At long last, I’ve found the courage to sit and write a blog post for you all. What a hectic, turbulent, life-changing few months we’ve had. Just so you know, the kind comments and messages I receive from you all have helped me to keep going, so although I’m quiet, please know how much I value you.
So, where have I been? In short, I’ve been sending two kids off to uni in different cities, hours away from home. One to a new college, and six back to school (including my little Teddy bear, who just started!) I now only have two at home with me, and Frank will soon be starting nursery! Crazy.
I have received countless messages asking how I manage all of this. The truth is, I don’t really know the answer. It often keeps me up at night, the pressure of having twelve little pairs of eyes looking up to me at all times. I am forever worrying that I could be doing more for them, loving them harder, keeping them safer. As parents, we probably all feel this; I am no exception. I am one person, running this show alone. Not having Sally and James here feels like a big gaping hole in my life, for which there’ll never be a remedy, I don’t think. Don’t get me wrong, my heart bursts with pride when I think of those two. They are the kind, beautiful, wise young adults I dreamed of raising, but even better. This is Sal’s first year at uni and until now, we’ve never spent more than about five days apart. Two months in, and I’ve seen her twice for little weekend bursts which, magical as they are, will never be long enough. My Mama heart! I’ve decided already that the others will forgo university and work from home instead. Sorted.
The summer was drawing to a close last time I wrote, but the days were still long, feet bare, lunches al fresco. How things have changed! I love this cold, dark season. I love the boots and scarves, the blankets and warm soups. This house is buzzing with excitement for Christmas; we cannot wait! Tackling my first summer as a single parent was daunting to say the least. But Christmas? How on earth will I pull it all off? This is a year of ‘firsts’, for sure. I’ve done a lot of thinking, and I’ve decided to do Christmas differently this time around. The thought of trying to recreate previous years makes me so sad; our family dynamic is totally different, along with just about everything else. Anyway, I’ve been pinterest crazy recently, and I’m definitely going for a more minimalist look this year. I’m thinking big trees, bare besides some twinkly lights. Lots of white, grey, green, and more white.
Most years, my Christmas eve is consumed by preparing food, frantically organising presents and generally running around like a mad lady. The past few Christmas eves, I’ve left all of the children home with Sal, while I’ve tackled the absolute nightmare that is the high street on December 24th. This time, the goal is to have most of the shopping done before the children finish school, so that I can slow down and absorb every single moment. I am more to them on the sofa, watching christmas movies and reading books, than I am peeling flipping brussels sprouts.
We’ve planned a roadtrip to London just before Christmas, to coincide with picking up Sally. I am so excited for them to see all of those lights! I’m thinking of going the whole way: dowloading a christmas playlist for the journey, hanging a few decorations in our van, and packing festive themed snacks. The goal is to create memories they’ll hang on to, and the key to this is turning even the little things into something fun and exciting.
We have family coming to us this year, and my brother-in-law will actually be cooking Christmas dinner! I’ve fussed away in the kitchen every single year since Sal was born, so who knows how I’ll resist the urge to jump in and help. Nonetheless I am endlessly grateful; what a treat to have extra hours to sit and breathe. My sister has given me orders: you are to spend the day sitting, and playing with the children. Yikes! I really hope I can pull this season off. I hope they love it and remember it.
Anyway, my goal is to get back into writing blog posts; I think it could be a really good outlet for me. I’m loving so many things at the moment, so perhaps in my next one, I’ll share my current favourites.
Thank you a million times, to everyone who has stuck by me.
So much love,