Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Relationships - part eleventy million

According to an Open University study by Dr Jacqui Gabb, married couples without children are happier than married couples with children. My first reaction? no shit Sherlock.

I have plenty children and I love them, sometimes it's properly difficult to remember why I love them and they seem to want to try stuff to make me see if I can stop loving them but I'm averse to change, I still love them. Despite their best efforts (I'm looking at you Beautiful Baby daughter, winner of the gold medal gobshite Olympics 2011, 2012& 2013)

And as I like to have a ponder and a speculate, I wonder how many of these couples are step parents? This has been the hardest thing of all for me personally. To me, step parenting is all of the work without all of the reward.

I love my husband with a passion previously reserved for David Tennant and fruit and nut toblerones. He is quite frankly the person I can spend endless amounts of time with and never get bored, but trying to balance the demands of the children we have and the influences of ex's and have time to be a couple has been like walking a tightrope whilst juggling fire over a pit of tigers who haven't been fed for a month. Man alive, it's properly tricky.

I am fairly new to the step parenting thing, courtesy of my beautiful husband I now have a stepson, he was 4 when I first met him and he is now nearly 8. He is a delightful child, despite the influence of my delinquent children. I have an easy gig with The Boy Wonder, a really easy gig, he's always cheerful to be with us and he copes really well with living in 2 households that have vastly different norms and routines. He also doesn't live with us full time, which helps with the easy gig, I can be a good step parent when I only have to do it part time.

However my husband does live with a stepchild full time and my mercies, she is not the easiest child in the world to live with, she would try the patience of ALL of the saints. For this alone, he should get a medal. Never mind that he inherited 3 teenagers that I had made earlier. Most normal humans (read sane) would have run a mile.

I have been a parent for almost 22 years (how the hell did that happen, clearly I'm only about 29!) and in that 22 years I have had the benefit of 3 children trying to tap dance all over my last nerve. All 3 of them have at times, made it their mission to dement me. However in that decades long battle of wits, I have learned a thing or 3, I can spot a lie a MILE away, I am quite aware of all their cunning little tricks.

However my husband hasn't had the benefits of all those years of parenting, he got mine almost fully formed with all the problems that the teenage years can bring, up till then he just had to have a ferocious knowledge of Lego Star Wars and an inexhaustible patience for building Lego models and playing X box/wii games. Which, to be honest, weren't a great deal of help to my most troubled child (BBD, not that I need to put that in, if you've even only ever been to this blog once before!)

However both of us have to live with children we have had to learn to love, that unconditional love isn't there as it is with our own children.

He hasn't had the benefit of my children when they were cute and adorable now he just has to try and figure out how to love a teenager/s who see it as their mission in life to eat us out of house and home, make as much mess as humanly possible, doing absolutely nothing to help around the house and still managing to make him feel that he has ruined their life by breathing in a house we bought and have provided for their comfort and easy life. Not easy.

I feel glad to be nearing the end of my intense input kind of parenting, I'm tired of it (gimme a break, nearly 22 feckin years.) I feel like I am 22 miles into a marathon and I've been made to go back and run again from mile 8. I have returned to a phase of my life I thought I had left forever, the park years, cold and very boring for me. With The Boy Wonder, lovely though he is, I have seen it all before and it didn't always interest me that much then.

My kids have opinions and views on the world that my husband doesn't share. The Boy Wonder sometimes comes out with views and opinions that get me up to 90. We all have to love and live with each other. The influences of the children's other parent also can cause no end of problems.

Would my husband and I be happier if we didn't have children?, for me that would be a yes (at this moment in time) but I'm still mighty glad I had them, not sure what he would say. I think our life would definitely be easier, less conflict, less stress, more free time, more money and more autonomy.

It is a work in progress, we will keep trying. They all grow up and leave home eventually, right?

Friday, 3 January 2014

Julen ar over/Julen er overstaet

Or Christmas is over if you don't like the Swedish or Danish translations, I didn't know how to do the wee punctuation marks, don't give out to me, I did Google translate for the titles.

Are you sad or relieved?

We had eleventy million things we had to do over Christmas, we had places to go and people to see, things in the house we must get finished or Christmas will have to be cancelled type of things. Probably just like yourself. We achieved precisely zero of our must do's.

I apologize to my wedding anniversary, who should have found itself in the great splendour of it's creation at One Devonshire Gardens, where we were due to spend 2 nights enjoying ourselves ON OUR OWN, the capitals for emphasis as we seem to have about 10 nights per year where someone doesn't want us to be with them. I also apologize to our good friends Gordon & Lou as we should have then driven on to Edinburgh to enjoy New Year there and then the Loony Dook in South Queensferry the next day. Neither of these things happened as the fuel pump exploded about 5 miles into our journey. No car no Scotland.

I apologise to our house for not painting the lounge walls or getting the skirting boards and window sills installed in the new kitchen diner. Christmas managed to come and go just fine without skirting boards or window sills and with lounge walls that have bare plaster around where we put the new door into the new kitchen. We did highlight the wall with 12 squares of paint that look nothing like the shade on the tester pot, this is why we have 12. How difficult is it to find paint that is 3 shades lighter than the greyish/beige you painted your last house? More difficult than you might imagine.

So instead, we ate and drank our body weight in chocolate and alcohol. We sat on the sofa and indulged ourselves in our new winter passion.

Box sets

Especially Scandinavian crime or Nordic Noir as it's known. We have seen The Killing series 1&2, Borgen series 1&3 and we are currently saving the last episode of The Bridge for tonight. Oh yes, we know how to partaaay. Clearly I am way behind the trend with this, the story of my life. by the time I catch up all the cool people have moved on.

So tomorrow will be bereft of Nordic Noir unless you comment sharpish and I can get an Amazon order in, please let me know what we can do to keep our NN passion alive with.