Five years ago this time of the year we got some very surprising news. A very surprising bun in the oven! Glenn and I hadn’t been together long so we were very shocked when we received the news.
A lot has happened since then, we have had our ups and downs, moved out and moved back in again and February this year he popped the question!
So we are busy planning our beautiful spring wedding for April 2017 – how stressful is wedding planning?! Scratch that, how stressful are ‘simple’ things like place cards?! The other day I had a full on break down and cry about invitations. What has my life become.
Anyway, looking towards the next chapter in our lives it made me think about the past five years and how we have come to this point so I thought about writing this post about five things I wish I knew five years ago..
1. That it’s OK to have mixed emotions when you have a baby – When I was pregnant, I thought life would be perfect. I thought I would bloom during pregnancy, sail through the birth and devote every second of the rest of my life to my darling daughter. I thought I would never be unhappy again, thought I would never cry, I used to look at other Mums and wonder why they ever looked down. They had the gift of a perfect baby, what was there to complain about. Turns out, a lot. There were times when Violet was little that I think I didn’t sleep for over 72 hours and most of those hours were also spent crying. How can something that brings you so much joy also make you so stressed and exhausted? I didn’t think I was experiencing it right. There must be something wrong with me. Why am I not enjoying every second? I used to be upset and felt like I needed time alone but then I used to cry because I had those thoughts. It was a vicious cycle. But turns out, a lot of Mums feel that way. And Dads! You are not alone, and the tiredness won’t last forever. Soon she will have lie ins!
2. People aren’t trying to annoy you, they are just wanting to help you – I wish I accepted more help when Violet was little. I felt like I had to do it all by myself or I wasn’t being a good mum. I felt judged even though looking back, nobody cared! It was only me who was judging myself and no one else. Family would offer to have Violet for a few hours and I would say no, inside my head I would be screaming ‘YES PLEASE!’ but somehow the words just didn’t come out. Looking back that is probably when I started to get poorly. Not a lot of people know but I was quite poorly after having Violet but it didn’t really appear until 2013. It was just after I stopped breastfeeding and we’re not sure if it was the hormones or something but I really did hit rock bottom. I couldn’t keep it in anymore. It took months/years for me to get better and I still have bad days/weeks now but I know to cope with it now. I know the signs and so do my family and friends. I always ask for help now but maybe if I had asked for help back then I wouldn’t have got into such a bad place back then. I am not ashamed of suffering with mental health issues and I believe that it was life’s way of telling me that I needed to break down completely, to rebuild myself stronger for the future.
3. Your Mum is giving you advice because she loves you – When my Mum gives me advice about Violet, she drives me crazy! She says the most obvious things like ‘Is Violet wearing a coat today?’. It drives me crazy and it has turned into a little joke now but I know she means it. We might bicker all the time but I know she says those things out of love. I forget that not only does my Mum worry about me but worries about her granddaughter too! I can’t cope with just the one child, never mind if that child had a child..
4. Date nights are allowed and are so important – Olivia, do not feel bad about going on a date night. Get your heels on and get out that door. It’s OK to not be ‘Mummy’ all the time, you are allowed to be girlfriend, friend, daughter and a twenty-something who is allowed to laugh and have fun!
5. Having a child really will change your life – When I fell pregnant, my Nan told me that my life will never be the same again. And of course, I didn’t believe her. I thought that she was crazy and that my life wouldn’t change at all. I thought that this baby would fit in around my life and I would still be able to do all the lovely things I always do. But I was so so so wrong. Every second of my life was different. Not only everything that happened to Violet and I in hospital which had a huge impact but also all the little things such as using baby wipes to clean my face rather than actual make up wipes, spending my money on swimming nappies rather than swimming costumes and watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse at 2am and not strolling out of nightclubs. It really has changed and sometimes I do reminisce on my previous shenanigans pre-baby but the thought soon goes when I find Violet crushing wax crayons on my new carpet!
Even after all those things, I still wouldn’t change the past five years. Of course I wish that Violet hadn’t become poorly, obviously, but she is an absolute sweetheart. So kind, thoughtful and she has such an infectious smile. Here’s to the next five years, no more surprises please!