I love Christmas, the lead up, the preparations, the activities - the Nativity shows, Panto, family get togethers, church services, Carol concerts and so on. This December has been our hardest, child 4 has become obsessed by time. He demands to know what is happening each day and when. Then we need to calculate how many hours and how many minutes until the plan comes to fruition. We avoided talk of Father Christmas as much as possible, which was hard when the others particularily child 3 were so very excited.
We used the advent calendars to ensure that we took everything a day at a time. We planned daily events so that there was only ever one sleep before doing something that was out of routine. It could be his Nativity Show, visiting family, collecting the Christmas Tree or lighting the fire. I had bought dot-to-dot books, paper chain kits and Chritsmas Card making kits to offer quiet activities when life became to over whelming. Overall we managed, but it was at times exhausting. I think child 4 slept through in his bed maybe twice.
I hadn't realised how much I needed to kick back and relax. For the first time in what feels like forever my husband was at home when I went on a night out. Usually he is out DJing and either child 1 or 2 babysit. They are absolutely fine to watch their younger siblings and more than capable of dealing with most situations that could arise. At worst they call me and I come home. But, the evening of my work do I could go out and not worry, oh and what a sorry state I got into. Which led to an all day horrific hangover.
What I have learnt is that I need to look after me, I need to find inner peace, hope that all will work out. That we will be able to help child 4 learn the strategies to manage his behaviour. As a family I want us to find joy in the small things so that we can manage the big stuff. I hope that as the years pass, life becomes easier, big events become less over whelming but until then the love we have for our children is enough.