Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: March 2018

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Parallel Lives: How the Other Half Live Child Free

Now I am not one who enjoys comparing themselves to others; I tend to find that I am never clever enough, funny enough, pretty enough, slim enough, fit enough or kind enough. However, this weekend I have retreated to the in laws for the Easter break where we are in the company of my husband's twin and her husband and I find myself searching my pockets for my yard stick once again and plotting our differences against one another. Now these differences are not in relation to our personal qualities (because obviously we are both equally as kind, beautiful and clever) but our experiences of similar events over the weekend.
Parallel Lives
1. The journey

My sister in law messaged the family WhatsApp group to inform the family of their arrival time, including elucidatory details of their planned journey. These tantalising nuggets included "the quiet coach", "M&S picnic" and "watching MasterChef en route". 

Meanwhile, I was wrangling with a 2 year old who refused to sleep despite the late hour and degree of exhaustion (loosely translated from his anguished screams of "I NO LIKE!!"). Attempts to ease him into the realm of unconsciousness whilst my husband attempted to concentrate on the road in the driving rain included, but were not limited to: 

  • soothing tones and reassuring phrases issued in his general direction with reassuring pats of his legs. Response: "SHHHH! I NO LIKE!"

  • putting on an over- exaggerated display of pretending to fall asleep myself. Response:  "MUMMYMUMMYMUMMYMUMMY MUM-MY!!"

  • listening to the same banal nursery rhyme on repeat for an hour, slowly but surely feeling the will to live ebb from my body whilst also wondering if the vocalist every thought to question their life choices. Response: "AGAIN! AGAIN!"
Fighting a losing battle
2. The wake up

A fact universally acknowledged by the extended family is that this pair love a lie in; forever reluctant to stir from their recumbent position and face the world beyond their snug and warm duvet. Well, this weekend was no different. It was 9 o'clock before they emerged from the haven of their bedroom, loosely disheveled and in a dreamy haze; wandering down the stairs to greet the day and the youthful inhabitants of the house with the enthusiasm and vigour that only 8 hours of uninterrupted slumber can bestow.

We acknowledged their presence with subtle nods over the brim of our tepid cups of coffee; issuing a jaded greeting in their general direction like war veterans who were unable and unwilling to convey the terrors they had already lived through. We were broken. 
Bouncing into the day
The children had not transitioned from car to bedroom as seamlessly as we would have hoped and had needed frequent parental intervention for such emergencies as "the night is too dark", "my blanket is tangled" and "mummy, mummy, milk, mummy". They had, however, apparently been well rested enough to accompany the dawn chorus (the joys of countryside living) with their own dulcet tones and start the day with relentless enthusiasm for all forms of physical play; particularly those which involved sitting astride their mother and bouncing simultaneously with gay abandon.


Much like this...
3. The relationship

This twosome have been married for just over two years, a date I have etched on my calendar as my rascal child had penned in his arrival for two days later meaning my husband never got to see his twin be walked down the aisle, raise a toast to her future happiness or dance with her on her wedding day. Instead he was lucky enough to spend the day on labour ward being glowered at repeatedly (especially when being offered tea and biscuits mid contraction), have his beloved mutter audible profanities about him for putting her in such a position and being able to wipe the sweat from his wife's upper lip (I suffer from a very sweaty face) as she tried to expel an unruly grapefruit through the eye of the needle.
Parallel Lives
Despite being two years into matrimony and about 11 years into their relationship this other couple retain a display of physical affection that would be more suited to a fledgling romance; one that has not yet weathered the gastric illness, utility bills and domestic chores which come to all long term relationships. Hands are proferred for holding, armpits are snuggled into when seated on a couch and hugs are spontaneously bestowed upon each other freely and without ulterior motive. They appear very much in love.
Snuggle-tastic
We, on the other hand are comrades in arms, passing the undetonated (and sometimes detonated) bombs between us with an unspoken understanding. All physical affection is showered upon our offspring; hands are too busy carrying or wiping to be held, nooks are prefilled with small children who need a reassuring cuddle and spontaneous hugs are saved for times of childhood injury or uncertainty. On the rare occasions that we may try to bestow a loving touch or unsolicited kiss upon our other, we are met with outcry from our progeny. They appear to find it both unsettling and unfair; did we not realise that all affection must be lavished in their direction? 



Now, you may have read this and felt a twinge of pity for me or a hankering for those magical days where you weren't responsible for keeping another human entertained/fed/law- abiding/alive but I urge you to take solace in this fact: the other couple are expecting a baby. 
3 Little Buttons

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

The Parenting Rules: You Can Go Your Own Way

Now, I will freely admit that I am no Dr. Spock and I must confess that I have never even opened a parenting book. Whilst I would never claim to know anything about rearing a child beyond what my two, very individual progeny, have taught me about themselves as individuals, I do believe that we, as parents, are very hard on ourselves. We have been indoctrinated to believe that there is a "right way" to do things; a single code of conduct which we must adhere to in order to be "good parents" and lambast each other when we dare to deviate from the norm. We constantly benchmark ourselves against others' heavily edited best version of reality which they have choosen to share with us on social media. Please do not think that I am criticising this, after all it takes a village, even a virtual one, and there are plenty of #blessed individuals who brighten my day when I fall down a scrolling spiral whilst  I take a break from my never ending tea party with my "pet cat". 
#blessed
I, however, place trust in the belief that the human race is a resilient breed and will learn to cope with any number of failings in their parents as long as they are provided with limitless love and support. To err is human and all that, plus my children are divine. 

So now that we have all that out of the way, I need to admit to two significant parental "failings" of mine:

1. I have never sleep trained either of my children.

2. I have never pressed either of my children to ditch the bottle.
Case in point
These two failings are wholly intertwined with each other, my children's ability to play me like their Fisher Price xylophone and my insatiable need for sleep. 

You see, my first child was a dote, as in she was 5lbs when she entered this world, and despite having survived the gauntlet that is gestation in my rather hostile womb she had not been left unscathed. This may or may not have been the reason that she refused to be parted from us for the first 6 months of life; clinging on to us like a barnacle on the tail of a whale. When we finally convinced her to take to the bottle at the grand old age of 8 months (freeing up her mother to do the same) we found that its soporific effect enabled us to put her down in her own room before sprinting to the comfort of our own, temporarily uninhabited bed and catch a few unadultered hours of shut eye without having to wrestle the angry octupus. This routine continued for longer than I care to admit and although we managed to swap out the corrosive milk for sugar free diluting juice, the bottle and bed partnership was unshakeable; the Ant & Dec of the toddler bedtime routine.
Bottle and Bed
When my son came along, all hardy and such, I thought I would be different. I thought I would be able to listen to his anguished cries at bedtime, emboldened by the fact that I knew that I was doing the right thing. I was teaching him the art of falling asleep unaided. Mumsnet told me so. I once read that a child needs lots of love and reassurance but not in the middle of the night; in the night they need to learn to self soothe, preparing them for the harsh realities of life (like sharing and the like). I repeated this hypothesis frequently to my husband; citing its formal academic references in the vain hope that this would arm me for the night ahead but as I closed the door behind me I remembered that, as a child, when the night sky rolled in and the house took on an eerily quiet stillness, my previously welcoming bedroom would fill me with a sense of dread and unease. I hastily retreated back into his room, picked him up, kissed his beautiful rolls of skin, cuddled him into me and eased him into slumber with a reassuring bottle. 
Easing him into sleep
Don't get me wrong, now that he is two and able to understand the majority of what we say whilst also being able to make his (rather dramatic) feelings known to the world, we don't rush to answer his every summons. We now grade his anguish on our "placid through about-to-spontaneously-combust" scale and act accordingly but he still goes to bed with a bottle. I go through periods where the worry about the health of his teeth consumes me and I fear that I am affecting his long term ability to be resilient but then I see him plant his lips around that teat, watch his eyes roll back into his head in sheer ecstasy and I reassure myself that you don't hear of many 17 year olds still using a bottle to slip into the realm of unconsciousness. 

Well, none with a teat.


Drunken bum



3 Little Buttons
The Pramshed

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Ice, Ice Baby: The Best Laid Plans...

Things I have learnt since my husband went away for 5 days:

1. 5 days is a long time
2. My husband does a lot of laundry
3. 5 days is a long time
4. Elsa's palace would have been warmer than our house with no central heating
5. 5 days is a really long time.

It was an ominous start when my first night, rather than being spent alone, was spent in the company of my rather willful son. Having taken a late nap with his designated childcare provider that afternoon, his usual bedtime came and went while he furiously pedalled his Scuttle Bug in laps around the room, leaving utter destruction in his wake and pausing only to issue a bark or a roar (with accompanying clawed hands pose) in my general direction. Books were pulled from where they had been neatly stowed for the evening, before being hurled around the room as he took part in his own personal shot-put competition; the noisiest toys were plucked from their hiding places and simultaneously activated creating an almighty cacophony which he then appeared to conduct like a symphony orchestra. It was mayhem.

Hand selected toys for the ultimate cacophony
The Thursday and Friday were to be much as normal with me having my working day sandwiched between nursery drop offs and pick ups leaving me hot, sweaty and disheveled before 9am and stressed, tired and wrangling two highly emotional toddlers after 5:30pm. Just to add an extra layer of excitement to my day, for some ungodly reason, this particular morning my youngest chose to kneel down in a puddle before throwing the muddy rain water above his head like he's Howard Donald in Take That's Back for Good video. I despaired; Gary was always my favourite.



Now, due to me being laden down like a pack mule with my work paraphernalia, the children's nursery "essential" extras and one wiley two year old with a taste for danger upon my shoulders when my four year old fell and grazed her knee on the walk home it was pretty much the worst thing that could have happened. She refused to walk, citing her scraped limb to be unable to bear weight and demanded (through the flood) to be carried home. Despite being able to see my front door from where we stood, it may as well have been light years away. I tried every possible combination; backpack on back, toddler on shoulders, paraphernalia across each arm with preschooler on hip; backpack on back, paraphernalia in hands of errant children and progeny on either hip; backpack on front, preschooler on back, paraphernalia on one arm and toddler like a rugby ball under the other. We were like a geriatric circus troupe trying to re-enact the routines of their youth. We managed to shuffle 20 yards in each position before they began to slip from my grasp with wails of displeasure being only momentarily appeased with promises of previously prohibited treats. Eventually, somehow, we crossed the threshold, a little bit older, a little bit broken and forever just that little bit changed.

So close and yet so far
While previously I had been known to count down the time to Husband's return, I entered the weekend with great optimism with my weekend of solo parenting having been planned with military precision. I genuinely love my children and have the best time when we are all together as a family but there are times when, having been consistently alone with them for an extended period of time, I struggle. I struggle hearing my voice utter the same commands again and again without being heard, I struggle to satisfy all the role play required to appease my eldest, I struggle with not having the freedom to toilet alone never mind exercise and I struggle to keep the fun alive. I want them to have the best time with me (and me them) but when you are lone parenting there is so much life admin to keep up with that there seems so little time for enjoyment.


So a plan was formed for the weekend; Saturday morning would involve a first-time trip to the cinema followed by a visit from the beloved Moomie (grandmother) then Sunday morning would be free play (check me, so relaxed) with a firm promise of a playdate at one of those friends' houses where you can just sit back, drink coffee and watch as the children play beautifully together. Before you ask, no I won't tell you where they live and no I do not wish to share them.

The first part went pretty well; the cinema trip could almost be classed as an unmitigated success. They were only terrified for an hour of the 80 minute film, they spoke at full decibels throughout and ate their bodyweight in E-number infested treats but no one had to leave and no one pooped. I would even go far as to say that I would do it again. It was all they could talk about for the rest of the day. I was a super star parent. I was maintaining the fun despite being on my own. I was winning at life.

The first cinematic experience was an unmitigated success.
Then the boiler broke.


Then it snowed.

Then they couldn't fix the boiler.

Children don't cope well with the cold but they also don't cope well with being told to don extra layers. It's not the best mix when your house is colder than an igloo's icebox. They were miserable; cold and miserable and with the good tradesmen of Edinburgh otherwise occupied for the weekend the countdown for Husband's return was on again.

Huddling for warmth



Motherhood The Real Deal

Friday, 16 March 2018

Nature vs Nurture: Are We Fighting a Losing Battle?

I keep getting told off. 

I have a habit of calling my son by an assortment of names which allude to his rather mischievous tendencies. These include, but are not limited to: monster, rascal, menace, terror and trouble. My husband tells me that, by using these particular terms of endearment, I am at risk of setting my youngest up with a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now, whilst I harbour my doubts that the outcome is solely dependent on my affectionate name-calling, I can appreciate that there is a risk that when put under pressure (and when his vocabulary extends beyond his sister's name, favourite CBeebies pooch and enquiries after my physical and emotional wellbeing) he may choose the easy, less noble option "knowing" that people already believe him to be wayward. So it has me thinking about that age old conundrum of nature versus nurture.

Looking for Trouble
My eldest child appears to have been born wielding her moral compass with its bearing set fast towards good and true; never to be led off the right path. A warning or reprimand is so rarely required that when it is uttered it's so foreign to her ears that an immediate deluge will erupt from her little crestfallen face. We used to just watch her; bathing in the warm glow of other people's compliments about her exemplary behaviour, congratulating ourselves on our parenting prowess. Check us! We are nailing this "raising an angelic child" thing. We should write a book! It can be littered with all of our handy hints and tips on how to win at this game we call parenting. This is as easy as incurring a hangover after the age of 30, I don't know what everyone has been complaining about, I mean they basically raise themselves. Any doubts or queries you may have regarding our credentials, we urge you to refer to exhibit A: the saintly sister.


Exhibit A: The Saintly Sister
We got cocky. Please refer to exhibit B: the scamp.
 
It's not that he is a bad child. Far from from it. He, like his sister exudes empathy and can often be found stroking someone's back if they have hurt themselves, mirroring his sister's tormented face when she is upset and silencing everyone when he happens upon a sleeping baby. It's just that he likes to "test his boundaries", exercise his "curiosity" and "find his own path". He lacks any awareness when it comes to danger and, given half the chance, would probably be found licking peanut butter out of the plug socket, having spooned it in there himself with a sharp metal implement. He routinely tries to touch passing cars, scale vertiginous heights and ride his scuttle bug off the top step all whilst brandishing a menacing grin. His "spirited nature" rejoices in the word "no" merely acting to flame the fire of his curiosity. Without faltering he will continue to perform whichever act you had requested that he desist, merely doing you the honour of sparing you a fleeting glance and a sly smile. Raise your voice and it will merely expedite the process. Move towards him and he shall relinquish his grasp on the offending item, jut out his bottom lip and emit an ear piercing shriek that threatens all glass objects within a five mile radius. 

Rascal Child
These two children were raised under the same roof, by the same parents with the same methods of disciplining (in case you are wondering; ask them nicely to stop, state firmly that they need to stop, raise the voice slightly and apply a warning tone, step towards the child while issuing a meaningful glare and if they still continue then extricate the relevant mutinous offspring from the offending article/location/sibling/small animal.) I don't believe we have pandered to one or been particularly unyielding with the other and yet we seem to have ended up with two wildly different species. 

He's the Yin to Her Yang
Therefore I must conclude that whilst nurturing definitely has its part to play, the underlying nature will never be tamed. 
 
But who would want to tame it anyway?
Atlantic Ocean? Sure, let's dive in!
Lucy At Home

Friday, 9 March 2018

Toddler Charades: A 90s Musical Tribute


My toddler remains on the cusp of being a conversationalist. He has mastered a few key phrases including, but not limited to:

"Pot pot"

"I don't like"

"Are you OK?"

"T-ank ooo"

" 'ey Duggee?"

However, the vast majority of his utterings remain a nonsensical babble which is mostly directed at his beloved sister and which is always accompanied by the most earnest of expressions etched on his rather beautiful face (not biased in anyway.) His sister has the patience of a saint; engaging her skills as a thespian by pretending to understand, utilising her "active listening" body language and responding with generic phrases like:

"Oh really?!"

"That is interesting!"

"Tell me more"

Always There to Lend an Ear

But there are times when these platitudes will not appease him and he desperately craves understanding. He is clearly demanding something that is imperative to his continued survival but, for the life of me, I cannot decipher what. The resultant routine, which we have down to a fine art, can be summarised in a number of 90s classic hits. Why? 


Because [I] Want To!


"Why d'you always say what's on your mind? Because we want to! Because we want to! "
(Think Billie Piper in a crop top, baggy trousers and a classic 90s up-do. Got it? You are welcome.)

Stage One: Say My Name by Destiny's Child

"Say my name, say my name
If no one is around you"



The first thing that will happen is that my name will be emitted like a siren, with the toddler barely drawing breath in between anguished cries of:


"Mum-my, Mum-my, Mum-my..." (repeat until hoarse.)


On hearing his summons, I will abandon whatever I am, undoubtedly, in the middle of doing and present myself at his service. Did I mention that he is my baby? Anyhoo, he will continue to call my name upon my arrival despite my multiple, varied and exuberant gesticulations until I acknowledge his call verbally: "Yes, Sire?"


"Mum-my, Mum-my, Muuuuuuum-myyyyyyy"


Stage Two: You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette


"It's not fair, to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know"



At this point, he shall look at me with a quizzical expression. Upon realising that we are not able to communicate telepathically, he shall roll his eyes thereby placing the blame firmly at my door, exhale loudly and mutter:


"Blah bloo blaboo blah bloo blah. Blah bloo?"


Upon hearing him trying to converse with me, my expression will lift into one of maniacal joy. He is trying to tell me something! He is so clever! No one has ever been this clever in the history of clever people. We shouldn't gloat, no one likes those parents who boast about their toddlers. Just look at that Deborah from playgroup. She is always banging on about Jack's self potty training over a two day period and his ability to catch a ball while standing on one leg, with his hands tied behind his back. No one likes Deborah. No, we shall keep this one to ourselves and just bask in the happy glow of knowing that our toddler is going to change the world.

"Come on, Mother.... focus"

Wait. Why is he looking at me like that?


"BLAH BLOO BLABOO BLAH BLOO BLAH. BLAH BLOO?!"


Oh! He wants me to respond?

Bollocks.



Stage Three: I Want It That Way by The Backstreet Boys

 "But I want it that way

Tell me why
Ain't nothin' but a heartache
Tell me why
Ain't nothin' but a mistake
Tell me why"



The next stage involves me haring around the room like a rabbit on Ritalin whilst he repeats his indecipherable command at crescendoing volumes. I will try to follow the general direction of his wild, thrusting points which he casts around the room with reckless abandonment, becoming increasingly frustrated at my apparent incompetence as his primary caregiver and swearing never to partner me in any future games of charades.


"That! No, not that. That!"
When I proffer what I think he has been longing for he wails in anguish. How could I do this to him? How could I hurt him in this way? Am I doing this on purpose? I throw the offending object over my shoulder and start again.


Stage Four: Killing In the Name Of by Rage Against the Machine


"F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
 F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
F@&! you, [you] won't do what [I tell you]!
 Motherf@&!$*!
Uggh!"



Incandescent rage.

He is overcome with frustration; he locks his elbows, clenches his dimpled hands into immoveable fists and proceeds to bang his head on whichever surface is closest and hardest. This is it. He must end it all. Inflicting pain on himself is the only possible answer. Nobody will ever understand him.


"Don't look at me..."

Stage Five: Enter Sandman by Metallica

 "Exit, light
Enter, night
Take my hand
We're off to never-never land"



I go to retrieve him, hopefully  in time to prevent any serious concussions and he instantly becomes compliant; moulding himself around me and snuggling in, his body limp with sheer exhaustion. 


He looks up; the realisation dawning that he now has reach and leans his body in the direction that he wants me to go. At my height he can reach the fridge door which he then beckons me to open. 



Milk. 



It's always milk.

...and relax...
Lucy At Home
3 Little Buttons

Monday, 5 March 2018

Now You are 2: An Open Letter To My Son

So, my baby, now you are two.


I can honestly say I do not know where the time has gone as it feels like only yesterday that I was cradling my stomach in the high dependency ward as you wreaked havoc inside the womb.  But perhaps I am being unfair, you see, you actually did nothing wrong; you survived the belly of the beast, managing against all odds to make your home in a rather inhospitable environment. The doctors worried needlessly.  They fretted that you were struggling to survive, arranging weekly scans and bi-weekly checks to assess your health, when actually you were thriving.


Their concern led to you being evicted at the earliest opportunity and you did not disappoint; bursting on to the scene with the vigour and enthusiasm of a toddler in a toy shop and our lives were never the same again.


From the day you met, your devoted big sister has lavished attention upon you and you bask in the warmth of her affection and tendency to relent over toys, TV shows, food and even clothes.



Despite mostly getting your own way, your spirit animal would likely be the Honey Badger as your adorable little face, which automatically induces complimentary attentions from strangers in the street, belies a fiery temper when frustrated or crossed.

Never take this as a criticism.


We love your spirit and, in between short lived outbursts of anger, you are the sweetest, most affectionate little boy. Your mother delights in this as your sister, whilst empathic and caring, is not one for physical affection, routinely requesting that she not be "squeezed too tightly" whereas you would be held from dawn until dusk.


Your speech is taking shape with words being added to your vocabulary on a daily basis. Currently, your sister is the focus of most of your nonsensical babble as she has perfected the art of pretending to understand, muttering responses such as:

"Oh really!"
"That is amazing!"
"Tell me more!"

When you do make sense you favourite phrase is "are you OK?" Which you ask every member of the family multiple times throughout the day, whenever their expression falls short of anything other than deliriously happy. Other essential vocabulary includes "Blue", "Dinka", "Anana" and "Dog" referring to your snowsuit, drink, banana and well, dog respectively.



Speaking of Dog, he, Fox and Dennis appear to be in some sort of polyamorous relationship which you disrupt on a nightly basis by favouring Dog over all others despite the fact that he is a little worn and not particularly soft. By the way, it was your father who tumble dried Dog after he survived a night of the norovirus. He is now a little rough around the edges and won't talk about what he went through other than to refer to it as his "'nam" (Dog, not your father).


We, like Dog, love you very much.
Motherhood The Real Deal

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Dark Times: Maternal Mental Health

Now, I am not sure whether it was having recently read that whilst at the first Royal Foundation Forum, during a panel for the Mental Health charity Heads Together, Meghan Markle was quoted as saying that "we don't need help in finding our voices- we just need to feel strong enough to use them" or whether it has been the dark, looming clouds overhead, heavy with snow which have been weighing on my mind but I have been feeling just more than a little hopeless of late. As in, devoid of hope, not ditzy; I can always be considered hopeless in its latter context.


This is not the first time I have felt like this and I am well aware that is unlikely to be the last. Where Churchill had his black dog, I seem to have a black, heavy blanket loitering never too far away, desperate to cloak me in darkness whenever I show the slightest weakness in spirit. I, like many others, have learned to live with it, accepting that this is my burden to bear. It is like having arthritis of the brain. No matter how often you take your painkillers, how frequently you do your exercises and how mobile you keep your joints there will still be days when you ache. Days when the pain is almost too much to bear and you cannot see a way out. Days when you forget what it is like to be "normal".



When it comes to my mental health, I can be doing everything right; exercising, eating the right things, not drinking too much of the wrong things, socialising, being gainfully employed and yet still it finds me, still it darkens my door and seeps into my, otherwise beautiful, life.

This week, it has done just that. Having initially welcomed the unseasonal weather with child like excitement at the thought of snowmen construction, sledging and snowball fights, my enthusiasm soon waned as the hours spent indoors dragged on and the sunshine failed to penetrate the threatening skies. With childcare routines disrupted, it was left to me to pick up the slack as my husband's medical practice kept it doors open for anyone who might need their help in the harsh conditions. I am always happy to do this and to be honest normally I would be more than a little miffed if the primary carer role was taken away from me but this particular situation felt different. My children were well and more than a little frustrated at being held captive and therefore not being able to burn off their excess energy,  so I was left feeling guilty for abandoning my team at work and daunted by the sheer numbers of hours I was going to have to fill within the confines of my four walls with two children under five.


I could feel the darkness creeping into my waking hours and wrapping itself around me until I was enveloped. Upon waking, and realising that I would have to care for my two children independently, I would sense the underlying terror crescendoing inside of me. Their happy voices serenading me from their bedrooms as they burst into the new day fuelled with relentless vigour and enthusiasm, would do little to relieve my desolation. I worried about failing them; about them noticing that I was utterly dispirited, leaving them scared and unsettled. I wanted to run away. I wanted to pause my life and everyone in it; take myself away and await the time when the darkness would lift.

What I actually did was employ the digital babysitter and hope against hope that it would distract them whilst I waited for the clouds to pass.



I won't say that I am quite back on form yet and the inclement weather seems to be lingering somewhat more than normal but today Husband is home; today I have bought a month's pass to the gym in the hope that I stumble upon some endorphins along the way and today I am beginning to see a glimmer at the end of the tunnel.


This too, shall pass.
Rhyming with Wine

Everything Changes: Working Out the "Working Mother" Bit

It's been a big week this week and, no, we haven't sold our house. In fact, it is no longer even on the market which was both a hea...