Late so soon by Zoe Armstrong

Image:  Netmums

Image: Netmums

Friday is usually the day for a Team Netmums blog but as things have been a bit topsy turvy over Christmas and we posted on Monday today we bring you a guest blog. Today’s guest blog comes from writer Zoe Armstrong who lives in Brighton with her young daughter. Together they bumble around, hoping not to make a hash of things. And mostly they enjoy it. Zoe blogs about the terrors and triumphs (and frankly the entertainment value) of raising a toddler by oneself at . Her blog is a reminder that, despite rumours to the contrary, solo parenting is often happy, funny and really rather ordinary actually.

Zoe can also be found on Twitter @MsZoeArmstrong


Late so soon

The faster one travels, the slower time moves. We know this from Einstein’s theory of zoe armstrongrelativity.

So if something is moving incredibly slowly – a toddler putting on her coat, say – time must surely zoom along at quite a pace. FINALLY an answer to the vexing question of why it is that a person in sole charge of a young child cannot leave the house before noon. IT’S PHYSICS.

No, really. I theorized the hell out of it while watching my daughter complete a jigsaw puzzle. She worked carefully. It was a slow process. So slow I was forced to lash myself to the table to keep from diving in, wailing: “Seriously, it only has FOUR pieces.” Time, on the other hand, although seeming to stand still, rushed past so quickly that lunchtime was suddenly upon us. And I had achieved NOTHING. (Apart from further developing Einstein’s seminal work, of course. Oh hello Nobel Prize.)*

It occurs to me at this point that one of the most difficult things about the early years of parenthood is what a desperate dawdle the whole business can be. When I say dawdle, I don’t mean that life is not busy, just that it manages to be busy very, very slowly. Of course, I’m temperamentally completely unsuited to this new pace. I really must adjust.

zoeBut there is something about the natural tendency of a toddler to faff that can be maddening when hurrying. Worse still for my poor old baby, though, who must endure a mother who palpably vibrates with restless energy as we go through our daily getting-ready-to-go-out routine.**

I won’t bore you with the detail (perhaps you have a similar routine yourself) but it does involve: last minute changes of footwear, coat refusal, the exuberant upturning of toy baskets, spontaneous games of ‘shopping’, urgent requests for plaaaaaaaaaydooooooh and, as we finally close the front door behind us, a nappy (diaper) that can only be described as a dirty protest. At which point the whole saga starts again ad infinitum.

The truth is a deadline (even a self-imposed one) is no friend of the toddler. Without a deadline life with the very young takes on its own much looser shape. Without a deadline there is MUCH more laughing. Without a deadline you get a non-vibrating woman and a delighted toddler. And this of course is a very good thing. I feel a New Year’s resolution coming on.

Happy 2013!

*Oh yes, and raising a dear child too.

** Yes, a vibrating mother. Is that not a normal thing?


How did or do you cope with the pace of life dictated by toddlers and babies? Do you get frustrated with the pace or try to relax into it? Find tips, advice and ideas for things to do with your toddler in the Netmums Toddler Guide.

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
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11 Responses to Late so soon by Zoe Armstrong

  1. I love this post and completely get it. I am also in Brighton with a young one so will tweet you x

  2. Victoria says:

    Great blog! Believe me you are not alone – I was only raging this morning about how it was 1pm and we still hadn’t managed to leave the house and theirs two adults to get one child ready in our house!

  3. Kimmaree says:

    Hooray, finally people are starting to realise that we need to go at the baby/childs pace. I have a nearly 2 year old and am a full time mum. I love that I am able to give my son the chance to explore and learn and develop at the pace he feels is best for him. The result is that majority of the time I have a chilled and happy child who seems to be learning and developing very well. Yes I do get frustrated at times but I need to remind myself that this is the only chance I get at being a mummy so I need to sit back and let him do things in his own time.

    I love that I now have an independent, clever little man who knows that mummy is there to support but not to rush.

    • That’s great. The trouble is it’s often very difficult to do! If you have more than one child, you work and/or you’re doing it all solo, like me, it is pretty impossible much of the time. Your little boy is very fortunate, though. I’m sure it’s doing him good.

  4. Wendy says:

    My son got this loads of time to potter, but my daughter has to be ready for the morning school run, then back for the afternoon school run. So no chance of not being ready till ten.

  5. Jo says:

    I really enjoyed your blog, Zoe. Is there any way to subscribe so that your posts drop into my mailbox?

  6. forex says:

    Felix Homogratus, Dimitri Chavkerov Rules! You pay us we post good about us!!

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