Tag Archive | motherhood

Red Herrings 

In May we started the process of buying a flat. It was beautiful and big, but it had no garden or parking, no garage or storage, and it would have necessitated moving towns amongst other things. It seemed like a good idea at the time – it was a nice town that we all liked and we already had friends there.

But then I discovered that I was very unexpectedly pregnant and the lack of garden and parking suddenly seemed more problematic. The final decision not to go ahead was influenced by the fact that middle son felt very strongly indeed about changing schools (as in”I’d rather die!”) and daughter didn’t even get the place we had been assured was hers for the taking at Sixth Form in the same school.

So we said goodbye to the lovely big flat, with no clear vision of where to go or any obvious options other than staying in the housing association house that’s so unsuitable.

But then… I’m not pregnant anymore.

 I rather wish we had a move to look forward to, as the future is looking pretty bleak right now.

This was my 6th loss through miscarriage and since I’m 45 now, there’s no guarantee at all that there will be any more pregnancies or even any more conception (this baby was 4 long years in the making).

And so I’m beyond sad. I’m absolutely broken and bereft. I can’t see any light, only tunnel.

And the worst thing about all this is that we weren’t really trying to conceive anymore. We had given up. And I was more or less, reluctantly resigned to the idea that there wouldn’t be any more babies. 

But now? I can suddenly vividly remember the feeling I had after I lost my twins all those years ago – the feeling that I could more than understand the desperation of bereaved mothers who go on to steal other mothers’ babies. It becomes an all-consuming obsession to somehow obtain that which you cannot have.

Despite my determination to think positively, look for the good and find treasure in the darkness this year, all I can see now is darkness.

Was there any point in all this? Life seems to have a cruel and sick sense of humour. It seems to have been nothing but a red herring. But I don’t know anymore what I’m meant to be focusing on instead.



It’s official, my neighbour is the She-Devil. Every morning, I am woken up by her shouting and screaming at her crying, screaming kids, until bedtime.

It’s really upsetting, to me and my children, we have got to the point where we can’t go in the garden or even have the windows open when they are home.

I believe she is a single mum. The only interaction I have had with her is her shouting in my face.

I’m afraid I’m really struggling to feel sympathy for her, and as for praying for my enemies, I’m struggling to pray anything nice!

I have tried setting a good example, speaking softly and kindly to my children in her hearing (before being in the garden just got too inpleasant) and smiling and being friendly when I saw her, but it just seems to make her madder.

It’s actually really getting me down. How would you deal with this?


I need to get organised somehow. I feel as though I have been constantly battling chaos ever since… When did it begin? I think it began the moment I left home and became responsible for keeping my own house.

In my defence, since that moment I have always lived with the most exceptionally lazy and untidy people (or so it seems).

I have moved house in my life around 25 times, and unless there’s some kind of miracle to restore our finances so we can buy our rental house, this place won’t be the last. I wish it were not so, but that’s the way life has unfolded for me. I don’t like the feeling of being a helpless victim of circumstance, but it’s very clear to me that I’m not the one in control.

I can think of only three places where chaos wasn’t a problem: my student digs, our place in Stockholm, and finally, when we were living at my mother-in-law’s. In the first two places, I just didn’t have that much stuff, and in the third, somebody else was doing the housework! (Well, I helped, but I wasn’t the only one responsible for the whole house.)

Even when we had additional family members at Grandma’s (ten of us at one stage) it wasn’t hard like this. In fact, having more adults working together made things much more workable. It was a completely different dynamic. That’s one of the attractions of living in community.

My conclusion: I can’t manage this much stuff without help. And since there’s no help to be had, the stuff must go. Ugh. If only it were that easy. I’m really feeling totally overwhelmed this week, just drowning in stuff.

I keep thinking as well that this chaos is an obstacle to spirituality. I long for some kind of routine, and just a bit of space and time and solitude. I love my big ‘happy family’ but it is suffocating sometimes.

I keep planning to walk down to the church ‘tomorrow’, as I discovered a few weeks ago that it’s open during the day, but so far I haven’t managed it. Maybe tomorrow. But I won’t get my hopes up.

I can understand why the ‘desert fathers’ and mothers withdrew to the desert looking for a deeper and more satisfying spiritual life. Marriage and motherhood is a *much* harder path.

Is serenity even possible in a big, noisy, active, busy homeschooling nuclear family?

Next post had better be on joy, for balance, I guess.