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Articles tagged with: Emotions

The Countdown...

on Thursday, 05 February 2015.

dadmads

Yesterday lunchtime the girl's decided they wanted to have a 'carpet picnic' for their lunch.   They had been so good when I had taken them out shopping earlier that morning and as a treat they wanted to get the picnic blanket out and have their lunch on the floor of the living room.  So that's exactly what we did- it's one of their favourite things to do.  After lunch, I was messing about with Mads.  She was being cheeky, so I was play fighting with her on the floor, tickling her and pretending to nibble on her little bottom and ears.  I buried my face in her long curly hair, and she was squealing and giggling in delight.  Then without being a tad dramatic, all of a sudden I felt this huge pang of emotion that nearly took my breath away.

I felt tears prick at the back of my eyes and I had to blink a few times to stop them from freely falling down my face.  Mads was none the wiser, still laughing, joking and jumping on me, and smothering me in 'Mummy cuddles and kisses'.  She was climbing on my back, wrapping her little arms around my neck, while whispering in my ear 'I love you Mama- forever and ever.'  But my heart was still beating that little bit faster and it took me a few seconds to actually pin point why.

We are on the countdown.

Like with any countdown, when you want it speed up and come quickly, say for a holiday or a special occasion, time seems to go so slowly and drags on and on.  But for a slightly less appealing countdown, it seems to whizz past and before you know it the time has arrived.  And that's whats happening now.

The countdown to school.

In many ways Christmas Eve 2010 feels like yesterday.  The day I first held that slightly wrinkly, gunky little person in my arms.  Her little black eyes stared deeply into mine, blink blink blinking as she adjusted to her new surroundings.  In that instant life as we knew it changed.  Everything I thought I knew about myself before changed when I became a mother.  This tiny creature arrived in our world and completely turned it upside down.  Although it feels like she's always been here, I can still feel the enormous range of emotions that came with seeing my eldest daughter for the first time.   

In those four years there have been long days.  Many of those.  Days where I paced around the kitchen, waiting to catch a glimpse of Mr E arriving up the driveway, ready to hand him a screaming baby or a defiant toddler, just so I could have a tiny break.  Days where I was so tired that I would just want to cry over the smallest thing.  Where I did cry over the smallest thing.  In those four years there have been tough times.  Many of those.  Times where it all got a little bit too much.  Sleepless nights, challenging behaviour, strained relationships.  Days where it felt like it was never going to end.  Days where the responsiblities of being a parent became almost overwhelming. 

For two years it was just me and her.  Two years of getting to know each other inside and out.  Fun times, sad times, tricky times, but most of all happy times.  Contentment and love.  During the week we were a pair while my husband was at work.  A duo.  A double act.  We learnt from each other.  She taught me that the simplest things are the most important.  She made me a better person- less selifsh.  More considerate.  She made me a mother.  Then in February 2013 our second daughter arrived.  I fell in love with her in an instant, but I also fell even more in love with my big girl.  The way in which she accepted her new baby sister without so much of a doubt, into our little club.  Our twosome became a threesome.  We became a team.  

And that's the way it is now.  We have our own little routine, our own little structure.  Mads has Nutella sandwiches for lunch, LL has peanut butter.  Mads likes to sit on the left hand side of the sofa when we watch television, LL sits on the right.  Mads is always Harry when we put on One Direction shows, LL is always Zayn.  That's just the way it is.  Yes we still have those tough days, or long days, but for the most part we love our days together.  And I am just not ready for them to stop.  I'm not ready for this period of our lives to be over.

In just a few short months, my big girl will be going to school.  The application form has already been submitted, we wait with intrepidation hoping that we have got into the school that we want for her.  Those days of constant nappy changes, those morning's sitting breastfeeding in a cafe gossiping to friends while eating the largest slice of chocolate cake, those times spent batch cooking copious amounts of pureed carrot and sweed ready to put into the freezer- they seem to have passed us by in a blur.  When did they stop?  And a bit later, those days where I begrudged paying an extortionate £20 to go to soft play, while she no doubt picked up every germ under the sun and all I got to show for it was a slightly soggy panini and a bowl of greasy fries- I wish more than anything I could rewind them all again.  

If I could, I would cherish every single second of the replays.  I would hold her in my arms for a little longer after her milk, breathing in her sweet baby smell and resting my chin on her soft dowdy hair, rather than putting her straight in her cot.  I used to like stroking the fontanelle spot on her head ever so gently, it felt as soft as silk.  I would play tea parties for that little bit longer, enjoying my seventeenth cup of tea and umpteenth wooden digestive biscuit, rather than going to clean up the kitchen.  I would soak in every single cuddle, every single morning 'just the three of us', I would be more present rather than being on my phone or checking my emails.  I'd read one more story.  And then I'd read another one.  I'd stay in our PJ's and let her watch one more episode of Peppa Pig.  I'd never stop cuddling her.

But hindsight is a wonderful thing.  This way I am feeling right now, it won't last forever.   It will come back, in periods, throughout their lives, that I am sure of.  The way it hurts a little bit loving them.  The way each new milestone and moment seem so bittersweet.  But no doubt next week or the week after that, I will get impatient again.  I will get tired of the same question over and over- I don't know why Tree Fu Tom and Mike the Knight aren't friends who hang out together.  Yes you can have lemon juice with two drops.  Yes two drops.  I don't know why the worm we saw on the road by the garden centre two weeks ago isn't wanting to be in the soil with his other worm family.  I'll inevitably get a little frustrated when she takes ten minutes to get into her car seat even though we are in a hurry.  I'll have days where I breathe a sigh of relief when they are in bed and I can sit on the sofa and just switch off.  

But in the back of my mind, I am all too aware we are in the countdown.

All too soon September will come and my little girl will be at school.  Five out of seven days of the week she will be with her teachers and her new friends.  They will see the way she scrunches up her nose when she yawns.  Or the way that she likes to play with her ear when she's nervous or in need of a comfort.  The way her little fingers go in her mouth and she sucks them when she's unsure of herself.  They'll experience the pleasure of my biggest girl- the little quirks and traits that make her who she is, the good and the not so good.  It's not that I am sad that she is going to be away from me, she goes to nursery three long mornings a week already while I work.  It's more that this period of our lives is soon going to be over.  It's a line under the baby days, the toddler days and the days of just being together.  That we will never be able to get it back.

I'm a little sad she won't be here every day with me, but I am excited to see her begin the next part of her journey.  I'll be there waiting to see the artwork she pulls from her bag, to hear her excitedly chat about what her and her friends did that day, or what she learnt in English class.  I'll be the one cheering the loudest at Sports Day.  I'll be there standing with all the other parents at the school gate, waiting to see her run out with her long curls blowing behind her and her cheeks flushed red with happiness.  She'll grow, she'll soar and she'll become the person she was meant to be.  She'll lose a little bit of that pure innocence that comes with being at home with her Mummy, that little bit of innocence that comes with being little, but she'll be full of potential and promise.  Whatever happens, she will continue to make me the proudest Mama alive, just as she has done since the day she arrived in the world on the 24th December 2010.  

I knew that this day was coming, way back when she was tiny, and school just seemed like a far off dream.  Something I didn't have to think about for a while.  But now the countdown is on.

Growing up hurts a little, I know that all too well.  I'm a little bit sad and feeling a little emotional about it all.  But why we may all too soon be finishing this chapter of our lives, deep down I know this is just the beginning of my little girl's story.  And I'm excited to see just what that story may be.

dadmads1

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #39 'This Is Motherhood.'

on Sunday, 19 October 2014.

On Friday afternoon I got the girls up from their nap and within minutes they were both screaming.  Not just crying, or having a tantrum, but really really screaming, which in itself is pretty rare for both of them.  LL eventually calmed down, but poor Mads carried on sobbing, while clutching her ear in pain.  I tried to reason with her, to cuddle her, to comfort her, but nothing was working.  After realising she wasn't going to settle, I rang the emergency doctor and headed down there to get them to check her out.

I rang my Mum in slight despair at the noise and stress of the situation, and on hearing Mads and LL crying in the background, she came to my rescue.  She sat with Mads on her lap, holding her tight, doing her Grandma duties, while I cuddled LL.  She came in while the doctor checked them over, and after diagnosing both with bad coughs, high temperatures, and poor Mads with a severe ear infection, she took me to Sainsbury's and bought us 'essential medical supplies' such as antibiotics, ice cream, ice lollies, diet coke and sweets.  

She then came back to my house which I had left in a hurry and in a complete state and she cleaned up around me while I cuddled my poorly ladies close on the sofa.  She got on her hands and knees and scrubbed a rather disgusting cat poo off my carpet (thanks Walter!), she changed the litter tray, she hoovered and she helped me sort out the girls.  She pottered around for an hour or so, before giving me a cuddle and leaving us to it, as Mr E was out for the evening.

As I lay in our bed a little later on, my arms tightly round Mads who was whimpering and crying in her sleep, while playing with my ear as she so often does for comfort, I thought back to my Mum.  Those simple gestures, those things she does for me day in and day out, that show us just how much she cares.  How she comes up to my house and grabs a load of my washing, takes it back and irons it just to help me out.  How earlier in the week when we were all feeling under the weather she told us to come up to hers.  She helped the girls paint while I sat back, had a break and ate beans on toast.  How easily it is ingrained in her to take care of us, even now.  How these things are so small that sometimes I don't even notice them, but that when I take a second to think about it, I realise just how much she does.  

This is motherhood.

It's not always plain sailing.  It's not always about picture perfect photos, happy days out and ticking off milestones.  It's about having that instinct in you to know when your children need you, whatever age they are.   It's about the simple things, the ordinary moments and the little gestures.  And as soon as you take that little person in your arms the moment they are born, you learn what it is like to love someone unconditionally.  Through the amazing times, the rough times, the ordinary times and the day to day times.  

We have had a fair few moments like that this week.  Moments where I have felt this raw emotion that comes with being a mother.  Like when I was cuddling in bed with Mads, letting her play with my ear pretty much all night long even though it actually hurts a little sometimes and meant I couldn't sleep.  Or realising a poorly LL had fallen asleep on me and not moving for an hour because I was relishing that feeling of having her so close to me.  It's these moments, that technically are supposed to be tough, that are genuinely the sweetest.  To feel that satisfaction and utter love that comes with being the one my babies need.  That I am the one that makes it all better.

Sometimes I think about how fast the time is going and it almost takes my breath away.  It makes me feel so sad to think that one day my girls might not need me, or that I might not be their whole world.  The thought of it makes me get tears in my eyes and I will the days, months and years to not pass so quickly.  But then I think about my own Mum.  About how she would drop anything to look after us.  All the simple, little things she does to help us.  About how at thirty years old, I still need her.  And I know that she is there.  She always was.

I hope one day my girls will look back and remember not only the big holidays, fun days out, or exciting times.  I hope they will remember the ordinary and the not so good ones too.  How I held back their hair as they were sick, how I cuddled them close and held them as they cried.  How I would do anything for them and about how I loved them unconditionally.

Because that is motherhood.

 

asleepLLoct14

 

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #38 'Far More Happy Moments...'

on Sunday, 12 October 2014.

I've found this week pretty hard.

When I type those words, I instantly want to delete them, to write about something else, to stop being so dramatic.  I am well aware that my 'pretty hard' weeks are pretty flimsy and mild in comparison to other people's 'pretty hard' weeks.  When I type those words, I feel like a fraud, that in reality I don't have any right to complain, or moan, and that I should feel thankful for what I have.  I know how lucky I am, and then I feel cross with myself for feeling this way.

It's not been anything in particular that has made me feel like this.  The girls have on the whole been pretty good, bar the usual typical moments of strops, inevitable tiredness, or brief difficult ten minutes that come with parenting a three and a one year old.  In fact, I had a lovely day away on Wednesday, (more about that later this week) but for some reason I haven't been able to shake this mood I am in.

One major reason is that I have been poorly.  It's not something I particularly write about on this here blog of mine, but I have been suffering on and off with horrible episodes of sickness and cramps for months.  This week it has been particularly bad, and on Thursday after a few nights of restless sleep, I was left feeling tired, grumpy and a little anxious.  I let it build up, had a good cry and then felt better for it instantly.  

And that's the thing.  Sometimes it's good to feel a little self indulgent.  To have 'one of those days' even though you know how lucky you are.  To have a cry, or a moan, or be a little over dramatic.  To accept that you are being silly, or a little over the top.  To know that deep down, you have it pretty damn good.

If you don't ever feel a little emptiness from time to time, for whatever reason, then you wouldn't ever know the satisfaction of feeling full again.  So on Thursday, when I was feeling pretty ill and rubbish, we headed outside just for a little bit to get some fresh air.  To brush away the cobwebs and that feeling you get when you have slight cabin fever.

Seeing my beautiful girls, walking hand in hand, in their matching outfits, was enough to snap me out of my funny old mood.  

Because for all those 'pretty hard' moments?

There are definitely far more happy ones.

matchinglittlebird

 

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #31 'Half Glass Empty Half Glass Full'

on Sunday, 24 August 2014.

*Disclaimer- this is a bit of rambling post on motherhood that doesn't really make much sense, but my emotions were all over the place this week.  You have been warned!*

 

I have a tendency to let the mundanity of life catch up with me sometimes.  Occasionally the constant nappy changes, the endless making lunches or lugging two small people around the supermarket with one running off and one refusing to sit in a trolley, will result in me feeling a little bit out of sorts.  I will pace around the living room waiting to hear the front door open and see my husband arrive home from work, just to get a little break from the constant demands of motherhood.

At the back of my mind, I always deep down know how lucky I am, how blessed I am to have the opportunity to work from home and be the person who looks after my girls the majority of the time.  Of course I know that, but sometimes the intensity and mediocrity just catches up with me.  Because let's face it, being a parent is hard work.  It's relentless, from the second they open their eyes in the morning until well after they have gone to sleep at night.  Making sandwiches, the nursery drop off, running their bath water, tidying the toys after they are in bed- we repeat so many moments in motherhood we could probably do them in our sleep.  They become routine.  They become day to day life.  And sometimes that day to day life gets a little stagnant, or a 'bad day' in the life of a three and a half year old learning to express her emotions can throw it all off kilter slightly.  You can feel like your glass is half empty even though you know deep down that couldn't be further from the truth.

But then I also have the other kind of emotional moments.  These happen once in a while too and they are even harder to describe.  My husband has a tattoo of the yin and yang symbol, I don't hugely like it to be honest (it's very late 90's sorry Mr E!) but it was done another lifetime ago.  However recently I have been thinking about the meaning behind it and how in a way you can relate it to the feeling of motherhood.  How opposing or contrary forces are actually interconnected and complementary to each other.  Amazing and beautiful moments, followed by difficult or sad ones.  Ordinary days where everything goes right followed by ordinary days where it all feels just feels a little bit challenging and hard.  

This week I have felt so teary.  But not teary in a sad or unhappy way.  Just emotional with the intensity of it all.  Emotional because I feel lucky to have this mundane, slightly boring life.  The slightest thing has set me off, whether it's a sad song, saying goodbye to my grandparents, or even cuddling my biggest girl who clung to me in our bed in the night after being sick.  As she lay with me, I felt this raw emotion so strong that it made me cry silently into my pillow. I find that being a mother is loving so deeply that sometimes it actually physically hurts.

There's this fear deep inside me that I don't even like to think about let alone put into words.  I imagine all mothers have it from time to time.  Most of the time it lies dormant, always there but hidden, a passing thought in the midst of a busy day.  But sometimes it pushes it's way to the surface and it can consume my thoughts.  It may be something on the news, something that has happened to a friend of a friend, or even god forbid someone you know.  A glimpse into someone else's anguish and despair.  The fact that life can change in an instant.  And these moments will always make me sad but occasionally they will floor me.  The thought of anything bursting my happy bubble of ordinary life.  

Because Motherhood is so much more than making sandwiches, the nursery drop off, running their bath water, and tidying the toys.  Underneath the routine and the structure, there's the deep rooted  intensity of loving someone so much that it can completely change you.  That you can have days where you feel like crying for absolutely no reason because you feel so overcome with emotion about how lucky you are.  Sometimes the best way to process that is just to carry on, to go about your day to day life- to play, to teach, to discipline and to make memories.  And it goes back to the Ying and Yang theory, for all of the worry, fear, guilt and mundanity, there is happiness, love and gratitude.  Those complimentary opposites constantly interacting and balancing each other, not being able to exist without the other.

You need the odd bad or challenging day to fully appreciate the good ones.  Sometimes I need a good cry, or to go and pick my children up from nursery early for a cuddle, or to really sit and closely watch them on the sofa eating an after nap biscuit to remind myself that ordinary life isn't always easy.  That motherhood isn't always easy.  We may be incredibly lucky but that everyone is allowed to feel like their glass is half empty on the odd occasion.  

But that deep down you know that it is in fact full to the brim.

appreciatoin 

 

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