempting to enjoy ourselves, and for 'making hay while the sun shines' (quite literally), let me say this:
Life is short. This is evidenced by the totally incongruous way my biological age seems to have sped miles ahead of my 'internal age'. I still feel 21 or thereabouts. The husband does too. And given that we appear to be successfully raising two very happy, healthy (okay slightly naughty - but what do you expect with their gene pool?) little boys, I can't believe that it's a sin not to try and enjoy this stage of our life.
All too often we meet parents who have sacrificed their own desires and happiness in order to fully give themselves over to role of parenting. We admire them...we discuss how short we fall in the comparison stakes...and then we smile at each other and breathe a sigh of relief that we are NOT them.
You see, just because you become a parent, doesn't mean that your life should matter any less. Yes, of course you should take your children's needs into account every second of every day, and ensure that they are kept safe, healthy and happy. But I've always believed that a happy parent makes a good parent.
And the husband and I like to have fun. We like to socialise, travel, meet new people, have adventures, bury ourselves in books, write, make music and generally indulge in many of the pleasures life has to offer.
And...we've discovered that some imagination, a bit of juggling, and a 'risk it all' attitude to future employment and financial security means that we can take that step out of modern life, pack our bags, and take our shambolic family 'on the road'...thus reaping certain benefits.
Everything is a trade-off in life. Yes, we've just spent five months living in paradise, eating gorgeous food, walking amongst rice paddies and hanging out with amazing new friends. And now we're headed back to our lovely Goan hideaway to swim every day in the Arabian Sea, sip fresh lime soda cocktails at sunset, and nibble on homemade samosas.
But (and it's a big but) we don't know what we're going to be going back to when our 'Family Gap Year' ends early next year. And we've just found out that our rental property needs a new boiler. And our children now approach meal times with the phrase, "This isn't what we ordered" when we plonk down something in front of them which they don't like. And Egg thinks it's perfectly normal to slip off his flipflops in a restaurant or department store and wander around barefoot...
Need I go on?
So back to the life is short thing. It really is. And I don't want to be older, look back on my life and wish I'd done more, had more fun and really enjoyed it. And there is no reason why YOUR life has to end (the social, fun side of it anyway) just because another life begins.
A little modification is all that's required.
Oh, and some childcare help now and again never goes amiss.
And some good friends to share happy times with.
And a lovely beach upon which to have cocktails and contemplate your next great adventure...