Everything is changing. Some days I feel as though I’m on the crest of a huge wave and if I stare ahead I can see the city in the distance and it is beautiful. But if I look down, all I can see is the gaping chasm threatening to devour us. I feel as though I am holding on to everyone tightly, too tightly. The children fight this control and I find myself engaged in petty power battles with people half my size; when I raise my voice my sons shout back, and I am shocked that my sweet and respectful toddlers are capable of such defiance. I try to remember to breathe before speaking, to give myself that moment, but on some days I am so tired that if I pause for even a second, I fear that I won’t be able to start again. The girls have just given up their nap, and I miss napping when they do; by the time that the weekend finishes, I am more exhausted than when it started.
Kirsty is my rock. She fills the kitchen with sunflowers and messages me photos; somehow she finds space in her own overwhelm, her own exhaustion, to let me be the hormonal mess. When I go upstairs to get dressed and fall asleep right there, hand outstretched toward the open wardrobe, she only wakes me an hour later when everyone is ready and we’re in danger of missing the bus if I don’t fling on a jumper and leave. She never, ever holds it against me when I stumble home from the office and immediately go to bed, though she must crave adult company. And I find myself wondering how she finds that grace.
The house is full of prints and frames and command strips, which she puts together like a jigsaw puzzle and then waits, patiently, for me to decide where they will sit on our walls. This is not our forever home, though we’ve been here two and a half years now. This was supposed to be our just-for-now home, but this year we decided to have a baby rather than a house move. And we decided, as we’re here until April, we should probably invest some energy – and money – into making the place look nice. Right now the prints are stacked in piles in our bedroom, but we plan to have them on the walls before the baby arrives. There is so much to do before the baby arrives.
I wanted to document an ordinary day, just a typical Saturday, before we add a new little human to our family and everything changes again. So last Saturday, I took the camera with me everywhere: to London for the Little Tikes STEM Jr launch with my boys, to Sainsbury’s for a let’s-buy-cake date with my boys, about the house as our perfectly imperfect, ordinary day unfolded. And in a few weeks’ time, when our lives don’t resemble these lives any more, I am going to treasure these images. I just know it. My friend Zoe from My Little Wildlings joined me in documenting her day with her four also; I’d love for you to check her out and say hello, she is the sweetest and her photography is stunning.