You know what I’ve realised lately? I think that almost anything important we undertake in life goes through a few teething problems in some form or another.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because we are in the middle of renovating our house. But it turns out that that’s easier said than done when you buy a small damp cottage and then find out all it is made from is mud - well they call it Cobb but all I can think of is that it’s an expensive mud hut!
But I digress. The point is that we gaily embarked on ripping out and gutting our cottage, and creating an extension, with a very fixed hope and aim of in for Christmas. But, whaddyaknow, it turns out, that renovating a house is twice as expensive and takes twice as long as you allow yourself to think when you are starting out. I guess, a bit like birth, if you really considered the realities you might have second thoughts!
It was only once we were well and truly committed to the renovation process that the teething troubles began. For a start, everything – from glass panels to door knobs - was way more expensive than we’d anticipated. Then we had a few ‘issues’ even sourcing the right wood for the floors was trickier than anticipated. And don’t even get me started on builder’s tea breaks! We’ve also lost whole days to builders who don’t even show up because they are on another job. Moving with little ones is hard at the best of times; who needs the extra stress of dealing with people being late and having coffee breaks that take up most of the day?
The net result of all this is that I’ve spent most of December screeching, ‘I just want to move in and try and get my life back together! Is that too much to ask?’
I was in denial for ages but it’s finally dawned on me that we wouldn’t be waking up on Christmas Day in our fairy tale family home, with a gorgeous tree, a spare room for my parents to stay in, the smell of mulled wine in the air. Instead, we’ll be down the road in the ‘temporary’ little wooden hut we’ve been in since the summer!
But on the upside, we did end up having a great Christmas although not as expected! I didn’t cook but we went go out to a hotel to eat.
The moral of all this is that it turns out that Christmas is where the family and heart is! And it’s not just where you are but who you are with – I was with my husband, our gorgeous girls, and my family, and it will be perfect.