Posts Tagged ‘couch potato

Hello everyone!  How long has it been since I last posted? A year? Goodness knows.

Well, I am firing the brain dribbles back up again, and specifically on this night, because in exactly 6 months’ time I will be doing something really rather crazy. In my opinion, anyway.

Let me rewind three months and tell you the story from the start…

Back in July, I resolved to myself that I would do a parachute jump for NCT and raise some money to help us set up a much needed baby café (breastfeeding drop-in clinic) in Wycombe town centre. I had always wanted to give it ago, and had already put it off three years running. A bit too much alongside having a baby and moving house…

So I emailed head office to enquire.  They emailed back, saying, sorry, not doing it next year.  How about something else? Maybe the London Marathon? Applications available in a month’s time.

My eyes popped out of my head. If you don’t already know me, I’m overweight, technically obese, and haven’t run in 20-plus years. I haven’t done any regular exercise since having my children. It was out of the question. And how disappointing not to be able to do a parachute jump after all.  So I replied, saying, not for me, thanks, not for an award-winning couch potato.  I’d had something altogether less strenuous in mind. Jumping out of a plane is easy by comparison.

But then I couldn’t get it out of my mind.  It’s as if they had sowed a seed and it had taken root.  The more I thought about it, the more I realised that by doing something WAY out of my comfort zone, the more it might be worth sponsoring.  And, for me, it doesn’t get further from my comfort zone than running a marathon.

So, when the applications became available, I sent it in the same day. Amazingly, they accepted me as one of the 8 NCT runners nationwide.  And all the money I raise (£2014, so I’ll need all the help I can get!), can go towards setting up the breastfeeding drop-in that mums of new babies so badly need in the Wycombe area.

Now it’s real, and I am training.  I think it sunk in when I ran in the pouring rain yesterday and I had to take my specs off to see where I was going…. So please sponsor me if you can!


Imagine – if you need to – that you are child free.  Whether this is because you are pre-children, sans children or an empty nester, that’s up to you.

Imagine going to work in the daytime.  Again, this may not need to be imaginary.

Imagine someone saying to you at 4.59pm, ‘Hey! Let’s go to the pub* after work!’

Imagine being able to say, ‘Yeah! Why not?’, and flinging on your coat.  Perhaps calling a loved one to say you’ll be late home tonight.  You go.  You have a relaxed time. You might get a little tiddly.  It doesn’t matter, because you have no dependents.  You feel like life is great.

And to be honest, it is great.

Now imagine the same scenario but you have children at home.   How easy is it to say, ‘Yeah! Why not?’ and just do it?

I just can’t picture it.

Spontaneity is a very rare word in a family household…  Even if one of you could willingly ‘babysit’ (yes, babysit your own children, but I have difficulty finding a better term), you have to take it in turns, and you have to plan. And should you be getting more than your fair share of evenings out, you will feel the guilt fairy hop nimbly onto your shoulder and gnaw away at your conscience while your loved one is either shining their increasingly bright halo at home or becoming increasingly resentful at the number of evenings you are spending away, and the children begin to wonder what you look like.

So the tendency is to do nothing.  Besides, going out is expensive and chances are you are either paying for daily childcare or you are down to one salary for the whole household.  Spontaneous nights out can zap your month’s ‘fun stuff’ budget in a couple of hours flat.

razvan ionut /

Now, this is starting to sound like a have/have not moan.  It’s absolutely not meant to be.  Yes, when you first become a parent, it is easy to resent not being able to go out spontaneously like you used to.  But then slowly you adapt to a new routine.  You look forward to coming home and getting a good dose of family life.  You’re exhausted anyway, since you’ve done a morning’s work getting the kids ready before you start any paid work.  You kiss your kids goodnight, and you flop on the sofa, preferably with loved one next to you, watching TV for the entirety of the evening.

That is your life, most days, for however long it is till your children are old enough to take care of themselves.

But it’s not so bad.  Didn’t you dream of this before kids?  Where you and your loved one snuggle up on the sofa, evening in, evening out?  Watching TV, a little chitchat, perhaps a bit of a doze in their arms?

Really, being a couch potato is a great way to spend an evening.

And just as well, since it’s going to be some considerable time before that spontaneous night out is a possibility.


*insert appropriate after-work activity as suits you

TV coma

Posted on: 28/12/2010


Thanks to Merry's Mirror for the great pic

Hang on a second, let me think a moment…

Two, four, five, five and a half, oh, and the end of total wipeout with the kids this morning makes roughly six.

Yes, In time-honoured tradition at this time of year, I’ve watched about six hours of TV today.   All those family films that the children are just old enough to appreciate (ET, the Grinch), plus the long-awaited (no thanks to Virgin Media) Doctor Who Christmas special on catch-up.

It adds up.  And I haven’t had a chance to watch the new Upstairs Downstairs yet either.  I don’t know quite how I’m going to find the time!

So I have backache from slouching on the sofa too long, and my brain has gone so mushy it baffles me how I’m capable of forming coherent sentences.   Yes, it’s what everyone does at Christmas – somehow it’s part of what Christmastime is about. You know snuggling up on the sofa, full of food, in front of a roaring fire, a pet on your lap and a beloved relative’s arm round your shoulder.  Nevertheless, excessive TV-watching is just coma-inducing.

But I did rather enjoy it.  It’s been over twenty years since I saw ET, and what better way to catch up on a family favourite than with your children?  We have a little tradition – once the movie is over you have to call compare notes on each other’s favourite bits.  How delighted was I when they both said, ‘the bit where their bikes fly up into the air’…?

TV coma?  TV magic.