Milo, a springer spaniel puppy, lying down on gravel surrounded by plantsIf there’s one thing I didn’t quite realise before getting a dog, it was how difficult it can be to find the time to do anything when you have a child. And yes, my puppy Milo is my child in this context, because of course he is. Before, I could just go and do whatever, whenever I wanted but could not always bring myself to do it. Now that I’ve got Milo, I’m desperately seeking those moments of downtime where he’s asleep so I can get on and have some me time again.

In some ways, this should hopefully become easier as Milo gets older and learns how to play nicely by himself when I’m busy (either with work or something else) and also learns to not attack mats, curtains or carpets when he’s being ignored. But it’s all made me realise how important it is to find time to do the things you want to do.

This first month and a bit with Milo has been a whirlwind and I’ve had very little time to myself apart from the odd nap away from him, the odd trip out to do theatre stuff, the odd walkie a family member has done, or the very few times I’ve had to go out by myself. I’m so grateful to my family, especially my mum, for everything they’ve been doing to keep me sane and keep Milo occupied; but it’ll be nice for us to get to a point where looking after him is easy and not periods of calm or fun followed by periods of a naughty gremlin tearing around the house and garden.

So now, as he’s finally in puppy training and I seem to be making some progress on crate training which will hopefully lead to Milo spending some time alone by himself, I need to start finding the time to get the things done that I want to and need to.

I need to clean my bedroom, I need to start doing my ironing again (thanks again Mum!), I need to get back to writing my second novel which has been on the shelf for far too long, I need to get back to playing video games so I don’t revive the backlog I managed to clear this year, I need to have some evenings or days to go to the theatre or the cinema and get my hair cut, and I need to put the work in to reach my career goals so I can afford to move into my own place within the next couple of years.

In a way, as hard as it’s been to lose the freedom of time that I had, it’s been really helpful to gain the clarity of how important time can be. When you have too much of it, things can always be done tomorrow. When you don’t have enough, you make the most of the time you do have. Even if that’s just a nap, or a chance to watch a film, or write a blog post; you can end up being truly productive in that time.  ‘Productive’ here being used for both self-care and work goals.

After all, I’ve finally found time to write a full blog post and watch a film today in addition to feeding, training, walking, and playing with Milo. So I can do this. I’m going to find my time and make the most of every moment I can get.