We are the worst type of church goers! The type who turn up periodically for a wedding or a christening photo op with the occasional Christmas Eve service thrown in if we’re not already on the Snowballs! Who doesn’t love a good carol on Christmas Eve, interspersed with advocat! Our attendance at Sunday morning services (lie ins are considerably more appealing!) and our commitment to Christianity in general is woefully lacking! It’s not an outright hypocrisy though- I would place myself firmly in the ‘undecided but hopeful’ category when it comes to religion and an existence of a higher plain, (but we also can’t go too often as on one visit, Esme stole a ‘my little pony’ from the Sunday school crèche so I think we may be on a watch list!)
Having said this, allowing the safe arrival of our beautiful and healthy children into this world without marking the occasion with some kind of celebration felt, well a bit rude!! So each of them have been christened with a jolly good knees up afterwards to herald to the world ‘there’s a new Thornhill in town!’
At the preparation evening in church a few weeks ago the vicar asked us why we were choosing to have our children baptised- He explained that it was officially to welcome them into the Christian faith but that we may have our own reasons for making this choice for them. For us, it was definitely about saying thanks. Having a baby is definitely a very precious gift- having spent years trying to get our first here I find it a miracle that the human race didn’t die out many moons ago! The formation of a new life depends on so many variables and factors that every new life is definitely a wonderous creation! There were times a few years ago where we never dared dream we’d have one healthy child here, let alone 3! Our babies are the most precious things we have or will ever have and not a day goes by when I don’t thank my lucky stars that they were gifted to us!
But there are times when it’s not always easy to be quite so thankful. Sometimes the day to day drudgery of every day life weighs down on your shoulders and it’s easy to loose sight of all the things that you should feel blessed for!
We’ve had a tough couple of weeks! Jon was basically away for the working week last week which always bring along new challenges! Doubled up with my mum and dad also being away and I felt like my crack back up team had dwindled considerably! And in true form, each of the children stepped up to the occasion!!
Our oldest is going through a whingey phase! He sobs over the most ridiculous things that I understand are incredibly important to him but that I struggle to muster up suitable levels of dismay for! In no particular order he has recently sobbed over Esme finishing her rice crispies before him, a balloon popping, the bath having too many bubbles in it and my personal favourite, me flushing his poo away before he’d had chance to see it!!! I know it’s hard work being 5! I know he’s shattered from being at school all week and learning so much new stuff and having lots of new experiences that can be scary and emotionally draining, but seriously… it was just a normal, run of the mill poo!! He has started to play football with his friends but his version of playing is like the old school version of the organisation of the universe with him in the centre and everyone passing the ball diligently back and forth to him and him alone! When this doesn’t happen the whining starts! He’s often mardy and grumpy and the crying while talking so you can’t make out anything other than noise is starting to wear thin!
Esme is very…. 3! She is roughly 50:50 at the minute between adorably cute and manically demonic! She is the Jedi master of pushing every single button and sending you to the brink of insanity before telling you your hair looks nice and asking for a cuddle! The other morning, after exhausting every possible option to get her to put clothes on known to man, I shouted so loud it prompted George to start crying because I’d ‘hurt his ears’ while Esme just stood there, massively not giving a shit and pointed out my face had gone red!! We have days when every bloody little thing feels like a battle and it’s exhausting!
Ted is the most delightful little boy in the world! He is an absolute tonic- but even model happy babies teeth! When Jon was away for the week, he woke up through the night every hour and picked up a vomiting bug to boot! I know that’s not his fault and I know it’s temporary but it’s another thing to add in the mix and to bog you down as you try desperately to cling on to the raft of feeling blessed in a shit storm of every day life!
We had a moment the other day when we were sat at the dining room table trying to have a conversation when we both recognised the humour in the madness around us! We’d had a stressy morning trying to do complex manoeuvres like arrive at swimming lessons on time or put all our shoes on! Our tempers were fraying and I was sick of everything feeling hard! Mid conversation, we could hear George stomping on the landing upstairs continually shouting ‘poo poo wee wee’ at the top of his voice while playing the guitar loudly and badly when Esme ran in and shouted ‘look at my bum!’ flashed her pants and prompted Ted to have a massive giggling fit! It was another example of the madness of our home and would have been easy to put your head in your hands and wonder if we’d ever finish a conversation in one go again but instead we both burst out laughing (and then put our head in our hands but in a much more good natured fashion!!)
I love our kids with all my being! I love that they are full of character and spirit, love what they are growing into and watching who they will become! Love their individuality and characters! I love being a mummy with all my heart- I was terrified that these days would never come and I do try hard to find joy in my time with them! But I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s impossible to be grateful and thankful for every aspect of child rearing! It’s unrealistic to expect you to cherish everything- there is no joy to be found in siblings arguing over which one of 2 identical chairs they are going to sit on or scraping poo from down the back of your finger nails! There’s no awe and wonder to be found in cleaning puréed sweet potato from a high chair or repeating ‘for the love of god get dressed!’ for the 178th time in ten minutes!! Some bits are a bit crap! Yes sometimes those crap bits can be entertaining if you can step back and get some perspective but being able to do that, especially when there are three of them and they are ganging up on you, isn’t always easy!
So, I’m endeavouring to make sure I cherish the good bits, stop occasionally and take note when the joy occurs whilst recognising the crappy bits as an inevitable by-product of parenting! Raising small humans is a mixture of highs and lows- expecting only highs is as unrealistic as expecting children to eat broccoli voluntarily! Lows happen, pretending they don’t is the dangerous bit! As long as there are some highs each day then I’ve decided we’re ok… and if the highs outweigh the lows then it’s officially a win!!