I’m Trying

I feel like this is something I just keep saying but sometimes, it’s the only thing I know how to say!

Life is hard! I endlessly feel as though we just make it through one hurdle unscathed before we arrive immediately at another one. I’m battling and battling, conquering and succeeding then battling and battling all over again. It’s constant, never-ending.

I naively thought that the answer was leaving work to be with you both. I thought my undisturbed attention, guidance and support was all you needed – all you wanted.
I was wrong.

As it happens, I’ve no idea what you want…from me, from life, from the day, from exsistance! I mean, I get it – you’re both 2! You haven’t figured that shit out yet and I fully understand that there’s no way you could have. I’m 31 and have to confess, I haven’t figured it out either yet but that doesn’t make it any easier. It’s hard!

Some days, it’s ridiculously hard! Some days, I just don’t know how I can ever be enough. Some days, I don’t know how we make it through to bed time! There are days when the two of you just can’t seem to be in each other’s presence. You fight, you bicker, you even physically attack one another! I’m sick of separating you both, making you say sorry to one another. I’m sick of seeing snatched toys and rolling tears…of listening to you both chant “that’s mine, that’s mine”. 

Tristan, I’ve seen you push your sister off the potty mid poo just because it’s yours! I intervened with disbelief at the venom in your eyes, the contempt you felt at the thought of your sister using something you had undoubtedly claimed. 

Siena, I’ve seen you claw away at your Brother’s face, adamant that he won’t touch your ‘Dolly’. I’ve been rendered speechless by the aggression you’ve shown, the satisfaction you’ve felt after making him cry!  

There are days when you both cry simultaneously for no reason whatsoever. Days where you wake up screaming, days where nothing will suffice or please you. These are the hardest days, the days where I’m left crying alone in the kitchen come 6pm when your Dad makes it home from work. These are the days when I feel utterly useless, painfully rubbish and worthless. 

There are days when all we seem to do is shout at one another. Before I was a Mother, I swore I’d never shout at you. I swore, I’d always stay calm and collected. This isn’t so easy when I’ve waited 15 minutes for you to climb in your car seat; when I’ve retrieved your thrown dummy from the ground a million times regardless of the fact I know you’re going to throw it again; when I’ve pleaded and pleaded with you not to do something but you go and do it anyway – when I feel like there’s nothing left for me to try.

There are days when my sanity is tested and I just feel as though I need to call for help (your Nana), for a break. 

The thing is – I’m trying! 

I’m trying harder than I think you two could ever imagine. I’m trying to be the best possible Mum for you that I could ever be. I’m trying to make you both strong, courageous, independent, confident humans. I’m trying to insil passion into you both and nurture your sense of creativity and individuality. I’m trying to make sure you always make the right choices in life. I’m still trying to make the right choices myself!

I’m trying to be a role model that you’d both be proud of. Siena, I trying to show you how to be a strong woman. Tristan, I’m trying to show you how to be a loving, caring, compassionate man. 

I’m trying to keep it together so that you both can rely on me at all times. I’m trying to show you that you can overcome any hurdles of your own. 

What’s more is, I’m trying to be myself as well. To be a good friend, to maintain some sort of social status. I’m trying to be a business woman so I can provide for your every wants and needs. I’m trying to be a wife, a daughter, a helpful granddaughter. I’m trying to be a carer, a personal assistant.

A Person!

There are days when I just feel as though my trying will never be enough for you, that I’ve failed us all. 

Then, there are days like today. Days where we work harmoniously with one another, we have fun and make memories we all can cherish. Days when you both wrap your arms around me and tell me seven times at bed time that you love me. Days when we laugh and play, sing and dance. Days when we accomplish life with enthusiasm and pzazz. 

Those days make it all worth it, make me know just how important my role is. 

So I’ll take the bad days, the tantrums and the tears. I’ll take the days we all cry (and I mean all). I’ll take the tests, the failures and my faults because…

That’s what Mothers do and I’m trying to be the best for you! 

Your Dreams are What Matter! 

I have to admit, as shallow as it sounds, I was desperate to have a little girl. It was just something I’d always imagined for my own life, something I’d definitely hoped for. 

7 year old me would brag on the school yard that some day I was going to have two children. A boy first, of course…and a girl second, so that her older Brother could look out for her. Coming from a family where I had experienced the love and support of having an older Brother, I knew I wanted exactly that for my future. My childhood had been perfect, so much so that I wanted to mirror it for my own children.

The day I discovered I was pregnant, I instinctively knew I was expecting a Boy. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind! As the sonographer revealed the gender, I cheered so proudly to have been right. I had my perfect son – my perfect start to our family. 

Having a son was so important to me, I wanted a boy because I knew how loving they could be, how proud I could feel about raising a man but most importantly, I knew how special older Brothers could be. I already felt so lucky to have one amazing child but my plan was always that my Son would be an older Brother.

When we discovered we were expecting again, my heart ached for you. I know how this sounds and yes – I would have loved a second Son just as much. A healthy child – no matter the gender -would have made me so incredibly happy. But, my life’s plan was always to have you!

Our 20 week scan was on a Tuesday. Your Father had left work early and the three of us headed to the Hospital.  I recall sitting in the waiting room almost pained with eagerness to see you on screen. Obviously, our priority was to know that you were healthy and growing as you should have been. Yet, I just still couldn’t wait to know your sex.

Although too young to comprehend what he was seeing, Tristan looked at you on the screen with so much awe. He marvelled at the flickering image wriggling around contently and he cheered at the noise of your heartbeat. The sonographer told him he was getting a little Sister; I cried and cried with happiness. 

My perfect family was complete! 

Finding out I was getting my girl was such an incredible moment. From being 7, I had high expectations for your future. I had in mind exactly how I wanted you to be.

Without question, you’d have blonde hair and blue eyes. You’d be quirky and individual, confident and assured…undeniably beautiful. I envisaged you’d be good at sport, always energetic and full of desire to achieve. 

In my mind, you’d be a ballerina. A perfectly poised, enigmatic ballerina. At 7 years old, I saw you dancing on stage – people looking at you in absolute admiration. Radiantingly elegant, you’d hypnotise your audience with irrefutable skill. 

I’m going to be honest here, my vision of what I expected from you is almost cruel and unkind. I had expectations of you that even I was incapable of. Expectations of you that most women never accomplish.

Your early arrival in this world taught me some well needed perspective. In the moments where you nearly died, I grieved solely for my little girl, my Daughter. As I watched the Doctors relentlessly trying to stabilise you, I had time to ingest what I was at risk of losing. Hair colour, eye colour, academic or physical ability did not once enter. Instead, I saw only the love I could be denied. 

In the days that followed your birth, I swore never to burden you with unreasonable ideology. Just to have you breathing, just to have you living would always be enough! 

At 17 months old, you were eventually diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Part of your diagnosis meant accepting the fact that there may be things you’ll never manage to do, physical ailments you’ll harbour all your life. I’m struggling the most with this. 

You see, to me, there’s nothing you can’t achieve!

I once ignorantly worried that my 7 year old vision for your future had been crushed. That I’d never get the chance of fulfilling my dreams for you. I want you to know that I’m aware of how pathetic I have been. My 7 year old dreams for your future were always going to be completely inconsequential.

Something I learnt very quickly about you is your strength of mind. From 9 weeks before you were due to be born, you had your own style of doing things, your own wants and desires. These are what matter the most! 

At almost two, you’re the cutest most quirkiest Doll I’ve ever known. You’re passionate about living, approach everything with a ‘I can’ attitude. It’s this attitude which leaves people spellbound. You’re not even two and already so many have marvelled at your strength, are astonished by your decisive and domineering demeanour. 

Your passion for 80’s disco hits is entertaining and bewildering but you don’t care! You dance your beautiful heart out in whichever way you please. You care only about the pleasure you acquire and not at all about how you are perceived. This is something I hope desperately we can retain. 

Recently, I took you to a ballet class. I must admit, although trying to look calm on the outside, inside I was bubbling with anxiety. I worried that other Mothers would think I was cruel, as though I was forcing you to be something you may never be…may never want to be! I worried that others may think I was delusional, expecting you suddenly to grasp physical demands you’re quite obviously incapable of doing. Mostly, I worried that you’d hate me for pressurising you with those unrealistic dreams I once promised I wouldn’t. 

Of course, you proved me wrong. 

You attempted every dance, giggled with magnificent joy as your legs bounded around the room. You waved your arms side to side and danced with so much pleasure that my heart felt blessed to watch you. 

Every day, you make me realise that there’s literally nothing you can’t do! I’ve no doubt in my mind that you’ll conquer every challenge you decide to take on – whether that be ballet dancing or not. 

But for the moment, you just love to dance. So, go ahead my Unlikely Ballerina and enchant the world.

Lots of love, your biggest fan xx

You Gave Me Purpose

    Purpose. It’s funny to think but the power of purpose is often forgotten about. In our hectic days and manic lives, purpose can become lost or confused, hidden or overshadowed. Yet the power of purpose is phenomenal.
    Purpose drives us forward, pushes us to achieve. 
    Without purpose there’s simply no point. It’s the catalyst for our actions, the sole reason for why we do.

    For so long, I searched for purpose. I lived, I breathed, I existed. But nothing felt worthwhile, nothing felt meaningful. 
A life without purpose just isn’t fulfilling. You can carry out routine procedures but the joy behind it just isn’t felt. It’s sad, when you think about it, to consider that some people never recognise purpose. It’s sad to think that purpose can be so easily masked or mistaken. 

    I had no idea myself just how powerful purpose could be…until there were you!
When you entered my life, you revealed my purpose. I know that this sounds cheesy but I need you to know this. I need you to always remember that my purpose was you! 

    Having children is certainly life altering. There’s times everyday where I still feel so intensely overwhelmed by Motherhood, so intensely submerged. I’d love to say that this was always positive but it’s not. There’s times everyday where I need to say ‘I didn’t enjoy that’ and not be judged. I mean, who really wants to argue with a two year old in public? Who wants to feel undermined by a toddler, with little beady judgey eyes on show? Who wants to feel embarrassed and worthless? Throughout these trying moments, please never forget that I still find reassurance in my purpose.

    Throughout all the mania, there’s something so magical about it all! Something that makes it so outrageously worthy.

    Before your Brother arrived, my body had meant nothing. I’d overworked it, abused it. In an attempt to find purpose, I’d put it under immense duress to stay slim and slender. Your Brother taught me that being ‘skinny’ wasn’t my purpose. As my hips cracked to make way for his arrival, I accepted the full extent of my body’s purpose and worth. The purpose of my body was not to be viewed as beautiful, beauty lay in the roundness of my childbearing belly. The purpose of my body was to protect both you and your Brother – through childbirth and forever after. Your Brother taught me to love my body, to appreciate every curve. 

    Suddenly, I had purpose.

    I had purpose to live, to breathe, to take care of myself the best I could. The change in me began, I felt it from within. Unlike before, the most measly of tasks could supply pleasure. That feeing of pleasure made everything so worthwhile…late nights, early mornings, lack of sleep…all of it had purpose!

    When you arrived, it’s fair to say that I already had purpose but nothing could prepare me for how much more purposeful my life would become. 

    The day you nearly died, I realised my purpose was to make you stronger. Your strength was already admirable but I needed to teach you to WANT to survive. I knew that I needed to teach you to see how magnificent living could be. I needed to teach you that living would be worthwhile! I knew that this could only be accomplished by showing you all the wonders of life, to show you how to be a glass-half-full kind of person. I knew that my only way of succeeding in this would be to change my own mentality (this harder than I’d like to admit, I’ve too many people in my life who ridicule this outlook on living, too many people who’d rather focus on the negatives). 

    Suddenly, I had purpose to change.

     Then, the day we discovered you had cerebral palsy, I realised my purpose was also to champion you. Your determination was just as admirable as your strength but I knew that I needed to make you feel the extent of your worth. I realised immediately that I just couldn’t ever allow you to feel self conscious or doubt. The only way I’d succeed in doing this is to show you how to love yourself, that this also meant me having to love myself too (again, this is harder than I first imagined. For too long, I’ve listened to the listing of my flaws, the reasons as to why I shouldn’t). 

    Suddenly, I had purpose to accept myself for who I am.

     The day I heard that you may never walk, I realised that my purpose was to support you – both physically and mentally. If your own body won’t supply you the means to show you the world, then mine will. The purpose of my arms is to carry you wherever your heart desires. The purpose of my legs is to walk you wherever your feet want to travel. The purpose of my heart is to love you enough that you won’t feel hurt by the rejection of others. 

   Between you and your Brother, my life will never be short of purpose. Purpose to love you, protect you, guide you and direct you. Having purpose has given me more confidence and strength than I’ve ever felt before. There’s something so gratifying about knowing the importance of your existence. Never before have I felt so comfortable in myself, known what I deserve and what I don’t. 

   So, through all the hard times, the tears and the tests – I need you to know that I’m so grateful for my purpose. 

    Thank you for giving me purpose, thank you for making me a Mother, thank you for giving me the gift of watching you grow.

Love you – Mama 💕

I’m Raising a King

There was a time in History when men were chivalric and bold, romantic and loving. To win the heart of the fair lady they adored, they’d shower her with affection, smoulder her with emotion.
Somewhere along the timeline, things changed. It was no longer popular for men to bear their heart and soul. Men became afraid to demonstrate vulnerability and I suppose, Women stopped wanting them to.
When I was younger, I thought most men were typical ‘blokes’. Beer guzzling, football crazed, deep-voiced and unemotional species who cared more about Deadline Day than their Wedding Day. Of course, society told me that this was expected. Hell, society told boys too that this should be the way they acted. I’m not judging it (I’m really rather fond of the ‘bloke’ style) but now that I have you, I wonder if there’s some other way.
I’ve been the girl dating the ‘bloke’ (I am the woman married to the stereotype!) and although I still consider my Marriage to be perfectly healthy, I don’t want this for your wife. You’re better than this, you’ve far more to give.

At the moment, you’re two – two and incredibly tactile. From the moment you awake, to the moment you fall asleep – you crave love and affection. Between wild dinosaur adventures or high speed car chases, your arms are firmly stitched around my neck, your legs are perfectly curved around my waist. You’re not ‘needy’ for the attention, you don’t rely on it for comfort (actually, as far as I’m concerned, you’re magnificently independent). You do it because you’ve no shame in showing your emotions!

And I couldn’t be any more proud of that!
Your desire to display affection makes me beam and rejoice. I don’t yet need to show you how to be a perfect partner, a caring and empathetic man. You’re showing me that it’s built within your nature. My only worry is, how do I nurture this instinct and not let society strip it away? How do I encourage you to stay tactile and loving when society now tells me there’s an age limit on how long I can acceptably kiss you on the lips? The thought of which leaves me feeling mournful for the precious moments I’ll surely lose.

In your beautiful ways, you love to shower me with kisses. Recently, we seem to have a little system – you kiss my nose, my forehead, each eyelid then my lips. Each time, my heart bursts and I could cry with sheer love and joy for you. You tell me I’m beautiful, that I’m gorgeous and you love me. You won’t part unless you’ve kissed me good-bye, can’t sleep unless you’ve given your good-night kisses. These things, I hope never leave you in your lifetime. I want to know you’ll tell your wife you love her at every end of a phone call, won’t leave without making sure she feels the extent of your love. I want to know you won’t sleep on an argument, will kiss both your wife and your children to sleep each night.
Nothing would make me prouder!

Your tactile nature extends further than my direction. You’re loving with all the family, especially your sister. Although sibling rivalry will always be preset, there’s times when you’re so loving and caring that I can’t believe how lucky she is. You cuddle her in, snuggle up to her always. You comfort her when she cries, wipe the tears from her lids, stroke her hair when she’s upset and even sing to her. You’re always looking out for her, making sure she’s equal to you in every way, making sure she’s never treated unjustly. She already admires you and I completely know why! You’re not only her ally, you’re her biggest supporter and I know you’ll make sure she feels special – even when others judge her or make her feel weak. You don’t see a disability, you see someone that you love and I love you for that all the more!
You’re incredibly nurturing. Today, you’ve cared for me so gently. I’ve been feeling ill – you’ve stroked my head, rubbed my delicate tummy (you even rubbed sudocrem over my brow to ‘make me better’. I’m not entirely sure how warranted this was but it was incredibly touching). I saw how you put effort into fixing my ‘ouchies’. It made me proud just to know how you’ll always try your best to make the ones you love feel better.
Your affectionate ways already make you stand out amongst the crowd. On days out, you pick flowers for the girls, wrap your arms around the boys and show them you care for them. I can see already that your friends will feel appreciated, will never feel ashamed to tell you how badly they’re feeling. You’ll have a way of showing them that it’s okay to talk about emotions – even if they are men…or boys. In turn, I know you’ll never suffer in silence because you’ll always be brave enough to express what’s on your mind or in your heart. This reassures me that you’ll never feel lonely and your partner will never feel alone as well.

For a two-year-old, you have it totally right! I just hope I manage to make sure you always have the confidence to proudly be the sweet, strong, admirable person you already are. I hope you have the confidence to stand up to society’s pre-judged ideology of what a ‘man’ truly is.
At the moment, you’re every bit my prince but what makes me happiest is knowing, I’m raising a King!

You’ve Got This

     I’ve not always been noted for my positive outlook. I’m one of those highly strung people who never seem to balance their emotions (surprising considering I’m a Libra and meant to be wholly balanced). I’m either high or low, happy or sad, excited or miserable. My reaction to situations or circumstances is undeniably unpredictable – and by that – I mean that I can’t even predict which way I’ll handle somethings. 
     Since you were born, I’m definitely making progress here. 
     Before you, I could easily wallow when things didn’t go my way. I could sulk endlessly in a way which would make me quite unbearable to be around. I’d always focus on the negatives in any predicament. In my mind, it was my way of protecting myself. I deludedly thought that if I prepared for the worst, I wouldn’t feel as bad when it actually happened.
      Spontaneously (9 weeks early) you entered this world and immediately taught me that preparing for the worst could sometimes be unthinkable; that preparing for the worst could sometimes be unimaginable. 

     There was never a moment I allowed myself to believe that we’d lose you – even as we waited seven hours for the Doctors to stabilise your condition. Even as we followed the blue-lighted ambulance 30 miles South knowing there was every really possibility you wouldn’t be strong enough to survive the journey.
     Following your pneumothorax , the Doctors found themselves in unnerving territory – If they transferred you without being stabilised, you could die but if you stayed at Durham, you surely would.
     As they prepared us for this chance, I heard the words swish around in my mind but I couldn’t digest them. You seemed too super to die, too determined to give up. 
     At 23 hours old, you made me view the world differently.

     I was no longer looking out at the world from the shoulders of a Mother full of vulnerability and emotion. I was looking at it with more strength, composure and self-assurance than I’d ever felt before. I knew instinctively that in your moment of need, I would never let you down. I felt it in my heart that my own strength and conviction was needed to carry you forward. I knew instinctively that I’d always believe in your ability, never doubt your capabilities.
     Nearly two years later and I can’t thank you enough for the strength and positivity that you’ve taught me. 

     Your prematurity made barriers for you we’d never imagined. You’ve had so many obstacles to overcome. So many more fights to conquer than other children your age. Since your diagnosis with Cerebral Palsy, were realised just how many challenges you’ve actually had. Many of which you must have suffered silently for so long but your attitude towards overcoming every barrier is truly amazing.
     You’ve a zestiness that is utterly captivating and instantly contagious. Your passion to succeed is completely admirable. The way you handle your disability makes me feel so incredibly proud of you. Every doubt you’ve heard us utter has played on your mind, willed you to prove us wrong. 

     There hasn’t been one challenge thrown your way that you haven’t tackled with ease. Your blasé attitude and confident approach to overcoming your ailments has, on many occasions, given me insight and perspective. There have been many times I’ve worried about your condition. There have been many times I’ve wanted to cry inconsolably for fear of what your future may hold. There have been many times where I’ve wanted to focus on the negatives and prepare myself for the worst.
     But every time I do, you show me that there really is no need to.
     Today, you met another milestone, one I’d once thought I’d never see you do. You pulled yourself up into a sitting position! For so long, I waited for you to sit unaided. It wasn’t until you were 18 months that you eventually learnt to hold your own. This accomplishment felt massive and although I beamed with pride, a little part of me still focused on the fact that your sitting wasn’t natural. You could only hold your stance if you’d been positioned, the notion of sitting on your own hadn’t registered in your mind. Having cerebral palsy, I knew that this would always be your biggest barrier.

     Your brain doesn’t communicate to your limbs the way that it should. It doesn’t send signals intuitively. We’ve been told to prepare ourselves that it may never learn to send those messages. We’ve been told to prepare ourselves that you may never walk. Although I hear this warning, I can’t allow myself to believe it. Your progress today proves that you won’t be defeated.
     I see you progress so rapidly recently that I feel more and more excited for your future. There’s no goal unreachable to you, no target you won’t strive to achieve. That tenacious attitude of yours inspires me to be more like you. You don’t see the negatives, you don’t focus on failing – and that is what I love about you! 
     Thank you for showing me a different way to be, a more positive, more constructive, more enthusiastic way to be.
     You make me hopeful and incredibly proud – I’m more grateful for the strength you’ve show me and the way you guide me to being a better person.
      You’re my fighter, my Warrior Princess, my Dolly – my daughter! And you’re completely amazing. 

     You’ve got this!

Motherhood Made Me

Before I fell pregnant, I thought it was something that would only ever happen to ‘other’ people. I’d notice the grand gestured announcements on Facebook and feel as though it was never going to be my turn.
In truth, I have to admit that for a long time, I didn’t know whether I ever wanted it to be. A part of me would feel pathetically sad each month when my period arrived and yet, another part of me would rejoice and think ‘thank god, I can continue as I am’. I was a mixture of desperate to fall pregnant and desperate to remain the same.

I’d been in no rush until my periods started having a mind of their own. I’d go two weeks over my cycle and the wonder would start to kick in. ‘I must be pregnant’ I’d think. Then the show would come and I’d be left questioning why my periods were so out of tune.


After several blood tests, it was confirmed that my body wasn’t producing the right amount of hormones. Some months, my fertility was suddenly jeopardised and my ability to join Motherhood was threatened. Having the choice of whether I wanted children, had allowed me to take it for granted but the moment I was told I may not be able to, I instinctively knew I HAD to become a Mother.


In a bid to drown out my sorrow, I made myself as busy as possible. I distanced myself from my Husband so I didn’t have to admit that I might be a bigger failure than he even realised; so I didn’t have to admit that I wanted children more than we’d really discussed.

The issues surrounding my periods had almost tricked me too many times into believing this was the time I was pregnant. I started taking contraception again as a means of feeling as though I had some control over what was happening. Through packet breaks, I’d wait anxiously to see if my period arrived.

Mostly, it didn’t.

I was 9 weeks into the first trimester when I first realised I was pregnant. My Gran had warned me that I would know intuitively when I fell…I didn’t have a clue!

Days before I took the test, I’d ventured up coast with some of my closest friends. We’d joked over how I’d gained weight despite dieting strictly and upping my gym routine. Worryingly, it wasn’t just my stomach that was showing – I could no longer get a pair of knickers to fit comfortably (I later learnt that this was due to my pelvis widening to give way for childbirth). I’d made us stop a million times to pee and felt bizarrely nauseous every time I sipped soda water.

But it wasn’t until I nearly passed out at my Auntie’s funeral that I realised something was a miss.

I’d began to resent purchasing pregnancy tests – the singular pink line was just an insult to me and my failing body. This time, I felt blasé about it all. Suspecting the result would reinforce my inability to conceive, I headed off into a local supermarket toilet. I mean, why get sentimental about it all? The test was most likely going to end up in the sanitary bin along with my pride and hope.

Also, I was incredibly hungover and just wanted the whole scenario to be over as soon as possible.
What can I say? I froze with fear when the second pink line manifested right in front of my eyes. Instantly, I vomited (which could have been the effects of the shock or the hangover).

I felt sick because I knew I hadn’t been looking after myself like a pregnant woman should. I’d drank far too much, restricted my calorie intake and overworked my body in hope of shifting those piling pounds before my holiday (which was only two days away).

I felt sick because my ideal moment had taken place in a skanky cubicle toilet with no-one close to share in my joy and fear.

I felt sick because the surge of maternal instinct was powerful and intense. I could not lose my child, ever. The need to protect was overwhelming and immense.
That doubt over whether I’d ever wanted children vanished instantaneously. I’d never wanted anything more in all my life!

Becoming a Mother made me. It wasn’t until my Son arrived that I realised, I was lost beforehand. I’d struggled with who I was, with what I wanted out of life, with what I’d tolerate.

Motherhood made life clear. I wanted love and affection but not from those who didn’t deserve it. I wanted for me what I wanted for my children. I wanted happiness, fulfilment, joy and laughter.

I wanted meaning!

Motherhood made me value my worth. It suddenly became obvious to me how I needed to be treated…by others but mostly by myself. I found myself admiring my body and appreciating it in ways I’d never been able to before. My swollen postpartum stomach was worn with pride. My newly carved (and much wider) hips were beautiful and miraculous. I understood that if I put myself down, I’d only encourage my children to view their own flaws as negative or unattractive. I couldn’t entertain the thought that my own behaviour could be responsible for inflicting their own self-loathing in the future. Instead, I knew that I must instil confidence in them through displaying my own confidence outwardly.
I realised that I only needed the love of myself and my children. Anything above this was and is a bonus.

From the moment that second pink line appeared, I had changed. Changed in ways which made me whole and better.

Being a Mother has made me more patient, more tolerable, more kind and empathetic. It’s made me more confident, more assured, more certain and assertive.
It’s shown me how to be the best possible version of me and for that, I’ll always be grateful.
Grateful for the two amazing gifts I was granted.

I Hurt because I Don’t Know How to Fix Things

Ever since you arrived, I’ve had conflicting emotions between you and your Brother. I’m desperate to preserve his childhood, I watch him grow so swiftly that I want to pin him down and clutch on to his baby demeanour for as long as I physically can.
You, on the other hand, I’ve pressurised to grow.
Knowing you’ll be my last child, a part of me has passionately savoured the lengthy wait between each development. You’ve been my baby forever and I need you to know how much I’ve appreciated that. But still, I will you to grow.
The hardest part of your disability for me is the ‘not knowing’. We knew from birth that your brain bleed would leave permanent damage – it wasn’t until you turned 17 months that we learnt the extent of the trauma. 17 months of anxiety and doubt. I thought that once we had confirmation of the cause of your slow progress, I’d magnificently feel better but now knowing you have cerebral palsy leaves us with a new extent of uncertainty. 

There’s every real chance that we’ll never see you walk unaided, never watch you dance your 1st dance at your wedding, your Father may never be able to walk you down the aisle. This kills me! Especially because we’ll never know you won’t do this until you don’t. 
There’s a million moments each day which take me by surprise – I can look out the window at our neighbouring children chasing butterflies, with that wild tenacity young children have, and feel paralysed with dread that I may never be watching you join them. I can load up social media and see videos of children much younger than you climb slides or take their first step and feel sick to the pit of my gut that I may never share those moments for you. After all, it’s not for me that I want these opportunities – it’s very much for you.

You’re growing more mature now, you’ve started to realise you can’t join in. I see the frustration in your eyes, feel your heart ache with every glistening tear which rolls down your cheek. I spot the desperation in your mind to fit in, I watch you idolise other children, admiring their movements and itchy to copy. It’s that same will and desire which makes me feel more at ease.
You’re too determined to give in. You’re too strong to not conquer your hardships. 
More than ever, I’ve seen you transform recently. Our latest holiday was almost a catalyst for your growth – you decided to join the world of toddlerhood. Each night, the music would begin and your legs would spontaneously thrash out shapes, not too dissimilar to dance moves. Your arms would join in and your smile would radiate the space around you. Your laughter was infectious, captivating. You squealed until we took you to the dance floor, broke down if we tried to remove you from the fun. 

It was both mesmerising and incredibly hard in equal measures. Mesmerising because I’ve wished you to grow for so long that I almost couldn’t believe I was watching you do it! Hard because you harboured so much frustration and resentment at the lack of your own ability. Each night began with your untamed laughter but ended with your violent cries. 
This is why I will you to grow. 
As your Mother, I’ll always want you to succeed in everything your heart desires. I can’t handle listening to you scream because you want to run with your Brother. I can’t handle trying to settle you because you want to dance independently. Each head-but, each bite is confirmation as to how much you’re hurting. You thrash outwardly to make us identify with your pain. The thing is Dolly, I already feel it just as strongly as you do.
I hurt so much. I hurt because I don’t know how to fix things, don’t know how to get you to where you want to be.

All I can do is cuddle you, let you air your frustration and encourage you to succeed…even if this means picking you up after every single fail.
I’m proud to see you toddle, so grateful for the progress I see you make. You’re no longer my baby and I promise I won’t treat you as one, I won’t hold you back in ways that may be harmful to your development.
Together, we’ll do this. Together, we’ll make sure you have your moments…but if, somehow, we can’t – please remember that I’ll never ever give up on you. I’ve said before that I’ll carry you forever. If there ever comes a time I can’t carry you any longer, I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you still succeed in everything your heart desires. I’ll push you, I’ll guide you, I’ll always support you.