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Do you ever have those weekends where you feel like you haven’t sat down once, but you’ve achieved nothing? That’s pretty much what this one’s been like for us.

Working the hours that I do means housework doesn’t get a look in Monday to Friday. But the long hours also mean a nice, comfortable, non-student grubby house is even more important to me. When I’m on downtime I want to be able to relax in a clean and cosy space, not one covered in hairy toast crusts, dirty washing and mouldy dust.

As anyone with young kids will tell you, it’s impossible to get stuff done when they’re around. The NLM was intent on trying out a new shopping app and downloading a whole series of new recipes to try (he gets his kicks where he can) so I was left to try and sort ten loads of washing while a grumpy, poorly toddler hung off my leg.

I was Not. Happy.

By 4pm yesterday afternoon I’d managed to clean the bathroom, finish a load of copywriting work, do half the washing, make a mad dash to the shops and go the doctor’s. But I didn’t feel like I’d really got anything done. We were all snappy with one another, Frog was streaming with cold and the house looked no better than when I started my feeble attempts at cleaning.

So I gave up.

I gave up, wrapped Frog into a bundle of warm clothes and went into the garden. After two minutes outside she started coughing again so we took our haul of leaves from the lawn into the kitchen. And we painted. We painted leaves, toes, hands and feet. For the first time all day both Frog and I were happy, the NLM was relaxed because no one was nagging him and I didn’t feel like the world’s worst mother.

After painting the leaves we used them as stamps to make leaf pictures on the paper, before letting the paper dry and making an Autumn card.

I may have a dusty living room, but I have a happy toddler. At least I got something right.