I don’t know what it is at the moment, but I just feel happy. I am a slightly strange person because I don’t actually like typing those words, I worry some how I am tempting fate by saying it out loud, or that something will happen by me declaring how I am feeling. I realise how ridiculous that sounds, but I think as a mother you are only too aware of the fragility of things. When you have a child it’s magnified, it seems. Sometimes you ignore it, and sometimes it’s all you ever think about.
There’s no particular reason for this happiness. In fact perhaps it’s not even really happiness at all. It’s contentment. I just feel content. Life has it’s stresses, sure it does, but for the most part those worries that seem so big at 2am, feel better by the next morning. There’s the odd day where I feel on edge, where parenting has been at it’s most difficult, where the girls drive me mad, but being positive is the best therapy of them all. We are busy, life is hectic, but at the same time our routine is solid and our children are at an age where things just seem to be getting that little bit easier. We can take them out for a meal without them screaming the place down, or we can let them have the odd late night without them being grumpy monsters the next day. They play nicely together for the most part (although fighting happens regularly too), the iPad is always our saviour and if we are having a day where they are excessively hyper we can guarantee that half an hour snuggling on the sofa will quieten them down. The daily doldrum of our routine comforts me in a way- the nursery run, the same things for dinner every week, the set your watch by them wake up’s in the morning. I thrive on our mundanity.
I struggle with a work life balance. That’s something I need to work on. Last week I had so much piled on top of me that I felt exhausted and unmotivated just thinking about it. I actually cried a couple of times because I just wanted to stop feeling so on edge with the amount I had to do. But once I have cleared my workload a little bit, I see things a lot clearer, and I feel really thankful that I am able to work from home. It’s the hardest work I have ever done, way more hours than a full time job, and it means 2am bed times some evenings, but deep down I do love that I have the flexibilty to bring up my girls how I want. Even better is that my best buddy has joined me now, and I now have Mr E working at home too. I have no doubts that it will be stressful going forward, especially when his current contract runs out and we have to find new clients, worrying about what money is coming in each month. But I love that we both are raising our children equally as a partnership. I love that he is there, just a comforting cuddle behind our office door if I need him during the day.
Anyway, I have gone off on somewhat of a tangent. Back to this contentment. What I am trying to say is that day to day life definitely has it’s stresses and can get on top of me at times, but for the most part we are ok. We are doing ok. We are happy. I often feel this ache. An ache that my babies are growing up so quickly. An ache that I can’t slow life down but I can only enter it, hold it, and be thankful for it. I am painfully aware that life will change come September when Mads goes to school, that we will reach the end of an era, that while I have no doubt it will still be wonderful, a little part of all of us will have to let go and embrace this new chapter.
So for now I am basking in this contentment. The days where I look at my little family and get tears in my eyes because I am thankful. The days where I feel I have this motherhood lark sussed. Yes LL is going through a phase where the only food she will eat is nutella sandwiches and plain rice. But I have hindsight on my side. It doesn’t matter in the long run, she’s not going to be an eighteen year old going out on a date with her first boyfriend and ordering chocolate sandwiches for her main course. Or if Mads has a day where she is obnoxious and tires me out, I know the next day she will be sat on the sofa telling me I am her best friend while she plays with my ear and snuggles in close. Sometimes it’s all consuming, they are highly emotional and constantly needy. Sometimes it feels demanding, complicated and all those other tiresome things that I wished it wasn’t. I am a very different person to the one who I was four and a half years ago before I became a mother. Much more sentimental, yes. But also far less selfish and one who appreciates things a lot more. Sometimes you have to have the odd day where it feels all a bit much. If you didn’t feel empty every now and again, you wouldn’t feel that satisfaction that comes with feeling full and happy.
I have surrendered to the fact that motherhood isn’t always plain sailling. Life isn’t really either. And I have that sussed now. For all those ‘bad’ days, there will be a hundred more good ones. There are moments where even the best laid plans go array and others where it all just goes the way it should.
And that’s ok. Motherhood has never claimed to be easy. Only worth it. For that I am happy.
And that right there is contentment.
I took these photos a couple of weekends ago. It’s become a bit of a yearly tradition to go to the ‘yellow fields’ and also to the ‘purple ones’ a little later on in the year too. When I look at our photos from last year, I can’t believe how much we have changed. I say it every time, but I couldn’t love these photos anymore and I think they might be my favourites I have ever taken…