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.
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.
What does family mean to you? I grew up with the idea of happy families impressed in my mind and feel lucky and privileged that we are a close unit. I don’t know if my parents set out to create a family life and childhood for us that was loving and memorable or if it was something that was inherently natural to them. My parents impress me every day and more so now that I have a child of my own. They have a relationship that is ever lasting and beautiful to watch. They understand each other as though they are one person and love and support each other in a way that only best friends can. I admire them and I thank them for giving me a solid and beautiful idea of what family life should be.
I’m not talking about when you bring a newborn home and the world suddenly seems very big and very scary. Or when the weight of responsibility for a beautiful helpless human lies heavy on your shoulders. You feel so alone because you think you don’t know what you’re doing (when really you do!) I don’t mean when the excitement of the first few weeks dies down and suddenly friends and family visit less and the house is quiet and looms large with its multitude of tasks. And I’m not talking about the loneliness that comes with being somewhat isolated on maternity leave when you wish after the old norm of the daily grind which included adult conversation and hot cups of tea with colleagues.
The Grandparent Bond is strong, supportive, and beautiful to watch grow. I have an amazing relationship with my parents. I love and respect them to such an extent that I simply can’t put it in to words. I look up to them for everything and place them high on a pedestal whether they like it or not. When I say these things to them, my Mum would answer, “We’re not perfect”. But I think they are.
I mentioned before how B is a ridiculously funny man. He has a sense of humor that matches the quick witted ramblings of Sean Lock and Lee Mack, except I think he’s funnier. No really he is. I know everyone thinks their husband or partner or dog is funny. Humor is of course one of the top traits a woman looks for in a man, so if he’s not funny, then dear God, throw him back.