Take yesterday for example.
The night before I'd watched an old episode of 'One Born Every Minute' in which a woman was having her fifth baby (one she hadn't planned and had mixed feelings about). She was so tired, and the whole thing was so joyless, it made me wonder how it's all going to be for us in the future.
Which was obviously a lovely start to the weekend.
Lily had a new friend coming in the afternoon, and Ray had tidied the playroom on Friday evening (quite a task) so that said friend's mum didn't think we were complete scuzz-buckets. So Saturday morning (cold and drizzly) we were trying to discourage the children from playing too much with their toys, and definitely not to get the (a) lego (b) train sets (c) paint or (d) play-dough out.
I also wanted to take a picture of the children, maybe something we could put into Christmas cards of anyone who might be interested.
The day was a complete nightmare.
- The "photo-shoot", with Joe refusing and Lily gradually getting fed up, Evie crying her eyes out and Timmy doing his best was a disaster. I ended up sniping at Lily (as she's the only one who really should have known better), then felt terrible.
- The children got snappy with each other, Ray and I got snappy with each other, and the house felt like a pressure-cooker.
- Because we were tied to an arrangement at 2pm, we were cooped in the house - as anywhere "indoor" to play is at least 45 mins away and it was too wet for the garden. This led to a feeling of stress.
- Knowing we'd probably get late with tea, I cooked a main meal for lunch, and spent the last half hour having to constantly turn down Timmy's requests for "bwed and butter!", much to his consternation (his newly acquired speech means he can ask for what he wants, but still lacks the capacity to understand that - no matter how well you word it - the answer will still sometimes be NO!) and being shouted at in fierce toddler fashion.
I ended the day sitting on the sofa with Ray asking for reassurance: "was it as bad as I thought it was today?" "Do you think we're going to cope with another?" etc, etc.
We went out to the softplay centre and for a cheeky Maccy D's. Then back home, sitting together watching a few cartoons in the living room. I had to take Lily for a little reading lesson she has, and then back. The children had tea, spent the early evening jumping off the sofa into a pile of cushions and laughing their heads off.
I bathed the four of them, who enjoyed giving themselves bubble beards and washing each other's backs. The boys went down at 7.30pm, Lily shortly afterwards. Evie fell asleep in Ray's arms whilst I read Lily her story.
The atmosphere was one of fun and laughter.
And really, there was no rhyme nor reason. Yes, we had a little trip out, but it was the time at home that really signalled the day out as "different." Was it because I wasn't putting any "perfectionist pressure" on the day? Maybe. Was it just one of those things? Maybe.
So with little munchkin number five, it's likely there will be tears at times, certain that there'll be tiredness and possible that there'll be stress.
But, as sure as night turns to day, there'll also be days that are pretty much perfect too.