This is the rush hour of our lives

This is the rush hour of our lives.  We have children who need our focus and attention.  We have careers that need our energy, initiative and drive to really take off.  We have social commitments aplenty (hen and stag dos, weddings, divorce parties!) and we have the constant background hum of admin, chores, bills, mortgages and appointments.

I feel as though I am driving at high speed in the fast lane of the motorway.  All I really want to do at the moment is to pull off the motorway and take the scenic route along the country roads, to take it all in and to enjoy this thing that we call life. 

I’m weary of being this strong, independent, self sufficient, successful at work, single mum.  I feel I always need to be as strong as an ox, but often I feel as fragile as an egg.

rush hour of our lives

Cygnet wants energy, quality time, focus and attention. When he gets it I can see him thrive and I derive pleasure from giving him 100% of my energy when we are together.  Carving out quality time for the two of us is my scenic route along the country roads.

But sometimes I need to take Cygnet with me on the motorway.  Cygnet likes to travel at his own pace.  I have to hurry him along in the mornings to get him to nursery to that I can get my train.  Inevitably nursery mornings are those when I have to wake him from his slumber, whereas he’ll be dragging me out of bed at 6:30am on a Saturday.

I bribe and cajole. I clean his teeth by putting CBeebies on the iPad.  I get him to put his shoes on by getting his monkey to help me do the velcro. I get him into the buggy with the promise of a Yoyo bear (you know, those strips of rolled up jam like stuff that claim to be one of your five a day).

I commute to work. I curse the delayed train, the fact that I never get a seat, the fact that the wifi black spot always hits when I am ready to pay that bill online or have written that comment on a blog post. 

I arrive at work to a barrage of tedious emails, post-its left on my computer screen, my staff lingering at my desk to update me or to ask me something or other. I’ve learned not to bother to read most of my emails. I go from meeting to meeting preparing for each in the lift on the way there. 

I influence. I negotiate to achieve consensus between opposing views. I allocate tasks and I plan the way forward.  I monitor progress and budgets. I deliver and complete my projects.

I dash from the office. I sprint to the station for nursery pick up. I buy fresh fruit on the way. I arrive at nursery 4 minutes before collection cut off after which the late pick-up fine is applied.

We go home. I cook.  Cygnet has tea at 4:30 nursery so is ready for another meal in the evening.  We eat together. We bath together. I read to him and then we lie on his bed together until he falls asleep.

I pour myself some wine and I do the washing up, the washing, the online supermarket shop.  I pay bills. I book appointments.  I compare quotes for work on the flat. I water the plants on the balcony. I vacuum. I send an email to my friend who has just had a baby.  I catch up with my family.

I then blog. I read. I write. I comment.  I like this time.  This is my time, but I am forever torn between my need for this little bit of time for me and my need for sleep.   I go to bed too late.

Cygnet wakes and climbs into my bed at some point between 2am and 5am.  I am woken by a toddler’s foot in my face.  I drift back to sleep just before the alarm goes off.


…and repeat

…and repeat.

We are in the rush hour of our lives.   

I remind myself that I’ll miss this time when it’s over.   


Brilliant blog posts on

Life Love and Dirty Dishes


    • thesingleswan
      May 17, 2017 / 7:39 pm

      It’s tough isn’t it. I am going to vote for any political party who promises in their manifesto to make days 30 hours long. That way I reckon I could fit everything in. Pen x

  1. May 17, 2017 / 1:12 pm

    Popping over from #TriumphantTales to say hi.
    i used to consider my me time as the time i spent blogging and on social media when the kids were living at home

    • thesingleswan
      May 17, 2017 / 7:38 pm


      The blogging time is me time for me too. Pen x

  2. May 17, 2017 / 9:35 pm

    I really enjoyed the pace of this, it reads so well and fast. Tired out just feeling it! I stay at home with my son but it’s just as constant as your days.. I’ve stopped staying up late for blogging recently at the sacrifice of me time but sleep always wins with me in the end. ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬ ❤
    Karen | TwoTinyHands recently posted…Hello #FamilyFunLinkyMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 17, 2017 / 9:40 pm

      Hi Karen,

      thanks for your comment. I am glad you liked the post. Unfortunately I get a second wind late in the evening and blogging wins. I just feel exhausted the next day. Pen x

  3. May 18, 2017 / 8:17 am

    Having just battled rush hour traffic, after a rush hour morning a the kid and knowing it ain’t going to stop you have written down exactly how I’m feeling at the moment #stayclassymama

    • thesingleswan
      May 18, 2017 / 8:08 pm

      Thanks Briony. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      May 18, 2017 / 8:08 pm

      Haha, Yes absolutely. Thanks for sharing. Pen x

  4. May 18, 2017 / 2:16 pm

    Working or at home, things seem to be non stop. I work evenings and when I get home at 10pm tonight I am going to want food and bed. My one bonus is that I don’t have to do a school run on a Friday morning so I can have a sneaky lay in. And then I’ll moan as I haven’t gotten much done lol.
    Ali Duke recently posted…My Empties: Men’s Special #2My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 18, 2017 / 8:06 pm

      Hi Ali,

      thanks for your comment. And enjoy the lie in. Pen x

  5. May 18, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    It’s strange because I often think life as a stay at home Mum should be pretty chilled. I even have two mornings a week (3 hours) where I am child free…yet every moment seems to be allocated to something…popping to the bank, making a phone call, making an appointment…even the ‘me things’ running, blogging, showering, reading seem to feel like items on a to-do list and one that’s a race against the clock.
    If anyone knows how, please let me know?!
    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub, we are all there with you on that rat race…
    MMT recently posted…High Five to the honest Mum blogs #solidariteaMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 19, 2017 / 9:18 pm

      Haha, I don’t think there is a way. I guess we have to wait for our children to grow up and then leave home. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      May 19, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      Indeed. Good luck to you. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      May 19, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      Haha, thanks. Pen x

  6. May 22, 2017 / 8:54 am

    oh i feel you! life is all rush rush rush and sometimes we need to step back and take it all in! Little man has just started to confidently walk with me holding one of his hands which this weekend has made me realise that time is going so fast!
    We’re off to wales this week and i’m hoping for a slower paced week for once! However, I have my laptop and blogging to keep on top of whoops!
    Thanks for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow!
    Mrs Mummy Harris recently posted…BloggyBrides: What I wish I knew before I got married.My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 22, 2017 / 9:32 pm

      Thank you for the comment and I hope you have a wonderful time in Wales. Pen x

  7. May 22, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    Currently looking at my to do list for this week and feeling very overwhelmed. It all gets a bit much sometimes doesn’t it. Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

    • thesingleswan
      May 22, 2017 / 9:30 pm

      yep, it is bonkers. thanks for your comment. Pen x

  8. May 23, 2017 / 1:06 pm

    Such a honest and beautifully written post. It’s really made me feel a little like you feel every day (exhasuted) I have huge admiration for single parents because I always feel I would be totally lost on my own. There is just so much to do all the time… I love it how you call it tbe rush hour of our lives and I believe you are right. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

    • thesingleswan
      May 23, 2017 / 8:25 pm

      It’s not just single parents. It’s parents. But thanks for your lovely comment. pen x

  9. This sounds so familiar. To the extent that when I find myself with a few hours with no plans and no child, I have no idea where to start with doing things . Such a rare thing to have an infinity of a few hours to yourself which pre-motherhood was a normal Saturday or evening!!!
    Angela Watling (Life, Motherhood and Everything) recently posted…When I had no desire to blogMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 23, 2017 / 8:25 pm

      I know exactly what you mean. I feel a little bit lost when I don’t have Cygnet. There is so much to do and I don’t where to start. Pen x

  10. May 24, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    Well Pen my sweet, you have shamed me. Not only are you a working mum (yes my blog is my full time job which makes my brain almost come unhinged but who am I kidding re time constraints/commuting/balancing etc) but you also do more in one evening than I manage in one month. Sweet jesus give that girl a medal. PS LOVE your header! Utterly impressed with the design, haven’t seen that before. So nice to be reading you again! #coolmumclub
    absolutely prabulous recently posted…The First Thing I Think When a Tragedy like #Manchester happens.My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      May 24, 2017 / 8:50 pm

      Hey Prab, What a lovely comment to read. THank you. I really appreciate it. Pen x

  11. June 1, 2017 / 11:57 pm

    Can relate. And I eternally stay up too late choosing to have some time for myself over sleep.

    Thanks so much for joining us for #FridayFrolics
    Silly Mummy recently posted…Friday Frolics – 2nd June 2017My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      June 6, 2017 / 8:03 pm

      thanks for your comment. Pen x

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