I didn’t blog about Christmas.
Actual christmas (Christmas Eve – Boxing Day) was lovely. And these days I just always feel grateful for my boys, and I always find myself taking time to take stock of everything that I am fortunate to have.
But not having Sam around for the rest of it, whilst all the world seemed to have until the 5th of work, hit me with a sadness that I hadn’t expected.
We haven’t been taking any holidays (until this year). So Sam always took a chunk of annual leave at Christmas and it was always our main family time. I hadn’t really realised how much of a nice tradition it was until this year when things felt distinctly different.
November and December were spent largely separate. One of us with the kids, the other away doing something work or play-related. We had one weekend all together, and as I remember, Sam and I spent most of that embroiled in insignificant squabbles. Which, of course, was a massive waste that only served to fuel our frustration further.
I think Arlo is definitely noticing (and reacting to) the lack of standard family time at the weekends. This is something to rectify in February and March when things die down a bit. I’m actually apprehensive about booking out too many weekends this year with photography sessions for this very reason – I have already scaled down massively from this time a year ago, but even then, I just can’t be pulled in this many directions all of the time. I can’t have the kids pulled in this many directions. I’m also trying to remember that it’s a big year (everyone is turning 30 and everyone is getting married), and maybe they won’t all feel so hectic.
I usually like to record Christmas, even if just for the nice photo memories. But somewhere in all of this, I just could not muster up the motivation to blog.
I feel like I’ve lost my enthusiasm for a lot of things, and I’ve definitely lost my focus. The smallest of items on my to-do list have seemed like vast challenges, and an uncharacteristic forgetful fog has been impossible to shift.
I think I might be, slash have been, exhausted.
Rory still spends most of the night (not) sleeping in bed next to me. I am pulling most of the weight at home, with the kids, finding myself making important family decisions solo whilst Sam is busy with work. I think this is the same for most couples with young families – we barely have a minute to have a proper conversation. Add time zone differences and text-only conversations to the mix and it’s impossible to pin any decisions down.
We tick one important life decision or event off the list and then we move straight onto the next one with what seems like no downtime. I crave to rescue time for the simple things. But it’s like a rollercoaster – once it’s starts moving it doesn’t stop. As families grow, decisions get bigger, life gets busier.
I never wanted to be at home with the kids all the time. I am not a natural homemaker. I crave creative time, and I crave space. I always wanted distinction between family time and work/solo time. If I could make it work financially, I’d definitely be one of those people saying “Going to work makes me a better mother”. But I feel like I’ve been working to get to that position ever since I became pregnant with Arlo. I’m still not there yet. For the moment, I find an increasing need to be at home, not working. Being the constant for the boys and making day-to-day life tick over, whilst Sam focuses on work and travels as much as he needs to. Just like it was for my mum. But it’s not my natural state, and it feels like it’s just snuck up on me without asking.
I can’t be bothered to do a lot of things, and blogging falls under that category.
(This isn’t an apology for not blogging. I’m happy with the irregularity of my posts. My blogging history has always been in waves).
I’ve just returned from New York (Sam surprised me with a trip for my 30th birthday), and again, I’ve been a bit meh about wanting to blog about it, and a bit flummoxed about what to write.
It’s a big cliche, but stepping out of my everyday life for six days (SIX days. Which is the most time I’ve ever been granted to just be me, without children, since I had Arlo), has given me time to see things a little bit more objectively.
I haven’t traveled out of the country for four years. Being in a different place, with time to myself, and proper sleep, took me so far away from my tunnel-visioned life as a mum of young children, attempting to cling onto London living, despite all the challenges, and all the things I’ve been focused/fixated on as part of that ‘plan’.
I like my life. But it’s all-consuming, and it’s easy to dwell on the things that aren’t going so well. Strip it all away, plonk me somewhere else for a few days, and I’m just me again, in the simplest form. And I found that quite a powerful thing.
That’s really what I wanted to say about New York.