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AND THEN THERE WERE TWO…

1
Usually we are a family of five. But for the past two weeks my husband Tom, and my boys Rafferty and Fox, have been in California on holiday. They have stayed with Tom’s lovely mum (and step-dad, sister, cousins), and they’ve had the time of their lives.

I didn’t go because I felt I just needed to stop. To not go anywhere. Just stop working and chill in my own space. And the idea of travelling with a 20-month old did not appeal to me or Tom. From experience we know that both flying and sharing a room with her on holiday, are exhausting.

So

SelfishMother.com
2
anyway, it was just me & Liberty at home for two weeks. And it was both blissfully chilled and wonderfully eye-opening. I may not have travelled to America, but I have been on a journey of sorts..! So, here’s what I learned:

• I learned that the house does not automatically get tidier with less people in it. It still needs tidying up, except there are now less people to help do it.

• I realised that I’d been blaming the fact the house is a bit chaotic on us being a busy family. So I thought that once they all went, I’d sort it all out

SelfishMother.com
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(such as the pile of clothes in my bedroom, the study that had become a dumping ground, opening the post etc)… well guess what? I still didn’t want to sort them out. Turns out it isn’t easy when you have a toddler as a shadow. And in the evening, I’d much rather watch Netflix instead! It wasn’t them… it’s me.

• I was surprised to discover that left to my own devices I watch a lot of TV. Without another adult around I like to have either the TV or Radio on a lot of the time. And I really enjoy it. While we’ve had the house to ourselves,

SelfishMother.com
4
Liberty & I have watched hours of Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly’s Kingdom, The News, nature programmes. We’ve danced to tunes on the radio, and I’ve taken great delight in choosing my own evening film.

• I realised how much the boys play with Liberty. They constantly amuse her. She was missing her greatest fan-club, and therefore needed a lot more attention from me, which was lovely, but I also found it hard to do even basic tasks with a toddler glued to my hip. I realised how much the boys whisk her off and play with her, and I missed their

SelfishMother.com
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buzzy entertainment.

• When I had my entire family over for lunch, I learned that I could cook and host a fantastic meal all on my own. Tom is usually the dinner party chef, but I surpassed myself solo with a winning risotto.

• While they were away I relished the opportunity to eat whatever I wanted, and keep the fridge only half full. It was pleasurable only catering for Liberty and I. There were none of Tom’s dietry trends to cater for (high protein, low carbs), and there were just less plates to fill and therefore less plates to clear

SelfishMother.com
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up.

• I actually didn’t mind emptying the dishwasher every morning, as it was practically empty.

• Ditto the bins. Usually this is Tom’s job, but I took great relish in smugly doing this the night before the bin collection.

• I did not miss Lego on the floor all around the house. But I did miss the boys showing me what ingenious creations they’d made.

• I did not miss the bickering between brothers. But I did miss watching them play together.

• I also missed their cuddles. In fact I missed their cuddles so much the first few

SelfishMother.com
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nights, that my heart panged with longing and I found it hard to sleep.

• I also missed their humour. And I felt both Liberty and I didn’t have as many laughs on our own. Left to my own devices I’m more likely to sit in companionable silence than get someone in fits of giggles.

• I missed the little notes Rafferty writes, and his clever conversation, and the coffees he brings me in bed.

• I missed Fox’s smiley face, and his early morning snuggles, and his constant love for Liberty.

• And I missed Tom’s hugs, interesting

SelfishMother.com
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conversation, companionship, and his ability to pour me a glass of wine when I look like I need one.

• I did enjoy having the whole bed to myself though.

• And however much I loved the quiet, calm, house, I missed the buzz of everyday family life.

• And I learned long-distance relationships are difficult to maintain, especially when your kids are having fun and 8-hours behind. So, I’m glad that on a day-to-day basis my family are in my same time zone!

SelfishMother.com
Molly Gunn

By

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- 29 Dec 18

Usually we are a family of five. But for the past two weeks my husband Tom, and my boys Rafferty and Fox, have been in California on holiday. They have stayed with Tom’s lovely mum (and step-dad, sister, cousins), and they’ve had the time of their lives.

I didn’t go because I felt I just needed to stop. To not go anywhere. Just stop working and chill in my own space. And the idea of travelling with a 20-month old did not appeal to me or Tom. From experience we know that both flying and sharing a room with her on holiday, are exhausting.

So anyway, it was just me & Liberty at home for two weeks. And it was both blissfully chilled and wonderfully eye-opening. I may not have travelled to America, but I have been on a journey of sorts..! So, here’s what I learned:

• I learned that the house does not automatically get tidier with less people in it. It still needs tidying up, except there are now less people to help do it.

• I realised that I’d been blaming the fact the house is a bit chaotic on us being a busy family. So I thought that once they all went, I’d sort it all out (such as the pile of clothes in my bedroom, the study that had become a dumping ground, opening the post etc)… well guess what? I still didn’t want to sort them out. Turns out it isn’t easy when you have a toddler as a shadow. And in the evening, I’d much rather watch Netflix instead! It wasn’t them… it’s me.

• I was surprised to discover that left to my own devices I watch a lot of TV. Without another adult around I like to have either the TV or Radio on a lot of the time. And I really enjoy it. While we’ve had the house to ourselves, Liberty & I have watched hours of Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly’s Kingdom, The News, nature programmes. We’ve danced to tunes on the radio, and I’ve taken great delight in choosing my own evening film.

• I realised how much the boys play with Liberty. They constantly amuse her. She was missing her greatest fan-club, and therefore needed a lot more attention from me, which was lovely, but I also found it hard to do even basic tasks with a toddler glued to my hip. I realised how much the boys whisk her off and play with her, and I missed their buzzy entertainment.

• When I had my entire family over for lunch, I learned that I could cook and host a fantastic meal all on my own. Tom is usually the dinner party chef, but I surpassed myself solo with a winning risotto.

• While they were away I relished the opportunity to eat whatever I wanted, and keep the fridge only half full. It was pleasurable only catering for Liberty and I. There were none of Tom’s dietry trends to cater for (high protein, low carbs), and there were just less plates to fill and therefore less plates to clear up.

• I actually didn’t mind emptying the dishwasher every morning, as it was practically empty.

• Ditto the bins. Usually this is Tom’s job, but I took great relish in smugly doing this the night before the bin collection.

• I did not miss Lego on the floor all around the house. But I did miss the boys showing me what ingenious creations they’d made.

• I did not miss the bickering between brothers. But I did miss watching them play together.

• I also missed their cuddles. In fact I missed their cuddles so much the first few nights, that my heart panged with longing and I found it hard to sleep.

• I also missed their humour. And I felt both Liberty and I didn’t have as many laughs on our own. Left to my own devices I’m more likely to sit in companionable silence than get someone in fits of giggles.

• I missed the little notes Rafferty writes, and his clever conversation, and the coffees he brings me in bed.

• I missed Fox’s smiley face, and his early morning snuggles, and his constant love for Liberty.

• And I missed Tom’s hugs, interesting conversation, companionship, and his ability to pour me a glass of wine when I look like I need one.

• I did enjoy having the whole bed to myself though.

• And however much I loved the quiet, calm, house, I missed the buzz of everyday family life.

• And I learned long-distance relationships are difficult to maintain, especially when your kids are having fun and 8-hours behind. So, I’m glad that on a day-to-day basis my family are in my same time zone!

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Molly Gunn

Molly Gunn is the Curator of Goodness at Selfish Mother, a site she created for likeminded women in 2013. Molly has been a journalist for over 15 years, starting out on fashion desks at The Guardian, The Telegraph & ES Magazine before going freelance in 2006 to write for publications including Red, Stella, Grazia, Net-A-Porter and ELLE. She now edits Selfish Mother and creates #GoodTees which are sold via TheFMLYStore.com and John Lewis and have so far raised £650K for charity. Molly is mother to Rafferty, 5, Fox, 3 and baby Liberty. Molly is married to Tom, aka music producer Tee Mango and founder of Millionhands. They live, work and play in Somerset.

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