I'm surprised all mums aren't size zero, competing for the last pair of skinny leg tapered trousers in the Benetton sale. I mean, it's not like you have any time to sit down, is it?
This was my thought as I smashed an Easter egg to pieces on the passenger seat of my car (late lunch) as I made my daily commute to pick up my daughter. Just for reference , you can change gear quite easily holding a piece of Easter egg as it is nice and curved.
So, here's the thing. I haven't been to the gym for months, so why am I on a treadmill? Sure, it's one filled with oodles of love for that sumptuous baby, but boy, at items it feels uphill.
I just need more time. I live in a world of bulging Boots shopping bags, Ella's Kitchen pouches, stained Muslins, damp washing, Calpol and ticking clocks. Mysterious objects collect in my car. Lunch hours pass in a blur as I trot through town in flat shoes, trying to remember what is on The List. My mind races to keep up with my feet. Time has become my enemy; there's just not enough of it. It drips through my hands, hides behind my back, runs ahead of me and sneaks sideways.
The to do list (alongside all that love, and trying to snatch memories of that babyhood slowly slipping away as Baby J wobbles against furniture) is my new elephant in the room. It's replaced the back to work elephant, which disappeared as soon as I logged onto my computer and sat down at my desk. Work, ladies, if you're dreading going back, is something of a release and a blessing. You get to talk to people and have a hot cup of tea. You can write whole communication plans without a chubby hand pulling at your leg. You do not trip over Lego, straighten toys, fold washing, push a pram or change sheets.
And yet, every so often, as I suspected before The Return To Work, I feel a pang so deep that my immediate wish - no - desire - is to breathe in the scent of my daughter's head, wrap her squishy body in my arms and sing her my nonsense song about her being the mango mango baby, which makes her smile. I want to make her laugh. The moment I see her face at the end of the working day is like the purest gift.
And that is the real Return. The return home.