Malone enjoys the guilty pleasure of guilt free rest
In half term we visited my mum who lives in London. My mother commented; “You always arrive and then fall asleep!” She sounded surprised by her own observation. I wanted to defensively list reasons as to why this lone parent would possibly arrive at her mothers after a long journey on two trains, and two buses with a five year old and want to collapse. I didn’t. I wearily mouthed the words “tired”. But in my head I thought, ‘it’s a long journey with a small child’, and ‘Mother you’ve just fed me a home-made roast dinner!’
“Usually when people have my daughter for a few hours I still feel on duty”
Never mind the fact that I’m the permanent sole carer of a small child. When I arrive at my mum’s I literally just unfold, my body exclaims, ‘Nana’s here! She loves to spend time with her granddaughter’. Usually when people have my daughter for a few hours I still feel on duty, like I can’t turn off the phone in case she needs rushing to hospital or something. I feel I am always on call. And I feel like I need to say about a million thank yous when I collect her.
Whereas when Nana takes her to the park, I feel like Nana is getting loads out of it for herself, it’s mutually beneficial, its not as a favour to me and for some reason this makes me more at ease. So I go into an exhausted coma not long after entering my mum’s house. I eat, then fall sleep like a teenager. My mum got abit cross at me when she asked if I wanted to come to the park with them. I said no through bleary eyes. Why would I want to go to the park when I can have a guilt free rest? I go to the park all the time. I look after my child 24/7, every month, about 350 days a year. To hell with rhodium and gold prices, guilt free rests are the most valuable thing in the world to me!
I seem to be only able to have a guilt free rest when either my mother or her dad has her every half year. Everyone else I feel like they are doing it as a favour. I am always saying thank you. ‘Thanks for looking after her while I go to Aldi.’ ‘Thanks for taking her while I have the runs.’ And ‘thanks for looking after her while I go home and have an important snog with my boyfriend’, [some snogs are important). It sounds funny, but it’s so nice not having to say thank you to my mum. She had a great time at the a park, if anything she wants to say thank-you for the adventure. This truly makes me relaxed. I wonder, that if I become a grandparent and my daughter walks in and collapses handing over her child, whether I would be miffed. Probably, because I’d miss my daughter too…