I am alone.
Shall I say that again?
I am alone in my house. There is no one else here. Just me. And an awful lot of tidying and sorting out.
I honestly can't remember the last time I was actually alone. It was certainly pre-A and S, which means it's over sixteen months since I sat in my house, on my own, with no-one else in it.
I have been looking forward to this moment, to this week, for a while now. I finished work on Friday (new-look blog, new-look description of me and what I do, possibly even new-look name if I can think of one coming up just as soon as I can cast off my luddite tendencies and make it work), and I am enrolled in Millinery 2 this week. This means that this week my heroic mother is having my children ALL WEEK.
I have been so excited. In fact I've probably been downright unpleasant in my smugness at having a week all to myself and B. And in fact, it'll feel more like all to myself, because not only has he heroically taken them to my mother's (leaving me to tidy up and start the pre-move de-cluttering, ahem) but he'll be at work, so at the beginning and end of the day, my time will really be my own.
So, as I say, I have really been looking forward to it.
And then, this morning, I realised something. I've got to spend a whole week without my children. And I don't want them to go. Even when L was being hideous this morning, there was a part of me thinking "but I don't want you to go".
But then the odd thing. Did I make the most of the day we had together? Did I spend lovely quality time with my beautiful, much-adored children? Did we reaffirm our familial bond and love for each other?
We did not.
I was just the same as I always am. Concentrating on the washing up, the tidying, the getting dressed, the packing. Are they eating enough? Not enough? At the right time? Are they playing nicely? Who snatched what? Who needs to say sorry? Do this. Don't do that.
Come and give me a cuddle.
Why do I do this? Why can I know, and feel, one thing, and yet do and say another? How can I simultaneously long for this week to come, and yearn for it to be over?
Forget the battle between working and non-working mums (in which number, lest I forget, I must now count myself). I think my biggest battle will remain between my all-consuming love for my children, and my just as demanding selfish needs.