Our Time Will Come Again

 

Husband Wfie ImageBaby,                                                                                  (remember when I used to call you that?)

At the time of writing, I think I can count on one hand the number of words we spoke to one another last night. We didn’t argue and neither had we fought. We just put everyone and everything else before our own needs. Sometimes I wish we could just be a little more selfish. I wish we would not need to re-schedule or cancel date nights. I wish we could celebrate our anniversary and show the world we deserve to be celebrated, rather than dismiss its importance. We are passionate about family and yet we seem to forget the most important family of all. The one we have created.

The most common advice given to parents as they embark on parenthood is to enjoy it while it lasts and lately that advice has struck a deep chord with me. We are watching our daughters grow in both awe and disbelief at how fast time flies. I feel a pang of sadness as our eldest daughter ventures further out into the world, further away from my outstretched hand. At the same time there is an excitement growing inside me that one day we will be us again.

One day our evenings will not be taken up by cleaning sticky floors and kitchen surfaces, clearing away toys and writing in homework books.

One day our evenings will not be taken up by gardening, making packed lunches and the never-ending cycles of laundry.

One day our evenings will not be taken up by pleading with our children to eat their dinner and embarking on the never-ending cycle of picking up toys, cutlery and food from the floor.

One day we will not wake in the morning utterly exhausted from the cries and needs of our youngest or staying up at our eldest’s bedside, holding her hair while she is sick in our now christened ‘sick bowl’.

Our time will come.

Our time will come for cuddling up on the settee to watch Grey’s Anatomy.

Our time will come for candlelit dinners while holding hands.

Our time will come for spontaneous trips into London to the cinema or theatre or even pulling all the stops and dinner out in a restaurant.

Our time will come for bedtimes where I fall asleep on your chest while watching Family Guy.

Our time will come for uninterrupted conversations.

Our time will come for no longer speaking to one another in the third person.

I know these days with our girls are fleeting and one day we will miss all this beautiful chaos.

We will miss our daughters crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning, asking if it’s “morning time yet” while we wonder how long we can delay the inevitable.

We will miss the water fights in the garden.

I know I will miss our daughters climbing up your body while you sing the circus tune and spin them around upside down (even though I feel I’m having a heart attack each time).

We will miss our drum rolls in the morning.

We will miss family trips to the park where we inevitably end up in opposite directions depending on which child we have.

We will miss playing Wii games, Happy Families and board games on repeat as well as reading the same books over and over.

We will miss this.

So, let’s enjoy it all while it lasts. Let’s sneak in kisses and cuddles when we can and let our daughters see us doing so. Let’s hold hands on the rare occasion we are together during the day. Let’s link arms with the person pushing the buggy. Let’s put Cbeebies on for the girls when we want to have a 5-minute uninterrupted conversation. More importantly, let’s celebrate us more. Our wedding anniversary, engagement anniversary maybe even our month anniversary (remember them?)

It won’t always be like this.

Before them there was us and after them there will be us. It is knowing that after our girls have begun to pave their way into the world, we will find the path back to us again that keeps me going. So, let’s take the sleepless nights, the crazy mornings and the non-stop weekends knowing that at the end of it all there will be us again.

Love Always,

Your wife.                                                                                                                                         xxxx

Marriage Hands

Opening image: http://unknown-love-quotes.blogspot.com

Closing image: my own

 

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A Letter to my First-Born

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My Sweet Girl,

I remember there was a time you needed me for everything. From cleaning your teeth to reading a book. I watch you in the morning as I dress you in your school uniform, you choose your hairstyles and perform your daily perfume dance as I spray you with your favourite perfume from my collection. I watch you twirling around showing the family your chosen hairstyle and announcing the name we have just christened it with upstairs. As I watch you in the midst of packing lunch bags, tightening buggy straps, shoes and coat zips I am beyond proud of the person you are growing into, yet I ache for the little girl who once learnt to walk by holding my hand.

I remember watching you as a baby and thinking we had all the time in the world together, little did I know then that the time would pass much quicker than I could ever have anticipated. I now watch you with your YouTube and Barbie dolls immersed in your innocent make-believe world with a tinge of sadness, as with your babyhood I know this time will not last nearly as long as I would like.  I was warned that you would not be the same person by the end of this year: not only can you now independently read computer game instructions but you now have playdates on your own during which you “forgot all about me”.  You are at the difficult stage of finding your free will and not always following my instructions blindly and I am also at the difficult stage of accepting this without demonising this natural behaviour of a 5-year-old girl. You are my first taste of motherhood, you are my learning curve. I have never experienced this notion of guiding someone along the perilous path towards independence before so I hope you can forgive me for potentially taking this personally and reacting defensively.

This has been a year of firsts for us both: your first day of school, your first independent playdate, your first school disco. You are adamant that you are no longer my ‘baby’ despite my protestations but I hope you will forgive me if I baby you a little longer. As you crawl into my bed in the dark of night it reassures me as much as it does you. As you fall asleep in my arms each night, it reassures me that no matter how many independent playdates you have you will always return to me at the end of the day. It reassures me that should your heart get broken by boys, friends, bad grades or life that you will always crawl into my bed in the dark of night or find the same reassurance as an adult of falling asleep in my arms.

Each night before I go to bed I sneak into your room and kiss you goodnight and with whispers of “I love you” I disentangle you from your covers and each night my heart breaks. I feel I am losing you. As I write this, I am listening to the birth mix I created while I was pregnant with you. A few tracks sends shivers through me as I remember listening to them in the cloud of labour. I long to be back in that hospital bed with you about to enter the world and with all that time together ahead of us, when independent playdates are years away and when you needed me for everything. Instead I am staring out of the window into the dark of night and wondering if (and hoping that) tomorrow we will be able to snatch some golden moments together re-igniting the bond that was lit the moment we laid eyes on one another, whether that will be on the swings, playing tennis in the garden or walking to school and playing eye spy.

I promise you now that whatever we may be doing: getting ready for school, walking to school, doing homework, getting ready for bed it will be ‘us time’ not simply treated as chores to accomplish. I feel like time is slipping away and that soon you will no longer pick daisies for me wherever we go. Soon I will be sitting here with you away at university, on your gap year, or even upstairs in your bedroom when your walls are covered in your favourite pop star rather than princesses and unicorns, I know I will miss you still but I am determined to not miss you with regret.

Love you always,

xxxxx Mamy xxxxx

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Opening image: my own 

Closing image: www.quotesmixer.com

A Letter to my Second-Born Child

mother and baby

My Darling Girl,

Nobody warned me that one moment you would be a new-born baby lying in my arms and the next moment you will suddenly be a year old.  You came into a family already with a set of rules and routines but you slotted right in as if you were always there.

We have been a team from the start as due to poor care during your delivery, it was only you and I working in a rhythm that bought you into the world.  You slept in my arms your first night a little ball of vulnerability I promised to protect with every fibre of my being.  In the blink of an eye, you no longer seem a little ball of vulnerability as you stretch out on my chest in your twosies pyjamas that you are fast growing out of. But, I still whisper my promises to you every night to protect you with every fibre of my being.

Do not for one second allow anyone to make you feel second-best. You were so wanted by all of us. It really is true that when a mother has children her heart grows to accommodate the love. Like you I am my mother’s last and there remains something special in being a mother’s last. You have made motherhood feel brand new.

We have shared special moments this year that I will forever hold dear such as the way you fall asleep in my arms, resting your head on my shoulder, clutching a toy or item you have quickly grown an attachment to that day, whether it be a teddy or a little bottle of olbas oil. Once you are ready to sleep, you bury it between the two of our bodies, tucking it down safe. I will miss your open-mouthed kisses, the way you raise your head from my shoulder, look at me and smile before you kiss me on the lips and go back to sleep.

Every day I feel so lucky to experience motherhood again but also to experience it with you. No matter how old you are when you read these words I hope it reminds you that your Mummy loves you more than anyone. No matter where you are, what you do that will never change. I love you and your sister equally, regardless of your birth order. Your clothes and toys may be hand me downs from your sister but my love for you is most certainly brand new and I promise you now it will forever remain that way.

Thank you, my darling girl, for coming into the world. Thank you for completing our family and showering it with your love and laughter. Thank you for your patience and your smiles, your open-mouthed kisses and your night time cuddles. I can’t wait to spend the rest of our days together with you, loving you, guiding you and nurturing you.

Happy Birthday my little flower,

Love Always,

xxxxxx Mama xxxxxx

 

Opening image: thelibertarianrepublic.com

An Open Letter to my Husband

Husband and wifeAs I write these words, you are sitting before me on your laptop, as we both often are these days. The television is on and although we are both watching the same programme and sitting in the same room, I feel we are rarely together.

I miss you. I see you every day in the cloud of parenthood, the achievements of our children from their phonics and reading ability to their pincer movements and growth spurts but I rarely see you.

I’m sorry you get to see me perpetually exhausted in the mornings as we rush about the morning dealing with nappies, breakfast, book bags and lunch boxes and similarly in the evenings as we rush about clearing up toys, the dinner, sterilising bottles and now packing an endless supply of boxes in preparation for our upcoming house move. Quite often throughout the day I feel I am brimming with words I want to say to you, but when I do get the chance, we are usually on the way to bed when we are quite often asleep before our heads hit our pillows and neither of us are in the right frame of mind.

Know that although I may not run to you as I once did, I still look forward to you coming home each evening.

Know that I am not stupid for refusing a toilet break in the morning, knowing that in doing so I find a decent parking space at school, I get to walk our daughter to school in a manner that I can reassure her at a time she needs me. And be back home within 10 or 15 minutes, a well-practised and I must say fine working routine. Motherhood has aided with this when I don’t often get round to eating or even going to the bathroom all day.

Know that these days I don’t have a home but a workplace, this will hopefully change when I get my much-needed office space but until then the living room is my office, as is the kitchen, bedrooms and even the bathroom. Therefore, boxes that are left in the living room are left in my office, clothes and items scattered around are scattered around my office.

Know that I love you.

Know that when I am making plans and writing lists, delegating and checking things are done, I am not nagging or disbelieving your capabilities, I am simply project managing my office just as is done at your office.

Know that you are my rock.

Know that when I am scrolling through social media at the end of the day, it gives me a let out. It is my way to wind down.  My working day does not end. I no longer have that relief of shutting the door to the world, the office, the deadlines. As you know, my phone is only used for necessity during the day when I am with our girls. The moment I wake up to the moment I close my eyes I am in work mode.  I wish I could read a book as I once did. I wish I could relish the feeling of a book in my hands and the scent of its pages but I am simply burnt out. For now, social media is my escape as it is for so many.

Know that I am eternally grateful and appreciative of the opportunity to stay at home with our girls. That although I do feel burnt out, I have never been happier.

Know that although I love motherhood I miss how we were pre-parenthood. I miss our kisses goodnight, our cuddles in the morning. I miss resting my head on your chest as I fall asleep each night.

Know that I see you. I see you rushing out in the morning in the hope of returning to hear our eldest read at night-time. I see you getting up to our youngest in the night so you can have father/daughter time and also so I can sleep. Know that I see you in the every day.

Know that sometimes although you are the maker of my much loved hot chocolate and marshmallows, I need the strength to not reach for the biscuit tin but the fruit bowl in the evenings. Know that I sometimes need you to be that strength.

Know that sometimes it is a good thing to worry. I know I worry too much but sometimes I feel I need to worry for the both of us. Sometimes worrying is a good thing, it stirs us into motion, it keeps the wheels turning.

Know that sometimes I feel we parent separately rather than together. I love being with our girls but sometimes it’s nice to have company.

Know that we both have a responsibility to one another to go to bed early.

Know that listening to Our Special Music brings back the memories of our early love and the pain of our separation and reminds me how much I love you and feel truly lucky to be your wife.

Opening image: my own

Proud Beyond Words

mother and daughter

As many people have learnt, a lot can happen in a year.

Since your fourth birthday, you have become a big sister. You have had to go from having my undivided attention to having to share me with someone else. So many people have warned me of the jealousy that you would feel and maybe the dislike or resentment of your baby sister. You have proved them all wrong. All you have ever shown your little sister is love, a testament to the mother you one day hope to be. You have shown understanding beyond your years when I have been tired beyond imagining, particularly when your sister was just born. You have cuddled me, stroked me through my tears of exhaustion and reassured me that I am still a good Mama, even though I can not devote my entire time and attention on you. You have made me proud beyond words.

Since your fourth birthday you have started school. It was a time of uncertainty for you. The longest time you and I have ever been away from one another. It was a hard few weeks at first but although there were tears in the mornings, upon entering the school gates, in true British style, you held your chin up and walked through those doors. In your teacher’s words you built relationships with your classmates and with your teachers and worked hard in your lessons despite your hidden feelings of self-doubt and misgivings. You have made me proud beyond words.

Since your fourth birthday you have gotten used to falling asleep on your own because your father is late home from work and your little sister woke and will not settle. You lie there waiting for me to read you stories and more often than not I do not return before you fall asleep. Sometimes I return to kiss you goodnight and whisper “I’m sorry” in your ear, you sleepily reply “that’s ok” and hold out your arms for a cuddle. In that moment, you make me proud beyond words.

Since your fourth birthday you have learnt that nothing is your own now you have a little sister who looks up to you more than anyone. You have watched as your sister plays with your precious Barbie collection. When I say playing, I mean sitting on them, sucking on them, messing up the arrangement you so carefully made the night before. You insist on sitting beside her at the dinner table each and every day and have learnt that your cutlery and even your own dinner is no longer your own. The moments you share your dinner with your sister (even though she had her own, exactly the same as yours) you make me proud beyond words.

Since your fourth birthday you have watched me deliver your sister with a calmness and emotional maturity beyond your years and the moment I saw you for the first time as a big sister, you made me proud beyond words.

Since your fourth birthday you have grown in confidence, sticking up for your beliefs and never letting anyone say a bad word against your loved ones, and in each moment  you fight for what you believe is right you make me proud beyond words.

I could go on.

——

You have learnt that very often your days consist of playing a waiting game, but my darling girl on the eve of your 5th birthday I want you to know that in no way are you second-best. As you fell asleep in my arms tonight I promised you as I have done many times before that I will be your constant, as you have been mine.

Happy Birthday my sweet Princess, may you always know how much you are truly loved. 

mother and daughter 2

Opening image: clipart-library.com

Closing image: videoblocks.com

I Love You Enough…

Home made party cupcake with a number candle on topFour years ago  I embarked on the breathtaking journey of motherhood. This past weekend my little girl turned 4 and today I applied for primary schools for her. It seems wrong somehow. I still see her as the vulnerable little baby that entered the world not so long ago and later took her first vulnerable steps towards my open arms.

I make a habit of telling my daughter that I love her multiple times a day, even when she is sleeping, however every day I wonder how much she knows I love her and whether she will ever know.

So to my little four-year old girl I hope you know:

I love you enough that I would go without so you could have that extra treat.

I love you enough to always put you first.

I love you enough to always include family in our lives so the memories you make with them will last long after they have gone.

I love you enough to say “no” when I need to.

I love you enough to be the bad guy when I need to be, even though it breaks my heart to do so.

I love you enough to be hard on you sometimes to encourage you to be the best you can be.

I love you enough to not resent you when you push the boundaries but instead to respect your need to push those boundaries.

I love you enough to ignore society’s definition of  perfection  (although for me you are perfect).

I love you enough to sometimes let your father take the lead.

I love you enough to make the perfect reality for you.

I love you enough to never quit.

I love you enough to make my dreams a reality for you rather than for any self-regarding quest for gain.

I love you enough to never regard what I have ‘given up’  for motherhood as a sacrifice, but a privilege.

I love you enough to never let you forget how much I love you.

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Opening image: sevenhillsrunningshop.com
Closing image: lovethispic.com

Looking Back On Motherhood

lookingbackI have spent the past month in denial of the inevitable. The inevitable that in fact happened this week. My little girl turned 2. She is 2. She is no longer 10 months, 18 months or even 20 months. She is 2.  I now no longer refer to my daughter’s age in months but years. It has been both the longest and shortest 2 years I have ever had. It has been the most tiring yet the most rewarding. I am now wavering between joy at watching my little girl grow and develop and learn new things and sorrow for the days, months and years that have passed.

My sleep is no longer regular, my evenings are long gone. My cleanliness is a rare commodity these days and my husband and I share few moments alone. However, my life has been enriched more than ever before. For a moment or two, I would like to speak from a personal point of view about what motherhood has done for me:

1- I have learnt to love my body. It is not perfect and there are many things I would like to change. However, I look at myself in the mirror and I see a body that created my beautiful girl.

2- I have learnt to have purpose. Before she came into our lives, I would work only to pay the bills. Now I work for her future. My dream of writing has become fused into my dream of providing for her. I am now able to pursue what I have really wanted in life, while doing a job (motherhood) I absolutely love.

3- I have learnt to put myself last. As a stay at home mum in particular you are last after your child, your husband, your ironing, your cooking, and your cleaning. I used to never walk out of the house without make up. Never answer the door in tracksuit bottoms. I would never go without showering for more than 2 days; I would never go without straightening my hair. This is not a sacrifice to me for I do not go without these out of duty but love.

4-  I have learnt to play again. To crawl inside a play tent at playgroup and for it to be okay to get stuck. I have learnt to dance and to sing in public and for it to be okay to be out of tune.

5- I have learnt that no matter how exhausted I am, there is always enough in me to play one more game, to cuddle her a little more, to read her the same book again one more time.

6- I have learnt that my parents love me more than I could possibly have imagined. I think now of the sacrifices they made for me and the love they had for me to make those sacrifices.

7- I have learnt to imagine again. Imagine this empty box is a boat; imagine the table is a house. I have learnt to block out the less important preoccupations and welcome the more important matters back into my life.

8- I have learnt to see the beautiful in the not so beautiful. The beautiful in the piles of laundry, the stacking dishes, the crumb encrusted floor. I have learnt to see the beauty in family life.

9- I have learnt about unconditional love. As cliche as it sounds, you will never understand what that means until you become a mother yourself.

10- I have learnt of new ways and new reasons to love my husband. I would never have thought I would enjoy watching my husband fall in love with another woman, yet watching him excel in his new role as a father has renewed my faith in both him and our marriage.

I used to think I was the teacher in the relationship but I realise now my daughter is the teacher and what a wonderful teacher she is.

motherdaughterphoto

Opening image: www.marcandangel.com
Closing image: pixgood.com

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