Last year the Siblings Project was one of my favourite monthly round-up linkies. The premise is simple: on a set day of the month (the 15th) I’ll share some recent photographs of all four of my children, with little updates and anecdotes about their siblingly relationship and what they’ve been up to. It’s lovely to have a visual record of what the children looked like on a month-by-month basis and to marry that up with tales of their unfurling bond. With that in mind, I didn’t post my December Siblings Projects images because I was on a bit of a break at the time, so let me do that now. And here they are in January. My four cheeky tiddlers. And how far they have come since this time last year, when I announced my pregnancy in the first Siblings Project post of 2016. The development of an actual relationship… View Post

Kirsty and I have been talking lots recently about our experience of raising our small menagerie in the context of our motherhood journey compared to the more conventional one-child-at-a-time one.  Comparing the experience of raising one child against the experience of raising four aged two and under is a bit like a zookeeper talking best practice with somebody who keeps house cats.  They’re just not very comparable.  Kirsty in particular finds that quite isolating; she’s left a few facebook parenting groups because of it recently, which makes me sad because wrangling four children means that she doesn’t exactly get out have a chance to sit down and chat to other mums ‘in person’ either. I think we’ve realised recently that these early years of mothering four are probably going to be the best and the worst our lives.  It’s like living in a tropical paradise that is prone to horrendous… View Post

This is my last Siblings Project update as mummy to four under two. At the end of this month the boys will celebrate their second birthday and the girls will turn three months old. I am going to miss being able to introduce myself as a mother to four under two and watching people’s jaws drop. Almost three months in, the boys have adjusted well to being big brothers to our little ladies. In fact, I think that they no longer remember a time when it was just them and us. The novelty of the girls’ presence has worn off and they are no longer desperate to be around them constantly, to be touching and kissing and holding them. Instead they co-exist peacefully with the occasional cuddle. Olympia and Embla find their older brothers fascinating. They like to be sat up to watch the boys play, and will smile and… View Post

They came into the world at the end of July. It was beautiful and unexpected, and the boys met them almost as soon as they were born and thought that they were marvellous. In the months leading up to their birth people would ask us whether the boys knew that they were going to be big brothers and whether they were excited for the babies and I had to confess that I didn’t know, that they were aware of babies in an abstract way – of their babies, plastic-skulled things, of a friend’s baby (they seemed to like him) – but were they prepared for babies in their home? No. I did not think that they were expecting that. I wondered how they would respond, whether they would be jealous, whether they would be pleased. We wanted it to be easy. We wanted them to love their sisters, or at least… View Post

Oh, the two of you. You woke up earlier as I was on my way home from work and instead of battling with you to go back to sleep, as we usually would, your mama decided to get you up out of your cots to see me. I wasn’t expecting to be greeted by laughter at the door, to see your shining little faces on a Thursday evening when ordinarily I would have to wait until Saturday to hold you, to bury my face in your hair and remember that you are mine. You helped yourselves to a cheeky plate of chips, even though you had already had your dinner and your bedtime milk. And then we played, properly played, catching you and tickling you and blindfolding you with my cardigan to make you squeal. It always makes me laugh when you slow down to ensure that you will be… View Post