We’re having a wee birthday celebration this coming weekend. Ned and Nye turn two on Sunday so we’re having tea and cake for them on Sunday afternoon. To say that the last two years have gone by very quickly would be a slight understatement.
When I look at pictures of them, when they were still absolutely tiny, I am immediately transported back to the exact time and place that the photo was taken and every feeling I had at the time is repeated in my body.
I do look at these early pictures and have a sense of not really knowing these two people who were suddenly in our lives. Well, perhaps that’s not true, I think I knew them but I didn’t trust myself to be able to care for them properly. I knew them but I had no idea what I was doing. I had a reoccurring dream that would wake me in the middle of the night - I was bringing Nye back from the hospital and I would trip with her in my arms as I walked in through the front door. The dream ended before I even began to fall but it was enough to wake me with a tremendous start.
I forgive myself a lot more for those feelings of anxiety now I have evidence of keeping them both alive for two full years. And if I could tell my pregnant self one thing it would be not to judge myself and to just ‘be’ with the babies. Hindsight, eh!
The more women I get to know, mothers or not, the more I love them. It’s fairly complicated, the business of being a woman, in today’s times, and often we don’t quite know what we’re meant to be doing and when we’re meant to be doing it. Babies, career, wife, home, partner, hobbies, alone time, friends, family…….how do we fit it all in to one day, one week, one year, ONE FREAKING LIFETIME!
I remember the moment this photo was taken feeling like my whole world was about to come apart. I could not have felt worse about myself if I’d tried. The responsibility of babies was dawning on me, the adrenaline and painkillers were wearing off and I couldn’t even have a little drink to ease myself out of it as TWO BABIES were needing to be fed every three hours!!
Nobody told me that I’d feel this scared, nobody told me that I’d wish I could run away just for a moment all by myself, nobody told me that IMMEDIATELY after feeling like I could run away I would be drenched in guilt for even thinking about leaving my precious children.
But at the same time nobody told me that these feelings would pass. That with each day Robert, the babies and I would grow in confidence together. That we’d all begin to feel better, find our rhythm and one day feel slightly normal again.
Robert and I would be old pro’s at this now should we decide to have more babies. But at that time all we could do was stare at them, marvel that they were airborne and safe and wonder what it was we did next.
But we got there. They made it to one years old!
Both of them. Intact!!
And now they are two.
My son enjoys his Weetabix with a side order of snot……..
…and my daughter likes to to torture me by gently pulling my sunglasses just a weeeeeny bit too far apart for my liking.
Do I wish I’d known how becoming a mum for the first time would have turned me inside out emotionally, physically and mentally? Yes.
Would I have been less hard on myself? Yes.
Am I going to dwell on this forever? Absolutely not. What good does that do my children? None, whatsoever. My journey simply means that if my children have babies and are sitting there with their own newborns in their arms, looking exhausted, pale and feeling a bit fat I’ll be able to tell.
I’ll ‘get it’.
And I’ll offer my support, unconditionally, should they ever need it in those early days, as it was offered to me.
But those days are a long way off. This weekend we are celebrating being two! The children as human beings and Robert and I as parents.
Now, will someone please pass the cake!
I love you and thank you so much for reading this week.
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