Isn’t the internet a strange old beast? I am, personally, in love with it. We are lovers. I’d like to cover it in Nutella and lick it. We are having an intense tryst at the moment because: UNLIMITED WIFI HERE IN THE UK! YEAH BABY! After 18 months of being in an internet-less yurt in New Zealand, we are sucking the life out of all the wwws over here.
But how much does it skew everyone’s perception of what is real? I mean. What family life is like, how exhausting parenthood is, how hard it is to just recycle the little boxes that the takeaway you’ve resorted to came in?
Everything is a showreel. Facebook and Instagram – white, white, walls and children not wearing their pyjamas. Even when I livestream on periscope I tilt the camera so you can’t see the morning’s cereal bowls with the crunchy nut cornflakes that haven’t been crunchy for hours. Not very many people are upfront about the shitty bits, eh?
I wonder if this blog lately has been a bit like that “oh we are going on a big trip! Having a lovely time in Thailand with the baby elephants! We are REALLY respecting our children’s rights! Now we are in London and we have shiny hair that is really growing fast thanks to this nice brush!”
When I post a blog, I usually am feeling all the happies. I tend not to be very public with my woes, ever. (I’m British.) And I don’t like to talk about difficulties my kids are facing with people on the internet. My blog isn’t a facade at all, I don’t mean to give a false impression – I just wouldn’t flip open my laptop if I was feeling really mega bummed about something.
So I’m making a concerted effort to do that right now… because right now we are having some HARD days.
We watched the new Pixar movie, Inside Out, yesterday because we happen to be in Peckham, home to the legendary Peckham Plex where every film is a fiver all day every day. Yeah the carpet is so sticky that it pulled my sandal off and yeah there tends to be a culture of shouting at the screen but a fiver is well cheap.
I was almost on the cusp of tears the whole time. Thinking about how all the change we have brought on to our family in the last 18 months and how that must be so epically intense for our children to deal with.
And they are really dealing with it right now.
(At least I think that is what is going on. I think it’s the change. We’ll never know unless we can get Pixar involved to take a peep in our kid’s head… that’s how it works right?)
It is emotion central round here. The epicenter of rage and the source of all tears. We are every slammed door and every overthrown chair.
And then there’s the children.
(Jokes… I’m too lazy to overthrow a chair.) Me and Tim seem to take it in turns over who gets to run away from the sadness and shut ourselves in the toilet.
All the emotions are triggering things in us and we are trying to figure out what we need and how to get it whilst helping our children meet theirs and not really feeling like we are doing that very well at all.
On days like this, parenting this way doesn’t seem like the path to harmony one bit. There are little shivers of doubt and a sense that families who Put Their Foot Down probably never have bad days.
We are all just on. the. verge. All day. (And all night.)
It takes a village to raise a child, eh? And I guess we have left ours for a few months, and we are sort of popping in to our old one and our kids don’t remember the neighbours and the friendly village dog that used to lick their knees now seems like a strange menace. And did a poo right by the swings.
All the normal things have gone, the daily rituals and things we could all rely on and yes, there is lots of fun and joy involved, but we are floundering a bit. The framework on which we hang our lives is back on a parcel of land in New Zealand and we are just bumping along from thing to thing. (I like to think we carry this framework around with us, in our family culture but I’ve totally misplaced it. It’s probably somewhere in my hand bag with my sunglasses, a mouldy sock, a half eaten apple, a small furry penguin, a few of those orange things that kinder egg toys come in, two Frubes and a mooncup but gosh darn I can’t find iiiiiiiiittttttt…)
In between little (freezing) picnics catching up with old friends we are rampaging drama queens; moody and explosive.
One of us needs to take a chill pill and it should probably be me… have any? *hopeful*
If I was updating Instagram today there would be a picture of me hiding under the covers with a book while Juno tries to put a toy screwdriver into my ears brrrrrrrrr and Ramona will be yelling for someone to play tag with her for the fifty billionth time and Tim will be asking if we are bringing our children up all wrong.
So… no feedback needed. I just wanted to make it very, very clear that our life isn’t some romantical, respectful, nomadic dream. We are trying, really trying, to embrace joy and freedom but some days… some days are just shit.