Mullans from Ireland, you’re playing catch up….


I’d like to draw your attention to this sweet family scene above. A new Xmas board game is getting its first outing, children eat cookies baked by the youngest child who was also taught to sew this morning and made that little pig to her right. Lovely.

And completely misrepresentative of the rest of our Christmas.

This has been the Christmas of sloth and pyjamas, of square-eyed children and inert parents. We’re all tired at the end of a long term, I have had crappy, crappy, sleep and all but Jayber were hit, to varying extremes, by the annual Xmas tummy bug. So it was just so much easier to not care who got dressed (we later discovered Caleb had worn the same socks for a whole week) or who ate what when and just keep handing the kids various devices when we were just too tired to engage . The upside to this approach is it cuts down on the washing drastically, but leads to cranky kids who know they are being fobbed off.

So we’ve reached the end of the Xmas hols all feeling a bit FNUH, like it all went by in a blur of duvets and screen time. I couldn’t quite send them back to school like that, with a fnuh Xmas. After a good 8 hours sleep last night (finally), we were in full quality-time mode this morning, with the monopoly and the cookies and the sewing. After cheese toasties for lunch (that counts as home-cooked, right?) we did the full loop of the forest with wellies for ultimate mud squelching.

The various blogs I have visited this past year, which have mostly had a crochet theme to them, are full of gorgeous photos of perfection. Perfect styling, perfect family behaviour, they all look idyllic. I come away sometimes feeling less inspired and more bitter and twisted. Less-than. Now, this is my stuff, the jealousy and the perfectionism, but I think the above picture demonstrates that any moment in time can be spun any which way. You haven’t heard the mean things I said to my husband earlier in the week or the harsh discipline I meted out to one child, or the way I ignored the needs of another. Family life is complicated and hard. It always feels like uncharted territory. Thank God for a few moments of grace where we enjoy each other, laugh and connect.

( Anybody other than my husband get the game show reference in the title?)


6 thoughts on “Mullans from Ireland, you’re playing catch up….

  1. I get the gameshow reference, and the sentiments – having fed the kids cheese toasties (plus a few token grapes) for lunch, and sitting as I am in my onesie (shhh, don’t tell anyone). I said almost exactly the same as your last paragraph in the open time last Sunday too – we all need grace.

  2. Best said in an Irish accent! They don’t make them like they used to…
    Well said.
    What excites me about the return of the blogs is the inspiration of the honest, of grace in the mundane (one of reasons I like Jamie the VWM’s blog) and that none of us are ‘platform’ building so there will be little of the patronising (although I can do that bit well) perfection.
    I’m also aware there is as much (if not more) wisdom and insight on this island as there is in some of the blogs, articles and books i’ve read in last couple of years.
    I might also learn to write shorter sentences.

  3. Another great post! Ps I don’t get the reference… Is it like a joke where if I ask u to explain it it gets ruined? I’m off to find Caleb and his crazy creations!

    • Back in the 1980s, there was a daytime tv show called ‘Going for gold’ which always seemed to be on when I was off school sick or on holidays. I can’t remember the premise, but it had lots of European players. The game show host, Henry Kelly, has his own wee catch phrases eg, ‘Manfred from Germany, you’re playing catch up…’etc. I particularly remember this show because my mum used to use it to edit over sex scenes in movies my sister and I had taped from the tv. You don’t forget a thing like that.

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