Last night, the dog managed to get fed twice. He did this by rolling mournful, starved eyes at me until I opened a tin: and then when I went to put the boy to bed, repeating the routine for my husband, who assumed I'd forgotten and opened another tin.
This is not good. This is a trick the dog pulled off regularly in the chaotic days of us both working full tilt, when we were too busy to notice who'd done what. Three months on from giving up my Proper Job, I am confronting some home truths.
1. The mountain of ironing that never got done when I was working fulltime? Still there. Not exactly the same ironing (actually, possibly much the same ironing) but still not done.
2. The exercise I never had time for back then? Um, still not doing it. I did go swimming last week. It nearly killed me.
3. The family photos I meant to sort out? The albums still stop abruptly at the point my maternity leave ended (we did take photos after that - we're not completely rubbish parents - but they're either stuffed in a drawer or still on my camera's memory stick. As they were when I worked fulltime. Ahem)
4. The house is not noticeably cleaner or tidier for me being here more. Without the civilising influence of our nanny, it is in fact noticeably worse.
5. I do not seem to have learned Mandarin/read Proust cover to cover/broadened my intellectual horizons in my newfound free time. I have, though, wasted more time on the interweb.
In my defence, up until a fortnight ago I didn't have childcare, so work rather than domestic bliss has swallowed up any free time.
But nonetheless, I was wrong to blame my job for everything that had been squeezed out of my life. It turns out I don't actually care about ironing (well, not enough to do it) and that I don't go running every day because I'm frankly too lazy, rather than because I have no time.
Which is not to say I regret my choice. The bigger goals I set myself upon committing career suicide - getting to know my husband and son again, and trying new things professionally - have actually worked better than I hoped. We are a more relaxed and united family, now all pulling in the same direction (except, possibly, the dog). I am happier personally, and to my surprise also professionally: some interesting projects have come to my way.
But I would sound a small caveat about downshifting. In any life, there's stuff you just don't have time for: and the nature of that stuff may reveal much about that life, and what it's costing you.
But it can also reveal something about your priorities. I fear mine, like the dog's, are not always noble.