Monday, 16 May 2016


I've taken so many photos lately, and had intended to do a couple of posts about seasonal flowers. But sometimes I don't stick to my plans. Often I'll just write about what's on my mind, so instead: a post about Joe.

Of course, he's always on my mind. Whether he's with me or not (I went out with friends for a meal on Saturday night and we ended up looking through pictures of our little ones and discussing all the sweet - and not so sweet - things they do). 

This morning I decided to opt out of the chaos that is the preschool car park. Instead we walked down the steep, narrow lane and I realised how lucky we are. Hedgerows and stone walls on either side of us, wildflowers and woodland, the moors rising up ahead. We talked about when leaves change colour, and what buttercups are. We picked dandelions and blew the seeds away. We stuck cleavers ('stickybobs') onto our sleeves.

He starts school in September. It's not very far away now. The thought of it makes me sad.

I know that even though he'll only just have turned four, he'll be fine. I've anxiously sought out advice from the preschool staff, from family members who teach. But still... He'll be so little. He still makes a dreadful mess when he eats. He still has the occasional 'accident' when he's too absorbed in playing to bother going to the loo. He's cuddly and silly and thinks everyone in the world is harmless.

I toyed with the idea of holding him back for another year, but the reality is he's bright and curious and within a few months he'd be climbing the walls with boredom and frustration. His peers would have all gone off to school and he'd be left playing with the toddlers.

And I need to work. A few snatched hours here and there isn't enough. I need time to deal with the technical side of things, to make my work and promote it. I initially thought that once Joe was nine months old, maybe a year, I'd go back out to work. I couldn't see me ever being maternal. In fact, it worried me.

Turns out I was very wrong. I wanted to stay with him and yes, have a frugal couple of years if that was what was needed. It's a very personal decision and one I don't regret for even a moment.

Yes, there are times when I feel exhausted, provoked, angry, exasperated. That's what children do to you. I sometimes look back wistfully at those pre-motherhood days when I could enjoy a lie-in and a quiet weekend with a book. 

But he's my boy and we're part of each other. We go on adventures and make one another laugh. He brings me feathers to put in my workroom and makes me 'dinner' in his toy kitchen. We have fun and learn about things. 

School simply means he's getting bigger. This phase of his life is coming to an end and a new one's beginning. We've got lots of memories and photographs and stories, and I plan to make these last few months of his being properly little count. September will be here before we know it. I read a quote somewhere recently about motherhood: that the days are long but the years are short.

So we'll keep having fun, and buying that new uniform can wait just a little while longer.


  1. What a lovely post and what a lot of sense. I chose to not return to work while my boys were still under school age and having four of them meant that lasted 15 years but I've no regrets. Because all these years later it still seemed to go by in a flash

  2. That quote is spot-on, Sarah. I was looking through some old film of our children when they were small (pre-school) the other day and it took me straight back to that blissful but exhausting time. Now my eldest is sitting his GCSEs! It whizzes by. I'm sure your son with thrive at school but enjoy these precious months beforehand. Sam x

  3. I can't believe how big Joe has gotten. He's adorable, Sarah. I think he looks a lot like you. I am sure he will be fine at school but I understand your reservations. I have to say that I was glad to have the decision taken out of my hands when mine were younger, due to when their birthdays fall. School starts at five here, and you have to be five by September first to go. Both of mine have birthdays within September, like Joe - my daughter missed the cut-off date by less than a week. So they both had to wait until they were turning six to go to school. I had mixed feelings about this, but it worked out fine. I think they would have been okay to go when turning five as well, but it wasn't up to me. I didn't think I would be a stay-at-home mother for all these years either - nearly 11 years for me! - but it's the way it worked out with our educational choices. I like it more than I thought I would, and while we've had to be frugal and will have to continue to be, it feels right to me. I like a simple life anyway, and this makes me remember to keep it like that. I hope you enjoy the summer with Joe before he goes to school; it will be a precious time for you both.

  4. Such precious times when our children are little, but equally exciting times ahead. I stayed at home when our two girls were small. I agree. it's a very personal decision, but for me it was worth every moment.

  5. You have reminded me of how precious it is to have choices like the ones you have highlighted here, Sarah. Now looking back on the ones that I made with our children, I appreciate the challenges you are facing in the season of life you are in, and I am sitting here cheering you on with your priceless investment in loving Joe. Thanks for posting :) xx

  6. I am sure you will look back and be very happy with what you decided!

  7. Wish I had been able to blog when my boys were growing up now 19 and 26, hundreds of photos developed in large album's. Would be nice to look back on the computer.
    Joe might not like them all when he's older, but keep taking them as they soon grow up..
    Amanda xx

  8. A gorgeous post celebrating your wee lad, they grow up so fast, I continually wonder how I got to be a mum to a 22, 20 and 15 year old! They always manage much better when they move on to school, much better than us Mum do :) Have a lovely weekend x

  9. Joe is a gorgeous little boy. He sounds like a wonderful character too. No doubt the time you have devoted to him in your 'frugal times' has benefited him no end. I remember vividly a conversation I had with my sister-in-law, pre children about how I would never give up work to be a home with kids. How wrong I was! I have been home with my tribe for years now and have never regretted a moment of it although it hasn't all been plain sailing. Bee xx


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