It’s raining in Devon today. Proper streaming water that soaks into your bones and leaves you feeling like a soggy rag. I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by mum life recently and the hectic nature of raising a feisty toddler, and the weather seemed like a perfect metaphor for my current mood – dark and dreary, cold and flat. But then, when I got home from a very wet run after the school and pre-school drop-off, I discovered these photos on my laptop. Isn’t it funny how a single photograph can change your mood?
I took these on a trip to the beach when we visited my parents the weekend before last. Like now, the weather was dismal – cold winds hammered us and whipped up sand into our faces, while the rain lashed our cheeks. It probably wasn’t your typical beach kind of day. But still…
It’s a myth the beach is only for summer. In fact, one of my favourite things to do in the winter is to visit the beach. No matter how cold, blustery or wet it gets, there’s something really uplifting and invigorating about being near the sea. Obviously it’s a hassle getting the sand off afterwards, and you need a gazzilion layers on to keep warm but, still, I love it.
Mum life has been hectic and dull and frustrating and chaotic recently. Our days are filled with complicated toddler negotiations and inevitable tantrums, peppered with emotional outbursts from the six year old (sibling rivalry has hit a new peak) and desperate attempts to squeeze work and exercise into an already packed day. But these photos reminded me that in between all the flotsam of daily life there is SO much happiness. Even on a wind-whipped, rain-soaked day at the beach, we are happy.
I love this photo of my mum and the two year old, squelching in the sodden sand. I think Baby Girl was trying to take on a puddle that was deeper than the height of her wellies, so my mum was doing her best to distract her from what was clearly a very silly idea. If there’s one person my toddler can be guaranteed to listen to, it’s my mum (most of the time).
Now that Baby Girl’s talking more and more, there’s often a bit of a tussle for attention between the two girls. Frog gets actively annoyed if you compliment her sister but don’t heap praise on her too. From a mum’s point of view this can be draining – I’ve lost count of the number of huge dramatic tears I’ve had to mop up recently because apparently telling one child she’s doing a good job means I automatically “hate” the other one. Still, this photo proves they like each other really.
And just like that, the rain of the morning is lifting and so is my mood. It’s not always easy to be positive is it? Especially when you barely have time to go for a wee let alone practise some meaningful “life is great” meditation. But, sometimes, all it takes is a photo or two to remind us of what’s important. And to get the hell over the mum life meltdown.
Happy Monday everyone.