What I’ve Learned: Winter 2017

We emerged into the icy light of Winter, eyes blinking as we adjusted to the pace of the world around us again. Autumn saw the birth of our fourth child and the settling in phase of surviving with a newborn. Winter has brought with it a return to the vibrancy of life – a beachside holiday, a Super Mario party and Winter Cocktail party and a return to the playground. The sickness that plagued me for so long has faded and I’m enjoying the feeling of actually having energy again.

As the long, dark nights drew to a close I was suddenly blindsided with a bombshell… but more on that below.  I’m linking up with Emily Freeman to examine What I’ve Learned this season.

1. You can travel without getting in a plane

I love (the idea of) travel. The reality of actually getting in a plane and jetting off with all the luggage and mood management of four children is not so alluring. For the moment we have settled with virtual travel – listening to Around the World Stories and cooking the accompanying cuisine of the country we are ‘visiting’. It has actually been a really enjoyable experience.

2. The beach can be just as fun in Winter

After the haze of interrupted sleeping and feeding, we decided to alter our location and get a (temporary) seachange. We drove the short distance to Sorrento and set up in a cosy beach house for a few days – riding the ferry, exploring for new playgrounds and the kids were even brave enough to strip off and splash in the water. It was intense, chaotic and messy but the memories seem to dull that part down (thankfully).

3. Breastfeeding is complicated

No matter how many times I do this the emotional and mental battle that accompanies it is surprising to me. The decision to wean was fraught with difficulty and I struggled with feelings of failure and disappointment, but in the end Harvey’s refusal to feed made the decision for me. You can read more about the prelude here.

4.  Getting out is so important

For the longest while the thought of heading to a playground felt impossible. Nap times, the weather, my complete lack of energy – it was an insurmountable achievement. Now, one of my favourite things to do after school pick up (as long as the weather is accommodating) is to drive to a nearby playground and let the kids run wild for an hour. Harvey squeals with delight whilst being suspended in the Baby Bjorn and we all arrive home with flushed cheeks, fresh air in our lungs and less angst towards each other.

5. I’m Not Who I Thought I Was

This may not be as earthshattering for you as it was for me, but after listening to the Typology podcast with Dr Beatrice Chestnut I had a sobering realisation. I’m not a Type 1 as I previously thought… I’m actually a (Self-Preservation) Type 2.  I had always skimmed over reading the chapters on ‘The Helper’, thinking quietly to myself how humiliating that type was and how glad I was that I wasn’t it. Of course, the general wisdom that the most humiliating number to you is probably your type eluded me and I just thought I was the exception to the rule. I think I’ll be processing this one for a long while yet, but it is as if someone just held up a huge mirror and showed me all the parts of myself that I was really trying to hide. There are a lot of positives to being a Type 2, but my ego is very bruised, partly because I prided myself of being so self-aware and independent. The truth sure does hurt.

Winter, you have been exhilarating and explosive. I’m looking forward to Spring now – longer, warmer days, the crabapple tree outside our bedroom window blossoming, taming the wilderness that is currently our garden and seeing Hudson reach full health after his upcoming surgery.

What have you learned this season? What are you looking forward to at the moment? 

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