We saw the light in the parenting tunnel!

Something weird happened the other day. It was my turn for a lie in (which basically involves hiding in bed and dicking about on my phone without judgement) and it was uncharacteristically peaceful. More often that not lie ins are peppered with shouting, crying, squawking and children running in and out of the bedroom to jump on you etc etc.

At about 9.30am I went downstairs to investigate and survey the damage. Get this – there was none!

I could only hear happy children and I could only feel a strange sense of calm. I walked into the kitchen to find J sat at the table.

don't understand

‘What are you doing?’ I asked

‘Sitting in the kitchen.’ he replied.


‘Just having my coffee…’ he explained

‘Sitting in the kitchen and drinking your coffee?!’

‘Yeh. I’ve Just been reading my book’.


I looked at him again, it was not a mirage, he was really and truly doing all of these things. They are three of my favouritist things to do in the world…

3 favite things

Was this some sort of fucked up, parallel universe in which being a parent allows you to do nice things for yourself?

It sounded amazing. I wanted me some of that.

The children apparently had been playing together for 2 hours. After nearly 3 years of hating each other there were signs that they may actually be starting to form a relationship.

This is the dream.

You see sometimes I’ve wondered what the whole deal was with this parenting thing. Why so many people do it, and then do it again, when a lot of it is actually just shit. Literally.

But I think we just saw the light…

the light

God it was all going to be so simple from here on out! Maybe we would end up having another baby just for something to do. You know one of the ones you see on the TV and in magazines – cute, quiet, tiny and wrapped up in novelty towels. No trouble at all – just pop em in your pocket and wait for them to emerge as an adult.

But the light said not…

the light2

the light3

the light4

The light it comes and goes. Sometimes it’s so dim I can hardly see and other times it makes all of our faces glow.

The light is giving me bits of my freedom back. Little by little. I did a poo without an audience the other day and it was epic. 

Now all I need is someone to follow me around and hit me in the face with a stinking great big fish whenever I show signs of getting broody…



P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)


30 thoughts on “We saw the light in the parenting tunnel!

  1. Robert

    Our situation is almost identical to yours – 2 children of the same ages (boy and girl though), and a similar gap between them – and so often we’re experiencing exactly the same situations just as you blog about them.

    and YES!!! AT LAST, we too are finding odd moments of peace, calm, consideration and even, dare I say it, love between the two of them. It’s uncanny. Your first instinct is that there’s something wrong with them, that they’re coming down with some illness – but no, they actually seem to like each other.

    and that’s not all… gone are the constant “play with me daddy” requests, which can now be counted on fingers alone, to be replaced with periods of independence (“I’m busy”).

    Of course, now we have to worry about how much time to let them have on things such as iPads, Youtube, etc, and instead force them to play with us, go outside or play with the boy/girl visiting!

  2. Alice

    I love the light! The light is beautiful! But it sometimes puts me into this false sense of security, like at the weekend when the kids were angelic and full of light so we took a ‘quick trip’ to IKEA. And then they turned back in to hell monsters and I thought the world was going to end.

    Once I wrote on my blog “if I ever suggest I want another baby please shoot me in the face”. So that’s helpful to refer to :)

  3. Laura

    Unfortunately I didn’t have anyone following me round with a big stinking fish and now the 3rd is due in June. My second isn’t even 1 yet…DUMBASS!!

  4. Lucy Buckley

    We decided to have a third, til the day came to have my coil out and we went and got drink instead and oh how we laughed at our stupidness. Our two youngest were getting on, we could have lie ins again albeit with kids TV and cheerios babysitting, we had gone on a big roadtrip in our campervan why oh why we laughed would we spoil all that.
    5 years later I have three kids, number 3 was quite frankly the baby you get given when you’ve been very bad in a former life (before kids) and you need it proven to you that 3 kids is a ridiculous amount of children to keep alive whilst maintaining sanity.
    Don’t be lulled into a false sense of secutiry.

  5. Tai Altman

    This is a fab representation of the trick that life plays on us parents. My three are 9, 6 & 4 and in my experience these moments are simply summed up in the following statement; “diamonds in a fucking coalmine” – very VERY rare but the most amazingly beautiful moments too!

  6. Kiran

    Broody alert alert!! I think we are in a similar place my lovely – I wrote something last night about the almight meltdown from M which came just as I thought life was getting calmer and easier… Which was my slap in the face with a wet fish!! Xx

  7. sian

    Ha ha! Love this- I will warn you that we ‘saw the light’, eldest started primary and youngest pre school… and now number three is on his way Where was that big fish when I needed it?!

  8. Lucy

    Haha! We too also saw the light and then had another one, 3 boys in total. Now back to chaos and poo, needless to say my gin intake has risen! Lucky they’re all so bloody adorable or there would be trouble

  9. Kate

    Do not hesitate to have number 3!!! When number two boy came along, there were moments in those dark early days where I realised I’d made a big mistake. When we started to see the light, I was already pregnant with no 3. Despite the baby having quite a few health problems at first, it really was a walk in the park compared to that 1-2 jump. I know sometimes people look at me and must be wondering how someone remains sane with 3 under 4, but I’ve found it fun. Seriously. That coming from a mum who totally identifies with all your other posts.so I’m not like some supermum who just lurves to be around kids all day baking, painting and actually playing, or anything. I’m even starting to see the light with baby 3 at 20 months – I shunt her downstairs with her brothers in the mornings now and see where things go from there! ;-) But seriously, do it. Pretty sure you won’t regret it. Pretty sure.

  10. Rosie

    Still living in a dark, bleak wilderness of lukewarm coffee. My heart actually aches a bit* at the thought of sitting down and reading a book with a hot beverage in the morning.

    *Love my littlies very very much etc

  11. Kathy @ Hopes, Dreams and Chocolate

    Brilliant! And well done…you are so close to being ‘on the other side’ as a friend of mine describes it. We have reached ‘the other side’ , sort of, and I can declare it is worth the wait! My 5 year old helped my 3 year old get dressed while I showered this morning. And I got to shave my legs…Winner! xx oh and I have recently had broody thoughts so would like to borrow a fish if you have one spare?

  12. Working Dad

    This is good to know. I shall be on the lookout for such things with stinking wet fish at the ready to comically clonk round my wife’s head when she suggests having a third. It will not happen.

  13. Sarah (Grenglish/Yiayia's Kouzina)

    I would have liked to have more children but we are blessed with one and happy as a 3. We did recently toy with the idea of trying one more time but with a 6-year old, we have stepped well into the light and it would be a big adjustment for us all going back and starting again.

  14. Carry On Katy

    I bloody love this! It’s like I’m looking in the mirror as my kids are the same age and suddenly have started liking each other. The other morning, I sat on a chair for a full 16 minutes watching Come Dine With Me.I don’t mean to brag.
    My man and I had the whole ‘Lets get another baby’ chat and then I realised that I didn’t want my vagina to end up being trailed across the floor for the rest of my life…having a third would push it to its limits in all likelihood.
    But don’t get a dog. You have to pick up dog shit and bag it for the rest of your life… atleast a toddler can be trained to shit in a bowl. Get a cat…they are self cleaning!!x

  15. Lindsay At Newcastle Family Life

    I have three and the last few years have been total chaos. Now things are settling down I have been feeling oh so broody but then I see the light too and think nah sod that, I fear if I have another I would get sectioned or become an alchoholic or something as my lot drive me bonkers. x

  16. Laura Wilson

    Haha love this :) my two go from hugging and kissing and me paparazziing away to suddenly a shit storm of emotion, screams and always water on the sofa, I don’t know why. I can’t imagine having peace. That lonesome poo really sounds epic!

  17. grumpy dad

    Yeah, we got to the “nice” phase and decided another would be fun. Don’t do it. All the bits of life we got back disappeared and the other 2 are still slightly horrible.

    I have a man who comes by daily with a fish, gets it out to slap me, looks at me pitifully and puts it away again, quietly shaking his head. There is no light.

    The third one is cute though, he looks like me, except he smiles occasionally.

  18. Mummy Constant

    Sooooo you’re the blog with the retro, paint style drawings haha. Love them by the way.

    I love this post. Tres amusement! I too have these weird moments of “WOW no arguing” and stare at the kids like they’re a museum artefact – then reality sinks in when one cries because the other pinched them because the other didn’t share a toy! Joys of parenthood.

  19. Katherine Kowalski

    I’m so glad it’s not just me who hides under the duvet with my iPhone while listening to armageddon downstairs! We are nowhere near the light yet. I fear it may take us a little longer, with one extremely stroppy madam and one with disabilities but my god I will seize the day when it comes! Reading a book at the kitchen table? During the DAY? Incredible.

  20. Christina - Ladybug Home

    I keep waiting for the day when I can go to the toilet alone again without waiting for the door to open and the party in the bathroom. My husband keeps trying to convince me that someday my living room will not be filled with toys and life will get easier. I know it will and “yes”, I will miss my children being little and cuddly. Thank you for expressing how majority we feel and making me laugh.

  21. dody b

    I am hooked! so right on the money and of course if we cant all laugh our way through it w’d probably cry instead… thanks for showing some more light… all the way to the baby in the pocket!! omg you are so right on!! cant wait until they get old enough to make mom and dad leave them at the corner around the first block so their friends wont see them with mom and dad!!!


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