Christmas reflections: Five years of Christmas as a parent

Parenting and life

Entering my fifth Christmas as a parent, I thought I’d take a look back and see how Christmas has changed.

I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane; if not, you can merely admire the photography which is basically a progression of my kids getting bigger and us getting fatter. Merry Christmas!

Before 2012

I barely remember. I bet I was well rested though.

2012

We had a dog. The dog was poorly; he’s been neutered and it had gone a bit wrong (I can feel the 1% of my readership that is male crossing their legs as I type). I decided to Christmas-ify his cone of shame with festive stickers, which he then had to wear during every subsequent injury and illness once we realised how expensive they were.

We thought that was hard work. We knew nothing.

Tiredness rating: 3/10 – All self inflicted

Excitement rating: 6/10 cos Christmas is exciting and there are presents and booze and multiple days off of work!

2013

As well as the dog, we now had one child who was 6 weeks old and had not slept for any noteworthy period of time due to her reflux which was as yet undiagnosed.

I was overwhelmed, breastfeeding around the clock, and under the impression that you couldn’t drink and breastfeed (you can). We went to my sisters, and the baby basically slept through the whole thing just to show me up.

Tiredness rating: 7/10 – Pretty crap, seemed very very bad at the time. Having you first baby is a monumental shift and the six week growth spurt is bloody awful.

Excitement rating: 4/10 – Underwhelming. It might be baby’s first Christmas, but she can’t even really focus yet.

2014

We still had one child (the very same one as it happens) now aged one, and had another on the way in six months-ish. I felt tired and shit and full of woe. There was no wine or brie. Is there any point in Christmas without alcohol and cheese?

The Christmas tree was balanced on a table because she had just started walking and pulling at stuff. We spent Christmas down in Sussex with all the grandparents.

We took her to see Father Christmas because someone in a local mum’s group could no longer go and sold us her hard-fought tickets, thus putting into motion what was to become a yearly tradition; the Father Christmas booking battle.

Tiredness rating: 6/10 – Pregnancy with a toddler is tiring stuff but at least said toddler liked her sleep, god bless her.

Excitement rating: 3/10 – Very limited. On my part, I mean. My one year old was excited by flannels.

2015

Father Christmas Brookside Garden Centre 2015

We now had two children, a big one now aged two and a small one who was almost 6 months and had started crawling and pulling at stuff. He was yet to sleep anywhere approaching reasonably, reflux again – for f*cks sake right? – and we were very, very tired.

I started this blog (and wrote about Christmas here) to serve as a distraction from the monotony of being up all night and being screamed at all day. Again, we spent Christmas down in Sussex with all the grandparents. We spent the time off between Christmas and new year night weaning and potty training. FML.

Tiredness rating: 9.5/10 – Fairly sure no one in the world was more tired than me at this point but I’ll leave the 0.5/10 just in case.

Excitement rating – Big one knew something is going on but not entirely sure what, small one entirely oblivious.

2016

Father Christmas Brookside Garden Centre 2016

We still had two children, now 3 and almost 18 months. The small one still did not sleep; to be honest it was beginning to get on my wick (mild way of putting it). The big one had entered the threenager stage.

We still had a dog. The dog was poorly again having stuck his stupid nose into something bad. We had to pay out £500+ on vet’s fees and we even had to buy a new bloody cone of shame; ironically given we last used it last July, we couldn’t find the old, handily already Christmas-stickered one anywhere. And again, we spent Christmas down in Sussex with all the grandparents.

Tiredness rating: 8/10 – I guess you get used to it after a while.

Excitement rating: 7/10 – Big one was getting properly into it, the small one was still mainly oblivious.

And this year, 2017.

Father Christmas Brookside Garden Centre 2017

Finally, we are set to spend Christmas inside our own house, with both children (now 2 and 4) and the dog (not poorly, for once). I am set to cook my very first Christmas dinner. Pray for me (and my family).

Both children are feeling exceptionally festive (despite the apparent indifference in this year’s grotto photo), they both know exactly what they want (an Elmo and a dolly; parental mind-control skills FTW) and thinly veiled threats of Father Christmas and naughty lists bought me a few minutes of good behaviour…during the beginning of December it did, at least.

Tiredness rating: I don’t even know any more.

Excitement rating: 10/10 – Everyone is looking forward to Christmas enormously, except for me because I have to do everything. I jest. Can’t wait.

Have a very merry Christmas everyone!

One Response

  1. Kimberly- Media Mummy 23 December 2017

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