Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

First day at School...

Today was Emily's first day at school! My little baby is a baby no more...

I think as the world has evolved and full-time childcare has become more the norm for children under the age of 4, the significance of the first day of school has maybe been lost a little.

I vaguely remember my first day, my mum took me to the gates and waved goodbye. I remember feeling excited but also extremely apprehensive. With the exception of spending about 10 hours a week with Manny (my child-minder) I had always been with either my mother or my father until that point. Emily however has spent the last 2 years in childcare of one variety or another. Last year whilst I was studying she was there full-time, Monday to Friday. So I guess the transition into school is a slightly smoother one for her. However no less important! 

I am starting a new job in less than 2 weeks and as excited as I am about the prospect of going back to work again (which I honestly am...promise), I keep getting these waves of sadness that things will never be quite the same again. Life moves forward and as my boyfriend said there is nothing you can do to change that. We are all getting older. I just wish I had realised the significance of the time I had with Emily when I had it. Sometimes I think my sadness is connected to guilt, guilt that maybe I wasn't the best mother I hoped I would be. Haaa isn't that the parent's curse though, always feeling like you could have done better?! However each day when I wake up I try a little harder than the day before to be the best mum that I can be because in the end I guess that is all any of us can do. So school has started and with it the beginning of a new era.
Camping in Scotland  

Ready for School 
Big grown up girl 


Saturday, 24 August 2013

A moment of clarity...

Today Emily fell down the cellar stairs! One moment she was stood in the hall chatting away, the next she leant against the door and I watched as it gave way and she toppled backwards through the now open door. As the scene unravelled in front of me, every single moment in slow motion (whilst in reality the whole thing probably lasted about 7 seconds), I watched as my daughter tumbled down each and every step just a second ahead of me. I chased after her, desperately reaching out to try and stop her before she hit the bottom. With every single step I prayed that she wouldn't smash her head into the concrete steps or the brick wall, that she wouldn't break her arms or her legs or worse still her fragile, little neck. I prayed that I wouldn't have to watch my daughter die, right there is front of my eyes, just out of my reach and that I wouldn't be able to save her!! I am her mother and I wouldn't be able to save her! And with every step she cried out to me and somewhere around me I could hear this frantic voice screaming her name over and over again! It was my voice I realised afterwards. I reached the bottom a second after she did and I scooped her into my arms and I sobbed and choked on my own tears as she cried over and over again 'mummy, mummy, mummy'! Maybe you think I am being a little melodramatic and forgive me if I appear so but those 7 seconds where the scariest of my life to date!   

She is fine, a few scrapes, a bruise on her forehead but otherwise she is absolutely fine! But today was monumental, it provided one of those rare moments of clarity. It brought home the fragility of life and once again reminded me of how vulnerable my love for Emily makes me. How this one little girl changed my whole life, how she taught me to love without conditions or constraints. And how that love scares the hell out of me! 

I know that she is okay and as advised I will try not to dwell on it too much but the sick feeling I got in my stomach when I had to go into the cellar just a few minutes ago made me realise that I had to at least write it down. Get it out of my head and where else to go but to my blog. 

So I know it's been a while but as always thanks for listening x    

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Here's to ANOTHER new year!

I have neglected my blog a lot recently! Sometimes it's hard to continue writing about the same subject without feeling like you are repeating yourself a little or a lot even. 

Well it's January 1st 2013 and I can say as Christmas periods go that one was fairly horrific and I am not unhappy to see the back of all the festivities. I am even contemplating taking down the Christmas tree today. This was my first Christmas without the joy of Emily on Christmas eve and this being my favourite of the festive days, I discovered as I have always suspected that Christmas is most definitely for Children! Without Emily it was just another day. Although I was lucky to have my lovely mother, sister and boyfriend trying their very best to keep me happy without them I may have taken to my bed and pulled the duvet back over my head! 

Emily joined me on Christmas day and managed to open all her presents within a 20 minute period, a record even for her! Then we sat down to enjoy a lovely dinner cooked by my sister and watch a little bit of festive television that included the new Snowman and Snowdog.

Boxing day I was greeted by a phone call from my sister asking me to rush up to my mother's house as she had collapsed on the kitchen floor and the paramedics has been called. They wanted to escort her to hospital via helicopter. She decided quite sensibly I think though that A&E was the last place for a sick person to be on boxing day. So she took to her bed and remained there till yesterday. Fortunately although far from better she was starting to look a lot more like herself yesterday when we went for a short visit. 

I would like to add that I am extremely grateful for all the support around me, it's times like this that you realise how lucky you are to have so many people that care about you, your family or both. 

It is a new year and so much has changed recently and continues to change around me. I am not sure that I will write as often anymore as I have done but I will always come back to my blog in times of need. 

Happy New Year I honestly hope it's a good one for all the people that I love! Although I imagine it will be like all the others before it, full of great moments and not so great moments but I think that's just life. x


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Somebody I used to know...

All parents know that having a child changes your life. But sometimes some of us fail to appreciate how much of our lives we lose in them and how much of our future is invested in them.

The person I was before no longer exists this I know.  Occasionally I imagine that I could once again  play out that person be 'just Anna' but in reality I know that won't ever be the case. Which is okay, I learnt a long time ago to accept that and it's no real sacrifice for the sake of having Emily in my life. She's worth the identity crisis!

So now I am a mother that takes precedence over all else in my life and everything I do or don't do comes back to this in the end. People may tell you it doesn't but truly it always does!  I go to University for me, so I can get a degree to better my life but do you want to know what I always say, when asked, are my main reasons for wanting to better my life? Yes that's right for my daughter, to make her life better and make her proud of me!  I will always be judged on it, known for it and the words mummy, mum or mother will be said a million times more in a year than my own name. I will be defined by it while I study, when I start work, in my relationships, my friendships. It may even define whether I am loved or not loved.

So what happens when becoming a mother means the person that's meant to love you stops loving you? Or maybe they realise that they do love you but by the time they do it's too late. And then everyone that comes after may only love you depending on this fact, you being a mother or how they can relate to you as mother, not just a women or another person. You are never just yourself ever again. You aren't complete without this part of you being right there out in the light for everyone to see and so you are never again loved for just you I guess. Interesting...

Ironically the only people that may actually love me for being just me are my daughter and of course my own mother but then she knows the score.

Friday, 23 November 2012


I hate meal times! Well correction, I hate meal times with Emily!

For the last 2+ years, every single meal time has been a fight. I get indigestion just at the thought of having to sit down and try and persuade Emily to eat something. It's not that Emily doesn't eat, it's just that all she wants to do is (what I call) graze. Fruit, yoghurts, crackers and cheese, cereal, toast, etc...But nothing in the form of an actually meal unless it's for anyone other than me and then she will basically eat whatever is put in front of her as the nursery take delight in telling me each time I collect her! I suppose I should be grateful that she at least eats proper meals some of the time.

I try not to make a big deal out of it, I ignore it, I refuse to give her anything else to eat if she won't eat her tea, I shout at her or cajole her, I get her to cook with me. I try everything, everything and nothing works. I know it's a battle of wills but I feel like I'm losing all the time. The worst thing is that unlike other difficult situations that arise with children I don't feel able to push this one because I'm terrified I will make her weird about food. I keep hoping she will grow out of it but we are coming up for three years of this and sometimes I just want to cry! In fact honestly sometimes I have cried.

Every so often I give up on the whole meal fiasco and I just allow her to graze which makes us both happy but then I start feeling inadequate because my daughter won't sit and eat a meal for me, so we start the whole process again. It's exhausting!

I think in all honestly I am exhausted right now, some days I feel like I'm walking through treacle! I want to be a good mum, I want to be a good student, I want to find the time to clean my house for god sake! I want to stop worrying about money all the time and manage a full nights sleep without waking up in a panic about something but most of all I just want my daughter to stop fighting me on everything (or at least most days it feels that way)!

Take last weekend for instance, I decided to take her up town to see the lights switched on and she spent all her time running off into massive crowds of people, moaning or crying! The final straw was when she had a massive tantrum in the middle of the main street. I could have quite happily left her there and all I was trying to do was something nice! Mentally I know she is only three years old, she is like all other three year old but emotionally it's hard and I feel alone, tired and fed up. I know I'm not alone but it doesn't half feel like it sometimes. I apologise to my readers and I appreciate that I am moaning about life.  This is just how it is and I get that but sometimes I have to let it all out or else I think I might go mad. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! Right I feel a little better now thanks...ha ha ha :) So much for the carefree student life, I think that bit passed me by!

And as I finished writing this blog my beautiful daughter passed me an envelope whilst singing happy birthday (incidentally it is not my birthday today) and this is what was inside.
So despite all of the above I do love being a mum, really I do, even if it's blo*dy hard work sometimes!!  

Sunday, 14 October 2012

It's been a while...

Wow I realised today that I haven't written in quite some time! 

Life has been a little hectic recently and I currently feel like I am living about three different lives, simultaneously. 

I am a mum, a student and have just started a new relationship. All of which are extremely important to me in different ways! As always Emily is my main priority and the focus in everything that I do but I have to say it is nice to have other things in my life. Things that feel like they are just for me! 

University is extremely time consuming and intense, finding the energy to be fully committed to it whilst also being fully committed to Emily is challenging at times. I feel a little overstretched and being on my own adds to the weight of responsibility massively. However as always this was my choice and so I endeavour not to complain too much. I also appreciate how lucky I am to have the opportunity to re-train at this point in my life and I do it with Emily at the forefront of my mind always, as with everything that I do. In this instance ultimately my desire is to make a better life for the two of us and to make her proud of me.

My new relationship....

I won't talk too much about because 1) it's private and 2) I'm not sure my new boyfriend would like me discussing us so publicly (ha ha). However I will say this, I like having someone in my life that makes me smile constantly even when I don't always feel like smiling! It was unexpected but sometimes the best things in life are I think! I like the laughter, the fun and having someone to hold my hand while I sleep. Anyway I think I have probably already said too much ;) 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Occupational Therapy...

So last week was the end of an era! It was my last week as a full-time, stay at home mum. As of next week I will be a full-time mother/University student! This week...well I'm on holiday! Not literally you understand but Emily has started nursery a week early, to allow me time to collect my thoughts and organise this big change in our lives.

As of next Monday I will be enrolled as a full-time student O.T which stands for...wait for it...Occupational Therapist.......(pause)

No, I know you still don't know what I am talking about do you?! (sigh)

Having a mother as an O.T has meant I have spent the last 31 years (well okay maybe only 25 of those) trying to explain what exactly an O.T is and what it is that they do! On the rare occasion these two words are met with vague recognition and not a glazed expression I am overjoyed at the prospect that maybe the person I am dealing with might possibly know what an Occupational Therapist is! And upon meeting someone within the health care profession that does know what an O.T is I am practically nauseous with excitement! Sad I know but I lead a rather un-rock n roll lifestyle these days so it doesn't take much to excite me!

So okay for all you people out there that do not know what it is an Occupational Therapist does the COT (College of Occupational Therapy) describes it as follows:

"Occupational therapists view people as occupational beings. People are intrinsically active and creative, needing to engage in a balanced range of activities in their daily lives in order to maintain health and wellbeing. People shape, and are shaped by, their experiences and interactions with their environments. They create identity and meaning through what they do and have the capacity to transform themselves through premeditated and autonomous action.
The purpose of occupational therapy is to enable people to fulfil, or to work towards fulfilling, their potential as occupational beings. Occupational therapists promote function, quality of life and the realisation of potential in people who are experiencing occupational deprivation, imbalance or alienation. They believe that activity can be an effective medium for remediating dysfunction, facilitating adaptation and recreating identity."

Still confused?! 

Basically think of anything that you do on a daily basis, bathing, dressing, walking down the stairs, leaving the house, going to work...anything at all. Now imagine for whatever reason you couldn't perform that task anymore. For example you had an accident, developed a mental illness, were brain damaged, had a stroke, were diagnosed with a debilitating disease or maybe you were born with a disability that means you were never able to perform that task without assistance in the first place. Well that is what O.T's are for and no not to do it for you but to provide you with the support you need to either help you perform that task again or adapt your life around the fact that you cannot do that task alone and unaided anymore. They provide people with the necessary tools, whether that is re-teaching tasks, breaking them down into manageable steps, teaching people how to cope with a change in environment and how that change may effect their daily occupations or providing equipment or adaptations to a person's property to enable them to live more independently and more comfortably. So that is a very basic explanation of what an O.T is and what they do but if you remember that it will take me 3 years to qualify on a course that is a mixture of Anatomy & Physiology, Psychology and Sociology. Then you start to get an idea of the variety and scope of the job. 

So I don't expect anyone I know to ever ask me again what exactly it is an Occupational Therapist that understood?! Ha ha....