Love vs hate

I don’t even know where to begin with writing this post as there are no words to describe the sadness of the barbarities that happened in Manchester a week ago today. My heart breaks for the friends and families of the ones that lost their lives in such a mindless act of evil. There are too many lives lost for senseless hatred and so many of them innocent children. As a mum I can’t contemplate the unimaginal pain that parents have to go through when losing a child and this past week I have been telling Elbie that I love her more than I usually do and hugging her that little bit tighter and holding on for longer. 

 

It scares me knowing that we are bringing Elbie up in a world that has so much hate. And as we sit here on the Eurostar where there are lots of strangers and crowds of people it makes me feel worried. I am so sad to say that I am but it’s the truth, I panic about taking her to busy areas or big events but of course I shouldn’t let myself panic because we cannot let them win because hatred can’t win. Hatred is a strong word but the one word that is stronger than hate, is love. I can’t keep Elbie away from hate or keep her wrapped up in cotton wool. I can’t never let her leave my side for the rest of my life and we most certainly won’t stop travelling but what I can do is educate her and teach her how to love. The evil that is out there right now that is promoting terror prey on the vulnerable and brainwash them to hate. I want to bring Elbie up knowing hope and to be brave and have courage. I want her to see the good and never discriminate for any reason whether it be gender, race, religion, sexuality or what hair colour someone decides to have. We are all humans and stripped back of all of these things this is all that we are, all exactly the same, human. I recently listened to a TED talk by Caroline Paul about teaching your daughters to be brave and have courage and it made me think. She spoke about studies that had shown parents consistently tell girls to be careful and not to do things like climbing while letting boys climb without the warning. This is why girls grow up ‘not being brave’ and boys grow up to be ‘brave’ because they have been taught from such a young age that girls shouldn’t have courage and  boys should. I want Elbie to be brave and I’m not just talking about the physical stuff like climbing trees and skateboarding. She is already pretty brave when it comes to that and is always the first baby to go off exploring and after I listened to the talk I realised that part of that was probably down to her naturally having some confidence but a lot of it was probably due to us as parents. We let her go off and find some adventure and discover her abilities rather than keep her by our feet at all times and constantly tell her to be wary of things. Don’t worry we don’t ever let her out of our site or let her play with knives or anything but I do feel that we are pretty relaxed about her gaining new experiences and encourage her to push her boundries. I also want her to have courage in what she believes in and to be brave and respect others. Not to be cowardly and fearful and to never choose hate over love. 

 

The night after the Manchester bomb a few of my close friends and I, who all children under the age of 5 were all saying how scared we were and that every tiny part of us wants to protect our children from everything that is bad in the world but as I have already said, this is impossible. We can’t and the same as our parents couldn’t all those years ago. I’m sure they still feel like they want to shield us from the bad but what they have done for us is that they have tought us right from wrong and shown us how to love. My friends and I have all been extremely lucky with our guidance and we all have the same hopes for our children. I’m sure all the parents that have had their lives ripped apart last Monday had the same hopes too. Let’s not let hatred win, not ever. Let’s teach our children to be brave and be full of love. My thoughts are with the people of Manchester and all the other families around the world who have had someone taken from them. 
Love rules. 

 

Love rules

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One

It has been a while since I have written anything and to be honest I regret not writing things down. So much has happened since my last post and I’m worried I will forget the little things. It’s difficult finding the time these days as every moment I get to myself I either want to sleep or sit mindlessly staring at the tv. This I know is not very helpful to life but sometimes, most of the time, it’s all I can find the energy to do. So before I get distracted again and get cross with myself I’m writing about it.

 

Tomorrow my little Elbie turns one and I’m feeling so many emotions. I could never put into words how incredible the past year has been and also could have only imagined how much my life was about to change a year ago. Becoming a mother as I have said so many times has made me feel like this is what I have always been working towards and what I have been put on this planet to do. It is beyond magical. The day I found out I was pregnant with Elbie is the moment my life changed forever. My mind and body was consumed with nurturing and loving this tiny little bean inside of me which at the time I referred to as Blip. Our tiny little Blip. On my cycle to work I would talk to it and tell it how much I would love it and protect it while constantly worrying about it not becoming a reality. I was 17 weeks pregnant when I first felt a flutter of movement and as the months past Blip became Bump and our dream was definitely becoming reality. I couldn’t believe how much I loved this thing growing inside of my belly when I hadn’t even met it yet. My whole world was now about protecting my bump and watching and waiting while my belly grew. 

Pregnancy felt like a spiritual journey for me and I felt so lucky to be a woman, to be able to grow a human while doing my day to day business. How fucking amazing is that! Our due date was getting closer and closer and nesting became my favourite pastime. With the nursery painted and the cot up I began to wash and iron all of baby’s tiny new clothes (they were never ironed again that’s for sure). I read Katherine Graves‘ hynobirthing book over and over again, which I couldn’t recommend more and I was starting to look forward to labour and couldn’t wait to meet our little baby.
 

Just two days ago I was walking down the street pushing Elbie in her pram like I do almost every day and I had a flash back of waddling on the same road on the same route to the park. I was heavily pregnant with just days to go, trying to imagine what it was all going to be like. So much excitement and anticipation into the big unknown of motherhood. Thinking about this made me so happy and also made me chuckle to myself to think about how naive pregnant me was about labour and becoming a mum. You can try to prepare as much as you like but the truth is nothing can prepare you. On reflection I shouldn’t have wished my last days of pregnancy away and enjoyed being able to have a hot cup of tea. Appreciated being able to sleep for a solid period longer than two hours, although sleeping was getting pretty tough at 9 months pregnant anyway but at least I had the option of staying in bed. I should have read a book, had long uninterupted showers, enjoyed having a tidy flat and most of all taken in how incredible my husband was and savored our last days together before we became three. Of course a year on I can do most of these things again (I still haven’t read a book and definitely don’t have a tidy flat) but my goodness a year ago my life was about to get turned upside down, inside out and shaken about but in the best way ever!

Elbie Marjorie Josephine Noel was born at 19.59 on the 18th May 2016 weighing 6lbs. I was overcome with relief and the amount of love that I had for this tiny little slippery wrinkly bundle I had in my arms. This small human that was half me and half Eddie, we had created the most perfect baby that had ever been seen. Everything felt so surreal. I was a mum and this was my daughter. I remember scooping her up in the water and holding her for the first time, holding her tight to my chest and she looked up into my eyes. That was the moment my whole world changed again. I didn’t know that love that strong was possible, it scared me. I never ever wanted to let her go, not even for a second to get out of the pool.

 

The next 6 weeks were a haze with a mix of euphoria and tiredness. Tiredness like no other, tiredness, just oh so so tired. How can a baby that practically sleeps all of the time not sleep at all?! I couldn’t believe how tired I was. Even when I did sleep I slept with one eye open, constantly checking that Elbie was still breathing. Looking back now though I look back with such fondness on those nights that I would be up while the world around me slept. I would hear the little husky cry of Elbie next to my bed and drag myself up into the living room, wrap myself and Elbie up in blankets and put on Mad Men. I watched episode after episode with Elbie intermittently guzzling and falling asleep for a few minutes then feeding some more. No one told me that new borns feed for hours at a time, like many other things I would come across as a new mum that people don’t talk about. Each day we learnt something new and got to know Elbie and she got to know us too. We would spend our days gazing at our perfect daughter in absolute awe. We couldn’t believe she was ours to keep. One night after Eddie had sent me to catch up on some sleep I heard him playing Prince’s The Most Beautiful Girl in the World to Elbie on his phone. I was the happiest girl in the world.

The weeks past and so did the months. Each milestone celebrated and I found my self constantly working towards the next. Elbie’s first smile and first laugh. She made us work for that laugh and the first time I heard her laugh was when I was dancing and singing in the kitchen. It was the best sound I had ever heard and still is. She began to roll then sit and then came the weaning stage which was so much fun. She felt like she was on the cusp of crawling forever but as soon as she got it boy was she quick. This was when I learnt to stop earning for the next milestone. Why oh why was I so keen for her to crawl? Watching and guiding Elbie’s growth and development is both the biggest joy and fear I have ever known. I’m sure this is something every parent feels, it is such a huge responsibility and what if I get it wrong? I do know that I try my best every day though to teach her right from wrong and how to be mindful and strong.  

Now here we are about to celebrate a whole year, a whole year of Elbie Marjorie Josephine Noel. A whole year of being parents. A whole year of pure unconditional love and happiness. 

Happy 1st birthday little chicken! 
Xxxx