The Patience Test…

Is there any parent out there who makes it through the hours between 7 and 9am (or indeed 5 and 7pm) without having at least one hissy fit?  If there is, I say a hearty well done, and give you a huge, virtual pat on the back.  For me, it is purely a test of endurance.  The ‘witching hour’ Mr M and I like to call it.  I often think, what did I do with these four hours before I had children? 
Slept and showered probably.

Now, my children are adorable- the loves of my life.  Funny, and sweet and my proudest achievement.  But my goodness, they’d test the patience of a saint at times.

Eva is our big girl-eight years old, a beautiful, witty little bookworm who does everything with gusto and rarely complains.  Everyone should have an Eva.
Noah is six, and the most thoughtful, intelligent little boy.  He is the one, in our house, who will share his sweeties and his time in equal measure.  He is charismatic and hilarious, without even trying to be.
And Annie, the littlest, is four.  She is sparky, and fun, and still gets lunch and dinner mixed up.  She can both wither and melt you with just a look.  And her cuddles never fail to make me smile.

They are perfect… to me anyway.  And yet I think I briefly forget that sometimes when Eva is bossing, or Noah is taking FOREVER to get dressed in the morning. Or Annie is having a tantrum (she actually stamps her foot-I thought that just happened in the movies)
All the little quirks; the personality clashes, the tears, the sibling arguments and rivalry.  The slaved-over dinners refused, the little person beside the bed in the middle of the night, the wiping bottoms, and noses. And the litres of Calpol. 
It’s not just you, I promise.

Children are wonderful, frustrating, special, demanding, loveable, anger-inducing little beings.  And parenthood is no garden of roses- my wrinkles and grey hairs will testify to that.  But I can’t imagine life without them, it’s unbearable really.  In those four hours each day they may drive me crazy, but there are so many more hours and minutes and seconds when I wonder at how we managed to create those little someones.  At how lucky we are to have them.

Maybe the key to conquering the witching hour is just keeping that all in perspective- breathing deeply, counting to ten, painting on a grin through the clenched teeth and elevated blood pressure.  Finding the special in the mundane.

For I have a feeling that, some day when my littles are big and grown, I just might long for those four crazy hours each day, and give anything to be enduring them again.

E x

The Reading Residence


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  1. February 4, 2014 / 7:46 am

    Good morning Emma, such true words x As I lay in bed this morning pushed over to the edge as babyboy lay across my pillow, babygirl crept in and got in at the other side so hubby was squashed in the middle (still having more room than me might I add!) I listened tentatively to their little noises as they cuddled up closer and I was/am so thankful for my babes. I did however sneak off as quietly and smoothly as possible to have a shower ALL BY MYSELF :-). And so today I look forward to reading 5minutes peace again, watching postman pat on repeat and pretending to be the prince coming to wake up sleeping beauty as she us dressed in her tinkerbell costume and look at the excitement on his face when he is given one chocolate button because they are the little ones who make my day every day x

  2. February 4, 2014 / 5:14 pm

    Aww, that’s lovely Nicola! I love ‘Five Minutes Peace’ – doesn’t it perfectly sum up every mum in the morning?! Hope you enjoyed your day with your little people xx

  3. February 28, 2014 / 10:37 pm

    So true and so heartfelt, it is hard being a parent but the best job in the world! #binkylinky

    • March 2, 2014 / 11:00 pm

      Isn’t it just Sarah? My 3 can push me to my limits, but I’d be totally lost without them. I love being their mum! E x

  4. April 1, 2014 / 11:24 am

    Do you have my children – your descriptions fit my oldest children too. Yes – we do need the patience of saints. And we’ll look back fondly wh en they are all away at university and long for them again (I think – I might be too busy being me again ha) xxx #themegame

    • April 1, 2014 / 8:16 pm

      Hee hee! There must be some common denominator in children around that age Alison! 🙂 And, yes, what’ll we do with all that time when they go?? (Emmmm – shopping, lunch out, hairdressers… 😉 ) xx

  5. April 1, 2014 / 12:06 pm

    I think you describe my home pretty much to a tee too! I think you’re right too in be,ieving that in years to come we’ll be looking back nostalgically too. Thanks for sharing with #TheThemeGame

    • April 1, 2014 / 8:20 pm

      Thanks Iona! So glad to hear it’s not just our house going pear shaped during those times! Annie was running around with a tea towel round her neck tonight pretending to be a superhero. Clumsiest one ever! Xx

  6. April 1, 2014 / 3:20 pm

    I love that picture! Every time I find myself in the middle of that witching hour (every day!) I repeat the following sentence: “The days are long but the years are short”, and it just melts away all the frustrations and makes me focus on enjoying the moment and embracing the madness because all too soon, as you say, these days will be nothing but memories. #TheThemeGame

    • April 1, 2014 / 8:22 pm

      I love your little mantra, and am definitely going to repeat that to myself in the morning rush. Thankyou! Xx

  7. April 1, 2014 / 7:50 pm

    Firstly, fab photo! This post is so lovely, witching hour aside! The way that you describe your children is beautiful, along with what it’s like having children. My morning’s aren’t too bad, other than the two that Boo goes to preschool, so I can relate to the school run manic morning rush there. And the run up to teatime can be testing with Little Man either demanding cuddles or trying to steal food, as I’m making dinner – neither are particularly helpful!
    Thanks for linking up this lovely post with #TheThemeGame

    • April 1, 2014 / 8:26 pm

      Aww, thanks lovely lady! Each stage of having kids is mental in its own way, isn’t it?! When Annie was born I had Eva at preschool and Noah tootling about, and looking back I don’t know how I made it some mornings. Between baby feeding and changing two sets nappies and getting Eves ready – it makes now seem like a breeze actually! Thanks again for the lovely linky poppet xx

  8. April 1, 2014 / 8:01 pm

    Lovely post and I feel I know your three a little more! They sound lovely, and all kids are irritating at times, but thankfully the loveliness the rest if the time makes up for it (sort of :)) It is funny to think how much we will miss these days hen they are grown and gone and we have free time again! Lovely post, full of love xx

    • April 1, 2014 / 8:29 pm

      Aww, thanks Caroline! They are cuties – crazy at times, but still cuties! I know, I am dreading them getting any bigger. Really wish there was a pause button! Xx

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