Tag Archives: motherhood

Dedicated to my Mum

Dear Mum,

As it’s Mothers Day I have decided to dedicate my blog to you. And it’s not because I’ve forgotten your present and this is a free alternative, but instead a little extra treat – I hope! When I thought about what I would write today, I felt a bit overwhelmed at how much our relationship has evolved over the years. As my Mum you are my teacher, my counsellor, my friend, my confidante and my shoulder to cry on. We share a sadistic sense of humour and both have the ability to laugh to the point where no sound comes out. You and I can cry at the silliest things and once one of us starts it is impossible for the other one to stay dry-eyed.

You were a stay-at-home Mum who juggled jobs so not to disrupt me and big bro’s upbringing. You must have had enviable calves as a young Mum as you walked us on 4 school runs so we could come home for lunch. I remember being in junior school and coming home for a bowl of Scoth Broth and a 20 minute Sullivan’s episode before we went back in for the afternoon. You provided everything we needed for school and happily ferried me to brownies, swimming and ballet. And even though the family budget was on a shoestring it never felt like we went without, though I’m sure both you and Dad did. Our annual holidays hold fond memories, travelling by train before we had a car was such an adventure for my young mind even though poor Dad was our pack-horse for the journey with all the luggage. Then we had our beloved Morris Marina, allowing us the space to cram in all our things, me driving big bro mad as I complained of feeling car sick as you entertained us all the way. Whenever I hear Billy Joel I am instantly transported back to car journeys to one of our coastal retreats. Our holidays consisted of simple pleasures, silly walks in the dusk along the beach, hot chocolate and word games, Dad dragging us along in the sea for what seemed like hours in our inflatable dinghy.

As a child you taught me to strive for what I wanted in life. You despaired of me in my sometimes volatile teenage years when I was, admittedly, a little wayward at times. But I always had huge respect for you and knew your advice was right, even if my teenage hormone induced stubbornness didn’t allow me to voice it. I remember writing you many letters of apology whenever we argued as I hated the thought of upsetting you, but as a pig-headed 15-year-old, didn’t want to say sorry out loud. As I stumbled briefly, unsure of where my future lay, instead of lecturing me you took me to the bustling streets of London during lunchtime and gently nudged my attention in the way in which I should go. You never let me think I couldn’t achieve what I wanted in life, you have always told me to aim that little bit higher and it has been advice that I have lived by. My amazing career would not have happened without your encouragement along the way. You have taught me to never be prejudiced or narrow-minded in life. When I upped sticks at 21 to move to Brighton with two dear friends of mine, who happened to be gay men, you not only accepted it but you and Dad came to Gay Pride with us!

Throughout family illnesses you have never faltered, when times were tough you always managed to put a brave face on so that we could feel OK about everything. I knew that I could ask for your help with anything and you would find a way to make it OK. You are the most mild-mannered, polite and dignified lady but I’ve seen you berate teachers and doctors who have let me and my big bro down. When I became a Mum to my eldest son you were a patient adviser but allowed me to find my own way of parenting without ever patronising. When the twins came along and I already had a 3-year-old in tow and a husband on shifts, the cards were pretty much stacked against me. When I began to resemble a corpse on a regular basis, finding it hard to keep my head above water, you dropped everything to come over and help which included your job in the end. We would juggle my babies and my toddler, attending playgroup’s, going for picnics, disrupting once quiet coffee shops for an outing. We made camps in the living room, had craft days and whenever we had nursery rhymes playing we would always exchange knowing amused glances when we heard ‘here we go loopy loo’ as it was tantamount to how we felt most days.

Now my children are all at school and you and Dad both retired I don’t see you as much. We still speak every day and you are still a pillar of support with the kids. But I do think fondly of afternoons when I had dropped my eldest at pre school, we managed to get the twins down for a nap and we would have that 1 hour of respite to collapse in a heap, chat, laugh and promise ‘to get up in a minute to sort out the mess’.

When I became a Mum I changed so much as a person. My life had a different perspective, my nature was a lot less selfish as I dedicated my whole time to my offspring. It is easy to forget the person you once were and I think we as children forget that our Mums were people too. I have lent on you for so much in my life and it took me a while to realise that you were a young woman once with dreams and ambitions and experiences of your own and not put on this earth just to care for me and my big bro. You will always be our caregiver and role model as it is a role that you want to provide and which we need you to be. But most importantly above all else, I am proudest to call you my friend. I love you Mum. Happy Mothers Day. XX

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Our Four Legged Friend

Apologies that my blog is a little late this week, the reason being is very much due to the subject of the blog…. Our new dog!

I must be mad. That is the general consensus from my friends and family when I decided to add to our family unit with a puppy. Raised eyebrows was a common reaction from most people I told of my intentions. Many of our nearest and dearest are dog lovers so appreciated my ‘need’ but were also of the opinion of “you have 3 children, the twins have just started school, why are you giving yourself the extra work?” . Or I was accused of falling into the category of getting a dog instead of having a baby, as a lot of Mums once all their children are at school, have that urge to pop another one out. This is SO not true in my case, after twins I have pretty much had any broody bone ripped from my being. The only urge I have when I see a newborn is to appreciate the fact I don’t have a sleepless night ahead of me. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing “Auntie” to my friends offspring but I will happily hand them back without a moments thought of wanting another one for me.

But that same insane need you have to get pregnant, I felt a touch of it recently on the hunt for a puppy. When you decide that you want to get pregnant, and in most cases there is often a wait involved, you go from being a rational person to a slightly mental one calculating ovulation dates like Carol Vorderman, introducing strange ‘fertility’ foods into yours and hubby’s diets and dribbling with bump envy at every passing pregnant woman. And why is it that there are so many pregnant women around when you are feeling a bit barren? Do they radio through to each other when they see you coming, “Desperate to get pregnant woman approaching Costa Coffee, all pregnant women fall in immediately, over!”

My need for a dog started a few weeks ago when we met up with some dear friends of ours over the country park with the kids and their new puppy. I had thought about getting a dog since the twins had started school, hubby wasn’t keen so I brainwashed encouraged him with the usual mantras of, “it’s good to teach the kids the responsibility of owning a pet” and “I feel I need that added security when you’re on a night shift”, but we had agreed that it would be too much to deal with. So quite like handing a baby to a reluctant husband to hold, we met our friends new dog so I could manipulate encourage his heart strings. Their puppy is adorable and the kids loved it so was able to add “it will enrich our family unit” to the list. My hubby was tempted, as he does loves dogs, but was able to hand it back and forget about it, but it had switched something on in his mind and had also got the kids on my side to bug him about it too!

Two weeks later I had been ‘keeping my eye out on dog rescue sites’ which really meant scouring every dog home in the country for my desired breed, a Labrador puppy. To buy new from a breeder they are £600+ but it wasn’t just the expense that put me off, I really wanted to help a dog in need of a home. Sadly there were endless offers of other breeds such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Collies being the most available. I was tempted with one Collie puppy called Chaos but thought would sound a bit mad shouting that across a park, like I was trying to incite some sort of riot!

Ironically enough it was hubby who finally found our dog via Gumtree whilst looking for motorbike gear, he reckons. He found a 6 month old Golden Lab called Chester who was looking to be rehomed as his owner was moving and couldn’t take him. He was a pedigree so would still have to pay for that privilege but at a second-hand price – bless. We made the fatal mistake of making a visit to its foster home to see how we felt about him, well unless you are pretty soulless, visiting an Andrex puppy in cramped conditions looking at you like the cat from Shrek, it was pretty impossible not to say yes to him.

So Chester has come to live with us. He is very kind natured although has a habit of nipping which we are trying to stop, he is great company, loves the kids and is so at home with us already. The kids are happy to walk him with me and my son hasn’t even picked up his DS since Chester arrived so I think I’ve fulfilled all my previous mantras. All except one that is, the security issue. Last night while hubby was working a night shift, there was a noise in the garden next door, Chester shot up and ran to the door to be let out. I opened the door and he looked at me as much to say “come with me it’s a bit dark out there..” I had worked out it was next door’s Springer Spaniel so wasn’t worried so I accompanied my ‘guard dog’ out into the back garden at which point the Spaniel barked and Chester went flying back indoors with his tail between his legs leaving me outside in the dark, on my own! Oh well at least he is starting to look a bit big and scary, even if he isn’t!