January 2022: The Moments In Between

I take hundreds of photos every month, and most of them don’t get shared with anyone, let alone online. And yet the moments in time that those photos capture are just as important a part of our story as the other images that I do choose to share.

I originally created this blog as a way of documenting our lives, a way of watching the girls grow into who they’re going to be and a way of remembering who they once were. It’s something I want them to be able to look back on as they get older, because memories fade but (digital) photographs don’t.  A legacy, of sorts.

It’s easy (and tempting) to only focus on sharing the fun bits, the memorable parts, the highlights and the celebrations. But I’m learning more and more as I continue through this crazy journey of motherhood and life that it’s really important to me that I capture the ordinary, everyday times that we spend together as well.

The pieces of the jigsaw that fill in the gaps to complete the picture.

The tantalising glimpses into who our girls are becoming.

The chaos, the calm and all the moments in between.

This monthly feature – The Moments In Between – is a space for me to share all of those magical and messy parts of our family life that would otherwise just stay in a folder on my laptop, never to see the light of day.

 

JANUARY

January felt like it lasted for 31 years rather than 31 days.  For once it wasn’t because of the weather, which was actually rather lovely a lot of the time: blue skies; sunshine; frost-cold mornings; pretty light streaming in through water-marked windows; plus spectacularly colourful sunrises and sunsets galore, all of which gave my soul the little lift it needed.

The early joy from birthday and belated Christmas celebrations with family soon disappeared as we slammed head first into the brick wall that is ‘school’ and it’s been a negotiation almost every day since.  I’ve had to come to accept that no two days will be the same and acknowledge the uncertainty of never knowing whether I will have one, two or all three girls home with me on any given day of the week.  Balancing being there for them with my ever-increasing workload has been endlessly exhausting.

I’ve done all the negative self talk, constantly questioned my parenting, second-guessed every single decision I’ve made, doubted every word that’s come out of my mouth and I’ve beaten myself up over and over and over again.  I’ve been told in no uncertain terms by a very much loved and well-meaning family member that they are wimps and that I need to make them stronger.  And the Attendance Officer on the end of the phone at school audibly sighs now when she answers the phone to me again and I explain yet another absence.

Truthfully, I’m not really sure where we go from here.  There are bad days, better days and good days and of course we’ll make it through – we always do.  It’s just a little extra challenging at the moment.  So we put our heads down and continue to do the best we can with what we’ve got and we focus on all the good stuff we have in the coming months that we’re looking forward to.

What I’ve loved about this January, as tricky as it’s felt, is that it’s given me bonus time with the girls.  We’ve had important conversations – about feelings and books and friendships and so much more – that we wouldn’t have had if they’d been at school.  We’ve done jigsaws and been for walks and had cuddles (even the teens).  And that all matters.  It matters a lot.  I’m hoping it means they felt seen and heard and understood, that they know that their needs are important.

I’m keeping everything crossed that February will be a little more settled and trusting that one day we’ll look back on this month for what it was – a short season of transition which helped us all grow in ways we didn’t know we needed at the time.

This was us in January…

 

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