THIS NEW CHAPTER OF LIFE
Oh hey seriously neglected blog. I had visions of writing more posts in 2020, but then, well, 2020 happened. The last few months have been a rollercoaster of emotions- contentment at the simple life we found ourselves in, huge worry, frustration, anxiety, personal loss and grief that we’ve faced as a family in the most unconventional of ways, and lots of happy memories too. 2020 has been one hell of a mixed bag so far, but that’s not want I want to focus on while writing this blog post.
My blog used to be a family diary. Long before the days of Instagram, or You Tube, or before I possibly became more cautious of the fact about writing my thoughts and feelings online, this space was one where I used to share our family life as my children grew. I started it back when Mads was a few months old, it was primarily a space where I could share my emotions (and bloody hell wasn’t I soppy and emotional back then?!) and journey of being a mother.
Life changed, being online changed and somewhere along the line I stopped sharing in this way on here. Not necessarily in a bad way. Blog’s aren’t as widely read anymore, and certainly not in that capacity. I do want to share more on this blog going forward, but more from an informative, helpful point of view. Something that will benefit whoever stumbles upon it to read it. However I couldn’t let this new chapter of life pass me by without writing something. As in years to come I know I will read these posts back and feel such a sense of nostalgia about this point in time.
I really feel like we have entered a new chapter here. Actually maybe we have started a whole new story. Years ago, back when I used to feel like I would never not be exhausted after a restless night sleep with one of my babies, when I’d sit at baby groups and talk endlessly about these small humans sucking on toys on a blanket in front of us, when I’d spend afternoons absentmindedly staring at Peppa Pig on the television while feeling like I could cry because of the intensities of a day with a strong willed toddler…. I never imagined the day would come where all three of my children were in school.
I always felt like I had time. Even though I felt emotional when both my girls started at school, with their little curly hair in ponytails and their socks falling down cause they were too big for their little legs, I always still had Wren at home. The age gap meant I would still have him with me for a few years. But last week, that time I had ran out. He’s been in school for a couple of weeks now, but last week was his first week of full day’s. Those baby and toddler days have gone, and now the education system will have him for approximately fourteen years.
It sounds ridiculous but I almost feel guilty. Guilty for how I used that time. Did I do enough with him? Did I play enough? Did I get irritated when he wanted to play trains all.the.time but he kept breaking the tracks so I had to constantly fix it back together? Did I take him out enough? I never ventured to a baby group with him, I was past those days at that point. Was that selfish? I keep replaying things back in my mind, they feel bittersweet and almost laced with nostalgia so strong it almost makes me feel sad. I know I did enough, I know I was enough. I wasn’t perfect but I did my best. But I can’t help but feel this huge range of emotions that I can’t put into words.
There’s that saying, it’s a bit of a cliche, ‘The days are long, but the years are short.’ That couldn’t be more apt at the moment. I can’t believe we are at this stage, that those baby, toddler and pre-school days that seemed like we would be in for an eternity, have been and gone. That chapter of our lives is over.
I know from doing this twice before that I will get over it. In fact already even after just a couple of weeks, it is already getting easier, one day it will become such a part of our daily routine I won’t even think about. That I won’t feel like someone is pulling on my heart strings as I gently push him to walk into his classroom on a morning. That I will soon welcome the space that school brings me, that I will look forward to seeing them at the end of the day just like I do his sisters.
Except I can’t help but feel like things are different this time. Because the last firsts are the hardest. The primary school days are whizzing by, with the girls being in Year 5 and Year 3, it won’t be long before secondary school creeps nearer. Then beyond that who knows. In a few months time I will have been a parent for almost a decade. A decade. It doesn’t even seem possible.
I’ve had people say to me that now the kids are in school I can have a bit of freedom. Time to concentrate a little on me again. Fully focus on my work for the first time properly in years, take up a new hobby, work on my fitness. Become some sort of master baker and chef extraordinaire (lol only joking). Anything. And I know that it will come in time. But right now I just feel a little emotional and a little sad. That it’s the end of an era. And the end of a chapter I am not entirely sure I was ready to finish just yet.