May Journal | Surviving or Thriving

13 Jun 2024

May journal

 I had this moment in May, where I thought that I might actually be ‘thriving’ (as the Instagram kids say) instead of just ‘surviving’ for the first time in, ooo, about four years. 

A lot of the time, parenting a small child can feel like simply surviving. I never feel on top of anything; my standards for what is generally acceptable are a lot lower these days. Is my child alive? Excellent, we’re not doing too bad here lads; is the approach I am going for. 

(Except I’m not, not really. That’s what I tell myself but I really would like my child to also be in beautifully clean matching outfits from independent brands, playing with wooden toys, eating kale etc. But he’s actually wearing a second-hand Next t-shirt with marks on it, playing with his plastic tractor, shovelling pasta in his mouth and physically recoiling from me should I happen to put a vegetable in his vicinity. Hence why I’m going for the low standards approach.) 

But in that moment, the sun was shining, I felt positive about work for the first time in ages – the dramas finally over – Alfie was being very cute, I was actually being a half decent, super patient mother and I thought, hey look at us! 

Naturally, that afternoon, Alfie came down with the chicken pox. It was like the universe was saying, nah ah hun, don’t go getting too big for your boots. My thriving moment was gone and we were juggling childcare, spot counting and waterboarding the poor kid with Piriton for the best part of a week. 

But then, miraculously, he was better in time for our five-year wedding anniversary and we were able to go away childfree for 48 hours and live our best life in a luxury hotel. 

Feels like I’m getting whiplash as we ricochet between the highs and lows over here.* 


The glorious sunny weather at the beginning of the month, blue skies and the smell of suncream. Was that the extent of summer or…? 

Sat down by the trainline watching the ‘choo choos’, tractors and ‘hows’ (Alfie’s word for cows). 

Alfie insisting on watering the garden every day. 

The roses in our garden bursting into bloom. 

Fresh asparagus on the table, growing in my garden half an hour previously.

Baking with Alfie. 

A London wedding, complete with London bus, doughnut tower, quizzes and really nice people. 

Out early on a Saturday morning, eating pastries on a bench by the cathedral. 

It’s peony season people! 

My sister’s birthday meal. 

Wedding cake baking practicing. 

Re-watching our wedding speeches for the first time in five years. 

A double rainbow.

*A caveat that this is obviously all tongue in cheek and I know we are so very lucky. I found this to be a useful article about charities having an impact on the ground in Gaza if you’re looking to donate somewhere meaningful.