After a wonderful half term both little man and I have been super poorly. I have severe tonsillitis and he has an awful virus that won’t shift. Been cooped up indoors since Sunday.
After work, Daddy took little man into the garden for a bit of fresh air.
It is also an opportunity for him to throw stones around and have that bit of freedom that toddlers crave to just let loose.
A few hours after this little man was very unwell and so we are back to being inside and regular medicines.
We will both be wild from fighting infections next week!
Half term is such a joy, being a teacher means early mornings, late evenings and very short moments with little man during the week.
Half term is a week of unadulterated fun and family time and nothing beats it.
A trip to Exeter to stay with friends provided the perfect opportunity for some beach exploration. Is it just me or is there something magical about the sea?
So this weather, the cold, the damp, the chill in your bones, makes you want to hibernate all over again even though you had slowly been convincing yourself that Spring is indeed coming.
The problem with hibernating for me is two-fold. One, I get cabin fever being cooped up inside for too long and two, I have a 2 year old boy. Neither of these things are conducive to staying inside.
Before I had a child I was not what you would describe as ‘outdoorsy’ my leaving the house to avoid cabin fever would constitute going to a coffee shop or somewhere else indoors. This has changed somewhat.
Luckily, Grandpa obligingly has an allotment.
So an adventure outside but close enough to civilisation and without having to worry about dirty clothes.
Half term has arrived and with it conjunctivitis for little man. When I arrived home after work yesterday he looked like he had done a few rounds in the boxing ring. Thankfully the eye drops are helping but when you’re 2 years old and constantly touching your face and eyes it is no fun at all.
We had a 5:30am start this morning. Mornings like these I am grateful that we have catch up tv and Bing on series record. It was a morning of television and snuggling and dozing.
I had a few messages from a friend going through a bit of a rough patch and was able to send love and encouragement. Taking the time to be thoughtful in my responses and make sure they knew I was completely for them all the way.
Another friend visited us and we spoke for a while about a very difficult and heartbreaking situation and took the time to listen and to care and not offer any solution or way forward as sometimes there just isn’t one and it has to be worked through and out in a messy way.
Today it has been about making time to listen and to talk. For a while, I had neglected doing that. Living only in my head and not being fully myself or really letting anyone in.
Today was about being open and being confident in who I am, not shying away from the world.
Today was about letting people know they are loved and important and cared for deeply.
Ok, so I know it isn’t pancake day anymore but it was life group night and pancake day this week so it had to be done.
This week has been trying and challenging. At the beginning of it tonight seemed like a distant dream never to arrive.
Tonight I sat round the table with a small amount of people who have the biggest impact on my life. We made pancakes, we laughed, we talked, we posed those questions we all usually keep in our heads like :
‘Why do we find it so difficult to be real with others?’
‘Why is being vulnerable and revealing our true self so hard?’
Why do we constantly pretend we have it all together and only let people know we are struggling when we reach the end of our rope?’
These people are those I am my most real and my most raw with, my warts and all people, my take me as I am people.
These people change my life on a daily basis.
Tonight, there was no where I would rather have been than sat in my kitchen making pancakes.
This week is taking its toll. I am physically and emotionally spent. Today was a long day, I left work much later than I wanted to after having a few hundred more things added to my to do list for tomorrow. This means a working evening as well.
One of my light reliefs, things that sparks joy, keep me sane at times like this is time with my 2 year old son. He is a gentle reminder of what life is all about.
Tonight, I came home to this…
I last saw him, spoke to him, played with him, hugged him before 7am this morning.
I will next speak to him at 6am tomorrow.
This is the sacrifice of the working mother, the moment of pause that keeps me going not available for me today because I am too late.
It is the last week of term and one of the most full-on and pressurised weeks I have had so far this year.
It is one of those weeks you wish for the end of before it has even started.
Wishing away the days… Wishing for the next day, the next week to begin.
One of those weeks where you catch yourself teetering on the edge of the abyss…
‘Can I just have a little drive Mummy? Would you like to sit with me while we have a little drive?’
Truth be told, we needed to leave, there was lots to do, planning, preparing, dinner to cook. But I paused and sat while we had a ‘little drive’ and we laughed and I relaxed and felt that spark of joy when life courses through your bones and you feel fully alive.
And I remembered ‘this too shall pass’ the busyness, the pressure, the stress but I won’t get to live these days again and that’s what I want to do, live them fully.
I returned to work today after being signed off for a week with an injury I sustained at work.
Back to leaving the house early, just after little man has woken up and returning with just a short time before his bedtime.
The weekdays allow only very limited amounts of time with him. Returning home carrying the weight of a workday on my shoulders and wanting to just collapse onto the sofa and have a bit of headspace and quiet; versus arriving home fully present and making some moments however small.
Tonight I was greeted with a delighted squeal of ‘mummy!’ and a wide-armed bear hug that righted every wrong in the world.
We did some puzzles.
We made some moments and we made them count.
On a Friday little man has dinner at his childminder’s so when we all get home we have some extra time before bedtime. I decided that we should be intentional about having a planned activity that we do together in this time as a way of kick starting the weekend. This led to Friday Night Baking becoming a mini tradition in our house.
Thing with best laid plans and all of that are that you often need to adapt and change depending on the circumstances of the moment.
Little man can be exhausted by the time we get to Friday as he has such a super week full of activities and baking just does not work with a tired 2 year old!
Saturday morning then became baking time instead as 5:30am starts mean it is perfectly plausible to find yourself making cakes or biscuits at 8:30am.
This weekend we didn’t manage Friday or Saturday for baking. This is not a problem, it doesn’t have to become an expectation or a chore to have to do it. The thing is, it is something we all enjoy and for me a measure of a good weekend. The fact that we can carve out some time to work on a project all together and with quick results is something that sparks joy for me.
Today I made time for Sunday baking – it was one of our moments.
Today we made Rocky Roads. We used Nigella’s recipe which can be found here Nigella’s Rocky Roads as we had no Rich Tea biscuits we used Digestives instead.
It would be foolish to think we could get through a whole recipe without something being eaten so I keep a bowl with very small amounts of treats nearby to substitute for the mixture we are making at the time
I use foil trays as they are lighter and easier for small hands to work with and it also means we can make a number of smaller batches.
As we made these late afternoon they are chilling in the fridge until tomorrow so no late night sugar consumption issue occur.
The more we bake together the more I see the progress little man is making with listening to and following the instructions of a recipe. His fine and gross motor skills are benefiting too.
I will be posting more of our baking escapades here weekly so let me know of any recommendations.