I've been interested to find out that, during the day, I don't actually miss her. I know she is having fun, I'm busy, and so I don't have reason to worry, or time to miss her. But when I pick her up from my parents in the afternoon, I am struck with just how much I've missed of her day, and that I am going to be missing those hours every weekday from now until (potentially) Christmas.
That means the time we do spend together is extra special, and I haven't even minded forfeiting my lie in when both Simon and I are home to get up and spend those extra hours with her if she wakes earlier than we normally would. So, it goes without saying that I want to spend ALL my free time with her, and before I went back to work, I tried to think of some ways which I could relieve the burden of daily life, freeing up my time to be solely dedicated to her.
Here are the 3 main ways I have changed our normal lives to make sure that my free time isn't spent doing mundane chores, and I am able to spend it with Isabelle.
1// Order our shopping online:
Isabelle doesn't mind going to the supermarket, and I don't mind it either. But it does take the guts of an hour to get there, get round, get home and unpack. I would rather spend that hour playing at home, going to the park, or whatever. So, we've decided to start ordering our shopping online and placed our first order at the weekend. I have to say, it was a lot easier than I had imagined, and because we buy the same 'base' food every week, it will get quicker as things are stored in our history. I think it was cheaper than normal too - even with the delivery charge - as I wasn't tempted by little bits and bobs we don't need. A win win!
2// Hire a cleaner:
There are some people who don't mind cleaning, and some who even enjoy it. I am in neither camp - I really hate it. So hiring a cleaner was one way to lighten that burden, and free up a load of my time at the weekend. I found a local company, and saw they were recommended by an acquaintance, so decided to go for them. The girl came out to the house for a chat, and I was really happy with her, so we decided she would come every Friday morning.
I was interested to see the house after the first session, and I have to say I wasn't disappointed. It was absolutely sparkling! Things that I would never clean had been taken care of, and every piece of furniture was moved for a hoover and mop underneath it. It was so great to know that the house was clean on Friday evening, so I didn't have to even think of starting to do anything on Saturday morning - I could just enjoy my time with Isabelle.
I was also really surprised when I started looking and asking around at just how many people I know who have cleaners. I think it's seen as a snobby thing to have one, and I was told I was lazy for getting one, but if someone else is willing to do it for you - why not? There is certainly no great prize for cleaning your house yourself!
3// Use a slow cooker:
My hatred for cooking is well known, and Simon does almost all of it. When we are both getting home at 4.30pm/5pm it means someone has to start into dinner straight away. Using a slow cooker means that we get home and dinner done and dusted - all we have to do is sit down and eat! It also means we are eating 'different' things than we normally would, simply because of the style of cooking. I'm also surprised at just how many things you can cook in a slow cooker - and I'm sorry I haven't looked into one before now! It isn't used every day, but by using it a few times a week we have made life just a little bit more simple.
So there you have it. Nothing earth shattering at all, just 3 little things we have done to take the burden of every day life off us, to ensure that we can spend every free moment possible with Isabelle. At the end of the day, my thought is always there is no point in having a little person if you never get to see them, and so I am all for anything which maximises our time together! (Plus I hate cooking and cleaning!!)