Sunday, 26 March 2017

A letter to my son on Mother’s Day


Dear Elijah,

Today is Mother’s Day, our third one spent together (fourth if you include when Dad brought me a present when you were still in my tummy).

The NICU days seem more distant now, and we seem to be on more of an even keel.

This one is also extra special because this is our last just me and you.

This time next year we will be celebrating Mother’s Day with your future brother or sister, as a family of four.

I have been thinking a lot recently about the last 2 and a half years. So much has changed.

You have come so far, and you are frankly amazing. Bloody annoying but amazing all the same.

We have spent this week on your first ever holiday and you were the happiest I have ever seen you.

We are on the brink of so much change, and I hope you will embrace it.

I want you to know it wasn’t because you were not enough, or not good enough because boy are you, and then some.

I hope you will know that I will love you just the same when your new sibling gets here, I could never love you any less.
I will love you, always. (Points if you get the Harry Potter reference.)

Being your mother made me, and that’s why I am so embarrassingly mushy about days like this.

The ups, the downs (there have been a lot) made me the mother I am today.

I didn’t think I could hack it as a heart/ NICU Mum, but you guided me.

I didn’t think I was a good mum, at times I didn’t know if I could even see it all through.

The lack of sleep, the reflux days, and all the times where you drove me up the wall and I counted the hours until your Dad was home.

Then there are all the firsts, watching you become the funniest little boy and seeing you with your friends. It makes it all worth it.

I never knew how much being your mother could mean to me, I wouldn’t change a single thing about you. (Well maybe you could be less stroppy but you are my son after all).

You make me laugh so much, even when you are repeating things you shouldn’t be.

You make my heart explode when you tell me I am your best friend.

We can fall out, like when you get angry that your trousers do not meet your socks and you refuse to leave the house until I have tucked them in.

Or when you demand you have not done a poo, when you smell worse than your Dad after too much cheese.

You surprise me on a daily basis, you are sweet, temperamental, sensitive, loving and frankly hilarious especially when you do your Mr Tumble impression or fart and blame your Dad.

You are a smart arse and I love it, you tell me milk comes from the fridge and that a pig makes the sound “PORK”.

I have never known such an honest kid, you even dob yourself in which makes me laugh no end.

I have my faults, as do you, I can shout too much, I don’t play enough and I really need to make you eat more veg.

You can be a bit of arse at times, and so irrational but I can see a mirror image of myself in you.

I wish I could protect you against the ugliness in this world, the hatred, the pointlessness but I will teach you love, I will teach you to be kind and to always have hope.

Forever I want to keep you close, but I will teach you strength.

But, today it is all about me and you and one I always want to remember.

Because, frankly kiddo me and you one of a kind, secret handshake and all.

I love you kiddo, but if you could sleep in a tad later I would appreciate it.

Love Mum x
Me and The Boy. Always.
 

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Walking on a tightrope.


I sat on the bed, Elijah was screaming, after refusing another bottle and being up all night. I stared out of the window with the tears running down my face and came to the crushing realisation, I was a crap mum. I couldn’t do this. I began to regret our decision to even have a baby. I bombarded Greg with messages whilst he was ay work begging him to come home. I couldn’t cope, I didn’t know what to do. He offered to send his sister round to help but the shame of someone seeing me like this, that I had failed tore me up. I pleaded for him to leave it, I would be okay. All you want in the world is for someone to help you, yet the minute that offer is there you cannot possibly take it. Instead you continue to punish yourself. Self-destruction intimate, I carried on barely holding it together for more than a day. I tried to control how I was really feeling by not eating and abusing pills.
Our start to motherhood wasn’t the typical kind, and I am unsure if I would have felt like this if we didn’t go through a NICU stay and Elijah’s op. In my heart, I think I would have. Becoming a new mum was both the best and worst time of my life. I loved Elijah with every inch of my being, but I also dreamed of having our pre-baby life back. I even planned of leaving thinking they were better off without me. After all, if a mum who was questioning her decision to have her baby in the first place was surely not cut out for it? That I was trying to get through the day by wishing the time away until bedtime. I crawled into myself, and when I got there, I hated who I had become. I didn’t like any part of me.

Every choice I made, I tormented myself with. I never felt good enough. I pushed everyone away, thinking if I cancel plans and stay in I wouldn’t have to face their questions, their pity. In reality, I was just pushing that help further and further away. Looking back now at those first 18 months, I feel awful knowing how much I tainted those first months of Elijah’s life. I shouted, I had no patience and I was unhappy. I am also glad that I can recognise now it was because I was unwell. There is no need to be ashamed. Many mums suffer a form of Post Natal Depression (PND) and in my case also, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is the most isolating and lonely illness you could suffer from. But, we must not suffer in silence. We must talk about this, be honest and help one another kick its arse. I didn’t get help for a very long time as I was worried what people would think. That one trip to the Doctors began the course that saved my life. My relationship, my chance to be the mother I could be. This is what needs to change, we should not delay getting help because we are scared of the reaction we will receive. PND is an illness and needs treating just the same as if you have an infection.

It can be hard to talk about mental illness. To put those words out there, you are also admitting it to yourself. I shared my story because I wanted it to help someone, to recognise they are not alone, not abnormal and that it is okay to not be okay. There are days where everything is a struggle, you know that the tightrope you are walking on will feel like it is going to snap, that you will fall off and not be able to get back up. But you will. That is also why I resonated with the singer Sandi Thom’s honest account and why I am proud to share this on my blog. There was no doubt when I was invited by the amazing charity PANDAS to share it, that it would sit alongside my story. After all we really are in this together. We must educate ourselves and others of the signs, have more accessible help, even if it is just reaching out to someone via social media. Nobody is alone, nobody deserves to be judged for how they are feeling, and this is what we must strive to change. For now, I am between happy and okay, and that’s enough.

Below you will find Sandi’s experience with PND which she bravely shared with PANDAS.
Sandi Thom
 
“I felt like I was slipping into a dark hole that I was never going to escape from” – Sandi Thom opens up about her struggle with post-natal depression, how she contemplated suicide and her work with pre and post-natal depression charity, PANDAS, in time for Mother's Day.

If you don’t know the name, then you’ll know the song that sent Scottish singer-songwriter Sandi Thom into the realms of international stardom. Her debut single, I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair) topped the UK Singles chart in 2006 earning Sandi the title of fifth biggest selling single of that year, and went double platinum topping the charts in Australia for an incredible 10 weeks at number 1. Sandi then went on to release five studio albums and is set to release her first album since the birth of her baby boy Logan later this year.

Many will remember her infamous webcam rant in 2015 which saw the singer-songwriter take to the internet to condemn BBC Radio 2 and Bauer Media for rejecting her single Earthquake. However, few know that she was actually suffering from pre-natal depression at the time. Sandi’s condition persisted post-pregnancy, with it reaching an all-time low when she contemplated suicide: “I felt like I was slipping into a dark hole that I was never going to escape from”.

After the pregnancy, Sandi had a hard time shaking feelings of intense shame and guilt, stating that “because I had people visiting regularly, asking to see the baby and expecting me to be over the moon, I couldn’t understand where this huge feeling of shame was coming from”. It was only when her anxiety became so unbearable that Sandi decided to come out of the shadows and take control of the situation, “when I started to feel the cloud lifting and could finally enjoy my little boy, I can’t tell you how overjoyed I was to feel happiness again”.

Now 11 months old, Logan is currently on the road with his Mum and is all-set to follow in her footsteps: “I’m so used to being on the road and Logan has been with me for it all. My Mum is amazing. She helps me when I tour and work. Logan is even training to play the tambourine in my band when he’s older. It’ll be a real family affair!”

Sandi’s upcoming single, Tightrope, captures the inner turmoil that saw her teetering dangerously on the edge for well over 6 months. All of the profits from the single which is out just in time for Mother’s Day will go towards PANDAS Foundation, one of the very few charities in the UK that deals with pre and post-natal depression. Sandi hopes to continue her close work with the charity, saying that she’s ready to do whatever she can to raise awareness for an illness that is still very much a taboo subject. "I don’t think parents feel they can be open about the illness and, therefore, try to push it back. I hope to help PANDAS allow women to be more open and potentially we could save lives, because sadly it is the leading direct cause for maternal deaths in the UK.”

Donna Collins, Managing Director of PANDAS Foundation said; “PANDAS Foundation is so excited to have been chosen by Sandi to benefit from her immense talents as a songwriter and performer. Although writing ‘Tightrope’ was a very personal experience for Sandi, many parents across the UK and indeed the world, will feel the lyrics resonate with their own feelings and emotions whilst battling with a pre or postnatal mental illness. Those feelings of losing control, feeling lost, lonely and walking a tight line between functioning and struggling are so familiar to many, but in her bravery of opening up and talking honestly it reiterates why no one should feel shame about their illness. So that they ultimately talk to someone and get the help and support they need. We are proud to have Sandi Thom as an ambassador for our charity, helping us to spread awareness of pre and postnatal mental illnesses.”



Tightrope is released on 24th March 2017.

Song Download - https://www.dropbox.com/s/1lwcb0e8e5wtgir/Tight%20Rope%20-%2024bit%20Master%20RADIO%20EDIT.wav?dl=0

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Should we all just be waiting a bit longer?


For those that follow me on social media, will know that last week we overcame a pretty big obstacle. We gave up the dummy. I never really planned on using a dummy but when Elijah was in NICU, he constantly wanted to suck and this gave him comfort so the nurses made him one. I vaguely remember freaking out before Elijah was one because he was waking up about 100 times a night for it. I was very sleep deprived so sought advice from friends how to kick it.  Cold turkey was the favoured option, we lasted 2 hours and a failed nap time before I wanted to chuck myself out of the nursery window. We sacked it off, and I gave in and relented with the excuse of, well he will need this for recovery after the op. We will address it after (that is pretty much the theme for my first year of parenting.) But, then the year crept up on us, and he was sleeping better, he would wake up and put it back in himself, unless he couldn’t find it,  which was normally embedded in his ear for some unknown reason. After Elijah’s second birthday we began to consciously try to cut it down during the day, and this worked well. He would wake up, put it in a special box and not have it until bedtime. We went on like this for perhaps a month or so, then he got ill. Then low and behold the dummy was back in full time work.

This brings us up to last Friday when something occurred, something that would bring terror to many a parent. I LOST THEM ALL. By all I mean three, but it was tipping down and I was certainly not dragging my 5-month pregnant arse off the sofa and a grumpy toddler out to get more. Bedtime crept closer, there was some silent panic and I looked EVERYHWERE. We were facing bedtime on our own, dummy-less for the first time in 2 and a half years. I am not sure where it came from, but, ‘Maybe the dummy fairies took them for other girls and boys and they might leave you a gift’ left my lips. He brought it. I was smug with my impromptu bull. Oh lord, it is 7pm and I have no ‘gift’, a quick text to Greg resolved this and before you knew it I had even penned a letter from the fairies. Might as well go the whole hog. He slept through. I was shocked, he asked for it a couple of times in the morning but loved getting his note and magazine. So, day two without the dummy how was it going to work? Well I wouldn’t be around to find out, I did what every sensible mother would, and dumped him at Nans and ran for the hills! After him finding a dummy in the garden that the fairies should have taken that is. Whoops. I have now also found the other two! That was a week ago, and we are still without it, looks like we cracked it. It wasn’t planned, I wasn’t even too bothered he still had one. I knew he wasn’t going to get to 15 and have on even though I do still suck my thumb, ahem. I remember putting all that pressure on me and him to get rid of it before, but for what? To stop the dummy police from arresting me? Neither of us were ready to give it up.  Because I was pressured by social expectations and other parents to fit in and loose the dummy? It has led me to revaluate milestones and big changes like this, weaning, sleep training, potty training, losing the dummy. Should we all just be waiting a bit longer? I mean does it really matter when and how we do these things?

We of course, didn’t have the average start to parenthood but we still faced the same problems all new parents do. I remember vividly the 4 month sleep regression, and I think this was when I can pinpoint where I mentally I started getting very ill too. Elijah was waking up a lot, and we would then bring him into bed with us. I then couldn’t sleep so went and slept on the sofa. This went on for a good few months and I was miserable. One day I remember Elijah was experiencing silent reflux but at this point it hadn’t be diagnosed. He was crying and crying I called up Greg at work begging for him to come home. I couldn’t cope. I couldn’t do it anymore. I wanted to leave. I had even planned this. I would have a bag and my passport packed and hidden in the dining room. When Greg came home from work, I would ask him to go put Elijah to bed and this is when I would sneak out. I didn’t really plan what I would do after I left, but I thought about that for a really long time. We read all the books, we scoured Mumsnet, Baby Centre and tried EVERYTHING. I mean the whole lot, white noise, bath and bed routine, story, stopping naps (BAD MOVE), a late snack just before bed so he was full, a warm bottle. You name it we tried it. Being a NICU baby waiting for an op, I pandered to Elijah, I let him fall asleep on me and wouldn’t put him down. I gave in so easily and I didn’t want to stress him out. He became very dependent on us. We co slept and this was fine up to a point, when we returned from having the op me and Greg were incredibly strained. We were not sleeping in the same bed and neither of us where happy. So, I trotted off to the library and found a Supernanny book, we tried the control crying technique. Elijah was probably about 1 by this point, so old enough to know roughly what was going on. By night two he went to sleep on his own and in his own bed. All night. Yes, he still wakes up now and again on the odd occasion but getting that book and sleep training saved our relationship and our sanity. I think it worked because he was older.
Would we ever sleep again without the dummy?
With the new baby, we potentially could do this from a younger age, as there is no risk to their heart. They will not need an op. I have learnt a lot from having Elijah but I still think I will wait. It just seems with the sleep training he got it because he was old enough to understand, the same with the dummy. I used to drive myself insane with trying to do what everyone else was doing but the truth was this was pointless. If they are not ready, then there isn’t too much you can do. It is just a lot of stress, fighting and being miserable for nothing. Socially there are a lot of expectations from you and your baby to tick these things off at a certain age and if you do not you feel like a failure. If we are honest, I spent most of Elijah’s first year being completely depressed. Driving myself mad for him to be exactly like everyone else. I have learnt to relax and one of the best pieces of advice I was given was if it isn’t a problem for you, then there is no problem. The same with weaning, go with your gut and your baby will lead you don’t worry about everyone else. Stick two fingers up to the unspoken competitiveness. I recently learnt the hard way about potty training (seriously when will I learn?) I thought he was ready, others his age were so he was right? Wrong. After many wet patches on my bed/sofa/ carpet/ cat, I gave up. The stress and pressure I was putting on Elijah wasn’t fair. If he didn’t want to go on the potty or toilet, then he wasn’t ready. I am letting him lead me, he likes wearing pull ups, staying dryer a bit longer, telling me he is wet, and coming with me to the toilet for now that is enough. I wanted him out of nappies before the baby comes, but if he isn’t then so be it.

It has taken 2 and a half years for me to realise but I do think as parents, we just need to relax. I could say not to compare your child to another, no point you will. Then you will feel crappy because they are eating curry with a fork, peeing on the toilet and can count to 50. You look at your child and they are rolling around the floor like a weeble eating fluff. I can’t even remember where all this pressure came from but I knew Elijah had to be dummy-less, sleeping through the night and should be able to thread a bead on a string whilst walking with a book on his head. My one regret with Elijah was that I just didn’t enjoy him. To take in everything he was doing, to think that was enough. That we were enough, that I was doing a good job. The pressure is crazy, so are the unreal social expectations. Give yourself a break. I think if we all did this, we would be a lot happier. I most certainly am, when they are ready, they are ready. It is so much easier to do these things when they are willing too, if not it’s like hitting your heard against the wall. Take a step back and evaluate it, is it worth it? Does it really matter? If it isn’t life and death then just leave it, and wait a bit longer. It will be worth it in the end, and you won’t have fought a never ending war to get there. 

 

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Who am I? The Mum change.


I have been feeling out of sorts recently. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Is it my 22 week pregnant hormones? Perhaps. Maybe, it is being on the eve of my 27th birthday, who knows. It came to me more when I recently went to spend some time with some old best friends. I felt different, was I different? I think I was. I think I have now come to the realisation that I have changed, I am in a weird sort of limbo where I have gained a new confidence, am interested in new things, have new passions but I am still adapting with how I present the ‘newer version of me’, to the real world. I have been more honest by sharing my life online then I have been in real life. I find it easy to write the words of how I am feeling, to relive what we have been through and most of all to be honest in my writing. This is how I process, how I cope, but face to face? I am still very much the anxious acne ridden teenager who was rejected by her mum.

Can we change? There is the old age phrase of a ‘leopard doesn’t change his spots’. I disagree. I have changed, but I think the change occurred when I became a mother. For 9 months, you give your body over to someone else, you grow a human and give birth. You, then become consumed with looking after this new little person. ‘You’, takes a back seat while you adjust and become responsible for keeping someone else fed, happy, rested, clean and well alive. You are then dealing with more hormones that a HRT convention whilst living on a diet of no sleep and caffeine. You lose yourself, sometimes you don’t even recognise the person staring back at you. Then when that first piece of freedom is offered to you for a night out, a coffee date, a night off, you have no bloody idea how to enjoy yourself. When you first go out, especially with non-mum friends it can be hard not to talk about anything other than the baby. I still worry, I may talk about Elijah too much, but hay that’s me now, I am Elijah’s Mum. I find when I am childless, I will suddenly have something pop into my head he has done, and need to share it, or rush off to check in that he is okay. I think, I may be boring. I can’t help it, I spend most of my time with him, that when I am not, my thoughts are still consumed by that little bugger. I am boring, in the fact I would rather stay in, than go out drinking (happy to accept home deliveries of gin however) and I most certainly cannot handle a hangover. I don’t like clubbing. I watch the clock and begin to panic if it is gets too late worried about the effect it has if human one decides to make an early 5AM appearance. I have been known to cancel plans, just because I cannot bear to leave him, or deal with the consequence of going out. I guess I feel safe staying in, I am content but this is where I have lost a part of me, and I am unsure where to find it again.

Being a NICU Mum my start to motherhood wasn’t ‘normal’. I left Elijah maybe twice in the 6 months leading up to his op. If Elijah had an episode whilst we were gone, I would have been terrified and felt guilty for the person looking after him. I was also going through a tough time mentally. I can look back and realise how much of a battering my mental health took. I was broken, and suffering. I abused myself and tore myself up about every decision I made for Elijah, and that it was my fault he was going through this. I shut myself of from the world. I didn’t let anyone it, not even Greg, happy with punishing myself through drugs and eating disorders. This buried what little part of myself was left, that bit deeper. I couldn’t enjoy myself, I felt I didn’t deserve too. How could I when Elijah was going through what he did? I am aware that we will face a different journey to other kids as Elijah gets older and he may need another surgery. This is a hard pill to swallow, especially with us being pregnant with a second baby where so far everything seems okay and normal. I want Elijah to be normal, and it is something I put to the back of mind and just carry on. I can find it hard to talk about it out loud though. Emotionally, I am still a bit of a mess going from one extreme to another. Emotionally, it is draining. Since, I overcame PTSD, I came to accept my NICU Mum title, when for so many months I was in denial about it. I am proud, it shows how far we have come, and I am determined to help others and raise awareness. But, all I have ever known is being a NICU Mum, when the new baby arrives can I just be a normal mum?
New hair, new skin, new me?
Then there are the physical changes you undergo having a child. You’re still carrying some baby weight, you don’t fit into your skinny jeans, your boobs still leak and your acne is back. You lose your hair that you gained when pregnant which leaves you with a patchy bird nest. Your confidence is as flimsy as a tissue. There is the assumption that once you have a baby, you will need to lose a few pounds and boom you are back to your pre-pregnancy self. WRONG. My body changed and it was permanent. My hair thinned, my skin got worse, my stretchmarks stretched, and I was still a stranger in my body. It took maybe a year after Elijah was born to accept my new body but that’s not to say I wasn’t still hung up on the insecurities. Of course, you do what you are advised not to, and compare yourself to every other mother you can think of which does not help at all. Now, I am pregnant with my second and going through the adjustment all over again. Random hair growth, leaky boobs, and ever expanding stomach are just a few. I am a mum to Elijah and this is all I have known for two and a half years. Now, I am going to be a new mum all over again, with a toddler, and I am excited and scared in equal measures! I guess, this time round I have more of an idea of what to expect but I am not sure where ‘I’, will fit it being on mat leave with a toddler and a new born.
My sense of identity becomes blurred at times, and I feel lost. I have never been pregnant and had a toddler, and with everything my body is doing I am once again trying to find myself. I find my confidence is a lot like a rollercoaster ride, sometimes I find it is at an all-time high and I am ready to take on the world. The other time I have nose-dived and I find myself falling off the tracks. Having eating disorders, and skin issues growing up it led to me to be very self-conscious and I do find myself feeling like my teenage self did again. With my hair, weight and skin all going haywire I do struggle with, ‘me’. It has been hard to admit but I haven’t enjoyed this pregnancy at times, and it adds to wondering, who I am now.

So, who am I? I am a mother. That’s is who I am. That is what has changed me. The rest I am still trying to work out.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

The World Book Day disaster and the musings of a failing mother, a letter to my son.


Elijah,

You’re upstairs asleep, I am downstairs crying. You should be at nursery, but we didn’t even make it out of the house.

I couldn’t handle you, the situation, I feel like I have failed you. That I failed as a mother, and not for the first time.

There have been times in our crazy two years I have broken down and cried, out of happiness, fear, frustration, you name it, as your mother I have felt it. Even more so as our journey wasn’t so textbook, kiddo.

As much as I want to admit you are a normal little boy, with what you have been through in your short life, you are not. Things took their toll on us as parents, but they also left their mark on you too.

I know there are a lot of changes going on around you, and some you may not fully understand.

In a few months, you will become a big brother, but it is beginning to dawn on me this may be more than you can handle.

For a while you have been acting out, getting emotional, we put this down to the terrible twos, but is it more?

For two years, you have been the centre of our world, and then some.

Going through what you did we let you get away with more. Even now, I probably let you eat too many sweets, stay up too late now and again and let things slide way to easily.

Since being pregnant with your brother or sister I will happily take the easy route, and do anything for a quiet life.

I have devoted so much time to you, just you, but maybe it wasn’t enough. Maybe, I did it wrong?

I know I am emotional, impatient and can shout, I guess I know where you get it from.

Sometimes, I do not handle things the way I should, that a mother should. But, I am trying my best for you, I really am.

It can go too far, and sometimes I just have leave.

I am the idiot who spent yesterday afternoon looking for twigs that would go with your World Book Day outfit. Spent last night reading the book to you, teaching you what to say. But, now the outfit lays crumpled on the floor as you didn’t want to wear it. You didn’t want to go to nursery. You said you didn’t like it anymore, you wanted to be at home. You refused to do anything, to even move.

You were sitting hyperventilating on the floor, and I was pushed to the brink. The only way to calm you down was to say you were not going in today.

I had to call the nursery and explain, and I felt ashamed, embarrassed, a failure.

It wasn’t just like when you are being difficult, this was different.

You screamed, you kicked, you basically went insane.

In hindsight, you have been emotional for days, and you were so tired this morning but I have never seen you act like this.

We sat hugging on the floor and I could feel your fast breathing against my chest, the small squeaks escaping from you as you tried to calm down.

I laid you in bed and went downstairs. The tears began to come from me before I had even reached the bottom.

As your mother, I am the grown up, the one who is responsible for you.

I guess you won, you didn’t want to go to nursery, and you didn’t, I had to calm you down.  I had to make sure you didn’t hurt me in a way that was dangerous to the baby.

I feel like I failed you, that I couldn’t just get you in the outfit and out the door. Just like how I haven’t cracked potty training with you, or had the heart to take your dummy off you. I know these things don’t matter, and most days they don’t bother me either, but hay I am down the self-pity road now, may as well make the whole trip.

I know I make a stupid amount of fuss, time and money on celebrating Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, even bloody dress up days at nursery. I want you to know I cared, that I was there for these things, that I tried.

You are such a kind, helpful and thoughtful little boy, you can also be nasty, stingy and difficult and a major pain in the arse.

There are days I cannot see how we will make it to bedtime, but we will. We always do, it just takes a lot of clock watching and tongue biting to get there.

These are the stark reality days of being parent, when all I want to do is pack up and go. I don’t and I never will, then suddenly something will be said or done and you will make me laugh.

I looked in your room, you're asleep cuddling my bobble hat. You call it your snuggy and you like it because it smells like me. I have to put perfume on it for you.

You look peaceful, innocent as if this afternoon never happened. You have forgotten it all.

I wish I could have, but I sit analysing everything, Googling how to control wayward behaviour, What’s Apping everyone and scrolling through all the kids who did put their World Book Day outfits on and realising you are missing out.

There are days I thrive being your mother, it is the best feeling in the world, and I want to breathe in all of you, all of the time, watch every little thing you do.

Then there are days like today I feel like crap. A failure.

I mean who has a bloody breakdown on getting their two-year-old into a wolf outfit and out the house to the nursery he has gone to every week for the last two years? Me.

Yes, I am pregnant, yes, I am hormonal, but I am human too.

I am hard on myself, but only as I want the best for you. That’s what us parents do you see.

This is something that in the great scheme of the last two years that is so insignificant it does not really register on the radar. But right in this moment it feels like the biggest thing in the world.

Sometimes with great smugness I feel like I have a handle on it, sometimes it goes wrong and you cannot do anything but say f**k it, have a gin and laugh about it. Other times I can get myself in such a state I would be a psychologists’ dream.

Why did I share this? To make you feel bad when you are older? Guilty? To get sympathy? No.

Because motherhood isn’t all Instagram filters and smiles. It is rough. Nights are tough and days are even tougher. Sometimes it is the smallest things that feel like the biggest to some. We should be honest and never suffer in silence.

Being you mother, it is good, it is bad, it is most certainly ugly.

Today I felt like crap kid, I am sure you did too.

But, tomorrow is another day and I am still your mother and I love you.

Always x

Motherhood isn't always full of the picture moments