Being honest and open is one thing I try to stay true to as a blogger. I write with my heart on my sleeve which is why you have read about the hardships of my pregnancy, the pregnancy scare we had, the tough days we have as Momma and Papa Bear and my recent spiralling descent into the maddening world of anxiety. If you follow me on social media you’ll know that my honesty is not only on the blog but also on my Facebook page, my Instagram and wholeheartedly on twitter which has become my favourite social media platform. A twitter friend named my anxiety and it’s stuck so let’s talk about this Frickin’ Flamingo and how social media has had an effect on it.
A is three years old. Almost four. She’s strong. She’s passionate. She’s opinionated. She knows what she likes. She makes her own choices. There is not a lot we can do to steer her away from what she chooses. Not that we would want to. She makes eclectic choices and amazes us when something obscure becomes her favourite. She is passionate and loyal to what she chooses and does not forget something she once loved. I sometimes wonder why she makes the decisions she does.
It’s taken me until motherhood to realise how important certain friendships are. I can count my friends on my two hands and still have a few fingers left over. But that doesn’t matter. I don’t need a dozen friends around me, I need the ones I have. The ones who matter and the ones I know will always be there. No matter what kind of shit happens in my life, no matter what temporary distance comes between us, no matter how quickly life takes over. There’s still always a place in my life for the friends that matter.
When I started writing Over Heaven’s Hill over a year ago, my aim was to write about how parenthood changed me. Changed my personality, my outlook on life, and my ordinary routines. Over the year, my focus has changed a little and I now write, more freely, about the difficult days, the hardships and the worries we all seem to have when it comes to parenting and how the changes that have occurred in my life are not always welcome. Of course, I write about the good days too, but being honest about how drastic life changes when adding children to the mix is important for me. And hopefully you appreciate my honesty.
I’ve been blogging somewhat sporadically the last few weeks. Gone is my focus, my routine and my schedule. It’s less to do with the fact that we have a five week old baby and more to do with that fact that a little over two weeks ago I accepted the fact that I was suffering from either anxiety or Postnatal Depression. D was only two weeks old and it had hit me hard. In the beginning I questioned whether it was the baby blues as the pregnancy hormones began to leave my body and sent me into a spiral. But now that I am five weeks postpartum and I’m still experiencing the painful pang of what feels like depression mixed with anxiety and confusion, I realise that I need help. I was nervous about publishing this post because it’s incredibly personal, probably the most personal I’ve written on the blog as it leaves me somewhat vulnerable, but if even one person relates to this post and realises that they too are suffering which then leads them to get help, then this post has been worth publishing.
Today is our 11th Wedding Anniversary. This day eleven years ago, I married my best friend and the only man I have ever been in love with. I know for a fact, that I will always love him more than I love our children. Some may find this remark scathing, unloving and possibly cruel to say. But think about it – can you honestly say that you love your children the same or more than your partner? I’ve always known that my love for B is stronger, closer and more powerful than my love as a mother to our children. And I’m not ashamed or shy to admit it.
I missed it, after an entire year of trawling through emotions, stories and ideas about parenting, I missed my One Year Blog Anniversary. I had a pretty good reason though – our newly born baby has been nestled in my arms for the past week and I’ve been revelling in baby cuddles as much as I can with a three year old running around me also looking for attention. Needless to say, I’ve been a little preoccupied and the blog has taken a major backseat. But I can’t let this week go out without recognising what I think is a major achievement in my writing career. Over Heaven’s Hill has been on the go for an entire year. I posted my very first post about “Becoming Momma Bear” on the 30th May, 2016. I’ve been a blogger for a whole year now. It’s zipped past so damn quick and been a bit of a rollercoaster as I’ve shared my experiences with you all. I’ve loved every minute and I can’t see Over Heaven’s Hill stopping any time soon.
Today marks a very unusual day for our family. A bitter sweet day at the end of an era. Today, is my last working day and technically the start of my year long maternity leave. The start of my year as a Stay-At-Home-Mum. As well as being the beginning of a journey I’m looking forward to and equally terrified of, it’s the end of a time in our lives that admittedly seemed never ending. Three years ago, plus one month, I went back to work after a very, very short maternity leave. I took the standard six months which in reality meant A was a tiny five months old when I wandered back into my office in April 2014. That beautiful, small baby was handed over every day B and I went to work to an incredible woman, B’s Aunty P.
Since A was three months old, we’ve read to her. We’ve always been a family of book lovers and when we moved house in 2015, we had more books in boxes than kitchen supplies. A is no different and she hasbooks to choose from every night to read before bed. And every single night, we read at least five books without fail. It’s a tradition I never see us stopping, even when Little Bean comes along who I’m sure will get in on the act quick enough. In fact, she already has a little library of books started of her own. Personally, I believe that reading books from a young age is so important for so many reasons.
This week on In Conversation With, we are joined by the beautiful Louise who writes a parenting blog at Mummy Miller. Louise is currently on maternity leave and works as a nurse in the NHS. I have absolute admiration for nurses and midwves. Working in a maternity hospital myself, I see how dedicated and hard working they all are. I absolutely love that Louise married her childhood sweetheart. Herself and her now husband met when they were 15 and married after eight years together. I was 17 when I met B and love that I have lived almost half of my life with him already. Remember to check out Louise’s blog and to follow her on twitter and facebook.