I hate it when people say: “If you really want to do it, you can make time.” What a load of old cobblers. We use time, we can’t make it. And those who spout this kind of nonsense are not parents of young children who have jobs and any kind of a social life. Unless they are one of that rare breed like Mrs Thatcher who require five minutes sleep a night. Of course if I really want to do something, like most people, I go ahead and do it. But, and here’s the rub, something has to give. So by spending time writing that short story for the flash fiction competition I subject my family to a week of: living in a pig sty/having no clean clothes to wear/ no food in the cupboard/forgotten lunch boxes, money for the school trip etc/ repeated messages from friends asking why I’ve not returned their calls/ calls from irate clients asking where the latest draft of x,y,z is/ calls from the school/nursery asking why I‘ve not picked the kids up/ a mother who stinks with hair that wouldn’t look out of place on a yak (delete one item only). You get my drift.
And I’m pretty lucky. I’ve a bloke who is not totally adverse to washing dishes and putting the kids to bed. But the truth is that there simply isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. How did we get to this point I often ask myself? We have all manner of labour saving devices. But we also have all manner of time gobbling gizmos – email, texts, answer phones, the internet. We’re expected to spend oodles of time improving ourselves in all manner of ways – as parents, as lovers, as home makers, as professionals, as friends. And if we’re to keep our friends we have to be totally up to date with Lost/Big Brother/Desperate Housewives. Schools and nurseries send kids home with enough paperwork for parents to read and deal with to require a small area of rainforest to be felled each week. Then there are the kids’ social arrangements and activities…And we spend more time with our kids than parents in the 70s ever did. I’m exhausted just thinking about it all. No wonder I haven’t had time to pen the 21st century version of War and Peace. And another thing, I’ve my blog to write…ahhhhh.
“There is never enough time, unless you’re serving it.” Malcolm Forbes, author and publisher.