Is it too early? Is it NEVER too early?? Heck, well Christmas really isn’t that far away now, and you do need to get your list out there quickly, you know, so that your other half doesn’t forget anything (even if some of it is only theoretical!)So, no, it’s not too early! In the iconic words of the inimitable warbler, Mariah, all I want for Christmas is… Jeffrey Dean Morgan to arrive on my doorstep (naked or semi clad is a total bonus,) to tell me that we are meant to be together. And this would totally be allowed, because Jeffrey Dean Morgan is on my List. You know, the Friends style List that caused huge embarrassment for Ross, but ultimately, should anyone from ‘The List,’ proposition either of them, they get the go ahead from the other person to go for it. Jeffrey is top of mine, and Natalie Portman is top of my husband’s. If you don’t know who Jeffrey Dean Morgan is, he is currently playing Negan in The Walking Dead, (which I might have mentioned a few times possibly, that I’m a fan of…!) But I’ve also had a decade long stalkery crush on him since his days of Denny in Grey’s Anatomy. So there you have it-that is top of my Christmas list this year!

Total and utter fantasy aside, I have other things on my wish list, some possibly still bordering on fantastical, others hopefully more attainable! Here’s All I Want For Christmas, for this year!

1 Hoping I haven’t ruined Christmas for my youngest… Soooo, I had an agreement with him, that Santa was going to come and take his dummies away this Christmas, and give them to the new babies who needed them more than him. He unfortunately thought this meant he’d get new ones in their place… When I explained this wasn’t the case, he barricaded himself and his dummies in the bathroom, shouting about ‘Santa can’t get me in here,’ and has started a self titled campaign called ‘Say NO to Santa.’ This currently involves waking at 4am, and having to come into my bed, in order to stop the big, red villainous thief from taking his dummies. I have also had to carefully pen a letter stating that he has categorically changed his mind, and if the new babies need dummies, Santa will just have to get them from the dummy shop (aka Boots.) Crap. Please let him be over this by Christmas…!

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(Possibly the current situation for the littlest in our house…)

2 I hope people will treat my Christmas birthday oldest child’s birthday, and Christmas day, separately… I will always harbour some level of guilt that poor planning has left the oldest with a birthday very close to Christmas. I work hard every year to make sure the two are treated separately. This will be on my list every year…

3 I’d like a cleaner. Actually, there’s a fine line developing between wanting a cleaner, and being forced to move out because the house needs fumigating. It’s the source of much frustration and agitation from me, but always manages to fall to the bottom of my list of priorities…

4 Having fallen in love with a pair of Irregular Choice shoes I bought earlier in the year, I now have my eye on another pair…!

5 I’d like for my dad to be able to work less, and start focussing on the things he loves doing. He chooses to still work lots, because he loves his job, but I think it’s definitely time to start wrapping it up dad, and doing some fun stuff-you aren’t getting any younger!

6 I’d really like for toddlerdom, and the threenage year, to be MUCH LESS HARD! Because actually, I want to enjoy my children, but they make it very difficult with their ninja assassin, planking tantrum, food renouncing, attitude to life! Can it just be a bit easier? Please…?!

7 I really hope that this year, my house that I love for all its character, will see fit to stop letting the roof leak… Every time we get a new leak fixed, there it goes, pouring in from somewhere else! If it could just stop, that’d be grand!

8 I think most of all, I’d like to feel a bit less crap about my parenting skills, and for my Feeling of Failure scale to be a bit more manageable. I hope my children continue to thrive, and be happy, and make me trust that actually, I am doing a good job with them. I hope that they, have the best Christmas ever.

 

The team at Vorwerk  asked me to take part in their #AllIWantForChristmas campaign, designed to uncover what is on the ultimate Christmas wishlists of some of the UK’s parenting and lifestyle bloggers in the run up to this year’s festivities-this post was sponsored by them.

 

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To be honest, I’m not a #bestiesforever kind of person. I’ve always ranked that hashtag up there with people who post pictures of themselves on social media, looking absolutely f***ed, with the caption ‘this little angel has kept me awake for a week straight, but I’m so #blessed.’ I’ve been known to unfriend anyone who uses #blessed, because ultimately, I know that we can’t really be friends. I love Instagram, but some of the hashtags I use to whore myself for likes, are similar to #blessed, and I’ve had to stop using some of them, because it feels like I’m selling out a bit. It got to the point where #bestiesforever, brought the same kind of cringe into my life, and it took me a while to work out why.

I do love a good celebration of friendship, whether it be on social media, or just sending someone a message to tell them they’ve been an awesome friend, or that you miss them. When children are involved, it’s often searching your diary for months on end, finding out that nobody has the same free date for the next 18 months, but looking forward to that date like your life depends on it, knowing that after one sip of prosecco, it’ll feel like you’ve all never been apart. I’m just not a fan of hashtagging everything, especially when sometimes it’s for the benefit of others, or you trying to convince yourself more than anyone else. So what happens when you slowly realise that your best friends aren’t your best friends anymore…?

I think it’s safe to say that when you have a child, you will, whether it’s intentional or not, totally overhaul your life. You chuck out old clothes that will never fit you again, you sweep the house for anything that might hurt your child, and promptly get rid of it, or put it out of reach. You also suddenly have no time for friendships that have become hard work, and overhaul these with everything else. What you’re going through is hard enough, without the added stress of trying to maintain something that you don’t want to be, or will just never work.

I started to feel like that about a lot of my friendships, from very early on in my pregnancy, and once my first baby arrived, it became clear that maintaining certain friendships was going to be harder than climbing Kilimajaro in heels. But it was a struggle of emotions-these were friendships I’d had for 20 years-I’d been friends with these people for longer than I hadn’t been. I felt I should keep trying. Eventually, the hurt I felt every time I saw a #bestiesforever picture without me in it, outweighed the need I felt to try and remain friends. They also did some pretty wanky things, using the fact that I had a baby, as an excuse for ignorance. One day, I just went through my phone, and deleted all numbers of people I no longer felt were friends, and blocked them from all social media. I was cackling like a deranged witch when I did it, gleefully muttering ‘so long, knobheads,’ and practically danced around the house, free from the weight of them, and just relieved I finally had some closure on the situation.

But out of the blue, I was out one day, saw something hilarious, and retrieved my phone to take a picture, thinking ‘H would love this!!’ Then I realised-me and H aren’t friends anymore. I had cut H out of my life. It hit me, I would never actually see H again, and that had been my decision… The full force of cutting these people from my life hit me, and for a while, I actually felt bereft. Before now, I’d felt nothing but relief, and cackling delight, but to feel bereft totally knocked me for six. It was almost like I was experiencing the stages of bereavement for the friendships I had lost-denial that they were no longer viable friendships, anger (the bit that made me delete their numbers faster than a secretary on speed,) and I was now bargaining with myself over whether the decision had been the right one, and feeling depressed about it.  I have of course, now given the whole situation way too much thought, and come up with the following:

I hated #bestiesforever because I was jealous-I wanted to be included, and I got rid of my friends because of jealousy, not because the hashtag made me want to do a little bit of sick in my mouth, which is what I told myself.

I spend too much time alone, with small people, with too much time to think about things. My mind has blown everything out of proportion, and my friends have actually done nothing wrong, and I’ve constructed everything I ‘think’ they’ve done to wrong me, in my own mind.

My friends genuinely never invited me anywhere anymore because I had children, and they automatically assumed that meant I could never go anywhere, or do anything ever again.

They filed me under B for Boring, and planned to be better friends once they thought I was less boring.

Maybe they actually wanted to get rid of me, and were actually doing the dance of delight that they’d pushed me out enough to make me get rid of them, thus alleviating their own guilt at just finding me to be a total non entity, and no longer wanting me in their lives.

I’m actually overthinking the whole f***ing thing, and my initial assessment that they were in fact, shitty friends, was correct, and I’ve done the best thing for everyone by cutting ties.

It’s just so flipping hard, to know what is the right thing to do. I’ve always gone with my gut feeling, and my gut was definitely telling me to let go. But then it changed it’s mind, and left me with a nagging feeling that I messed up. Maybe a part of me thought that once they had children of their own, they’d realise they’d not been the greatest of friends, and want to make amends (because, I will hold my hands up and say that I wasn’t the most understanding towards people with children, when I didn’t have any of my own.) But then, despite being blocked, a picture of one of them with a new baby managed to make its way onto my facebook timeline, and it was captioned #blessed… Maybe that’s just enough said, I need to focus on the remaining amazing friends I have in my life. That should be my final stage in the process-closure.

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