I’ve been looking back on the early days of my blog and two things have struck me. First, that my writing wasn’t as cringey as I thought it would be. But mainly that times really do change.
It seems silly, but I hadn’t realised how much things had changed in the five and a half years I’d been blogging. When I started out, I thought I had big kids, but the reality is, I had little kids. My eldest had just turned 10 and was just about to go into year 6, my younger son was 7 and just about to join year 3 and my little girl really was a little girl – she was only 5 and going into year 1.
When I read about my life then, it feels completely different to the life I have now. I actually had three kids in the same school. My boys still shared a room full of plastic crap, had a bedtime story and lights off at 8.30pm (although they didn’t go straight to sleep, even then). My daughter hadn’t even started ballet. Life was full of endless daft questions, I was forever getting drinks and snacks and there was an awful lot of it dropped on the carpet. It sounded pretty relentless.
But I always say that parenting doesn’t get easier. The kids just move the goalposts.
Times change and now parenting is mainly endless lifts. I’m here for the kids when they suddenly need to ask me an important question about GCSEs, university or politics (although I don’t always have the answers), but sometimes they don’t need to talk to me. They mainly make their own drinks and snacks now and, more than three years after we moved into our house, our carpet is still immaculate.
One thing that struck me about those early posts was that I often seemed quite down. I’d forgotten about that. My default position now is happy.
Why am I happier? Is it just because the kids are older, that they’ve moved the goalposts?
It’s more likely to be that I don’t have to go out for work any more and that I live in a bigger house. Our old house cast a shadow over those early blogposts – a three bedroomed bungalow with a small kitchen isn’t ideal for a family of five. It often felt claustrophobic. Having more space, I feel more settled. It definitely makes life easier.
I’m aware that times will continue to change. Currently, teenagers feel easier than sleepless nights with a newborn, but kids keep moving the goalposts. Who knows what pressure GCSEs and A Levels will bring? Who knows how my daughter will settle into her new secondary school? What about when boyfriends and girlfriends appear on the scene? When things get tough with friendships?
Parenting is no walk in the park and it’s constantly changing. Who knows what I will think when I fast forward five years and look back to where I am now. One things is for sure, nothing will stay the same.