‘We’re all set to welcome number two to the Humphrey clan, and we’re thrilled’
I was chatting to a friend of mine recently. They were planning to make the big move to the country that seems so popular at my age.
And when I write ‘my age’ I’m well aware that I’m talking about the fact I’m probably approaching middle age, as painful as it is to admit. I’m now 36, or halfway to 72 depending on how you want to view it.
Either way, I might still feel 18, but the reality is rather different as I increasingly scour every shelf in Boots for the moisturiser that looks like it may halt the ever-increasing crows feet or frown-lines that are slowly making my face home. I usually plump for the one with made-up words I don’t understand, that has some gold on the packet and costs the same as a two-bed semi. That’ll make a difference, right?!?
Anyway, back to my fellow middle-aged friend. I’ve reached the stage in my life where I don’t meet mates for a beer; instead I go to people’s houses for play-dates.
This usually involves accepting a Nespresso coffee in an Emma Bridgewater mug, then apologising for the next hour as my daughter treats the house like her own, and persistently fails to understand the concept of ‘sharing’. At least every other toddler seems to cherish their ‘Gymbo’ doll or ‘Sophie Giraffe’ as if the world would end if another child touched it. It makes all us awkward, aplogising parents feel a little better that every child seems to suffer the same protective instincts.
So, there I was, sharing a coffee with my mate whilst our kids wrestled over a plastic tea cup.
‘How’s the big move to the sticks coming along?’ I asked.
‘Oh, we’re not going now’ he replied. ‘It just doesn’t feel like the right time’.
And this is my issue with making the big decisions in life. I don’t think there is ever a right time to make these big calls. London, or any big city, will always feel convenient and remind people in their mid-30’s of their bachelor life of a decade ago.
It is never the ideal time to trade in a guaranteed 8 hours a night sleep, and evenings in the pub for a night interrupted by a newborn screaming for milk, or evenings spent learning how to do up the buttons on a baby-grow. I still haven’t mastered that.
In recent years I’ve come to the conclusion that making the big, bold, brave decisions is never easy, and there is certainly never the right time.
I have swathes of mates who haven’t moved house, haven’t had kids, haven’t changed jobs or asked the love of their life to marry them – because they’re scared of making that move.
And against that backdrop, this week Harriet and I went to have a 12-week scan to see baby number two for the very first time. Flo came with us and was mesmerised.
Despite having no family in London, Harriet and I have never had a nanny, Flo is almost two and hasn’t been to nursery, but we are parenting the way we think is right.
So, despite the fact that Flo is still not a great sleeper, and seems to have the energy of Mr Motivator for 15 hours a day, we’re all set to welcome number two to the Humphrey clan, and we’re thrilled.
It’s never the right time for such a move, but I’m certain it is the right move.