When Paternity Leave Ends

Two weeks went by so fast. Today Matt had to return to the real world, the working world. He will be there until 7pm tonight. Our new baby bubble has to change. My family has to settle into a normal life as a family of five.

I don’t know if it is because Dexter is our last baby, our family is now complete and we won’t be doing this again… but I didn’t feel ready today. When we said goodbye to each other this morning, I could feel my eyes sting and the tears threaten to fall down my cheeks. I don’t feel ready to go solo just yet. I’ve been enjoying our time together too much.

It has been bad enough saying goodbye to Noah and Ellenah every morning as they run off to school and in to class for the day and now we have to say goodbye to such a big part of ‘Team Langner’. Matt has been so supportive, so helpful and calming to me and Dex. We are really going to miss having him around .

After having Noah and Ellenah, I craved normality and routine but this time feels so different. I want to stay in the baby blur for as long as I possibly can.

Newborns change and grow just so quickly and up to this point, I have shared every little thing with my partner in crime. We have cooed and watched him sleep. We have bathed him together and laughed as he ruined two rather beautiful, white towels with a poo-nation as soon as we got him out and wrapped him up. We have both wore him around. Both of us watched him feed in amazement. We have fussed over him. We have lifted each others spirits when he screamed out with wind and it was hard to make him feel better. I have watched Matt sing to him, cuddle him closely, talk to him and love him… show me a mother who would want that to stop or change?!

We are both such different parents and people since having our first child at 22 & 23 years old. After the initial few days of trying to figure out new parent life again, we each have re-found our confidence and have both found our stride now. I’m not scared to be with Dex alone. I just wish that Matt had more time with us. Watching them bond has been so incredible to see. From the moment that Dex came in to the world, alert and bright eyed… He knew us both. He locked eyes with me immediately and held on to my dress tightly like he wanted to stay with me forever, safe and happy. But a little while later, once the chaos had settled down, Matt took off his tee and placed Dexter on to his bare chest and after, cradled him in his arms. Dexter looked up at Matt so calmly, so still and relaxed and listened as Matt spoke to him. They stayed that way for a while and as I watched this amazing thing happen in front of my eyes, a moment unfold between a baby boy and his daddy… I didn’t want the night to end. And they have become closer in each day since then. It has been such a beautiful thing to be on the sidelines for.

When Paternity Leave Ends

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My 30th Birthday

I have started writing this from the comfort of my bed on a grey but brightening Saturday morning. Saturday the 15th of October, the day after my 30th birthday. I feel content, in a sleepy bliss from the lovely day that I had before.

I woke up first, in the dark and I lay there with my thoughts. Thoughts about turning thirty. My sister calls these the ‘who gives a f*ck’ years and after spending many years caring a little too much about what people might think, might say or might do, I’m over it. I’m finally confident enough in myself to just be happy with who I am, the decisions and no doubt, the mistakes that I make. It’s empowering!

So anyway, there I was, alone with my thoughts… being all thirty and that. Waiting in the silence to suddenly feel like a grown up. For the mental clarity to wash over me and make me wiser, sophisticated, mature. I didn’t!

I could feel a new chapter begin though. I could feel the excitement in the pit of my stomach for all of the memory making opportunities ahead of me. Me and Matt. Me, Matt and ‘The Children’. I may not have felt much wiser or sophisticated… but I did feel different.

I did wake up feeling a little like ‘I Don’t Give A F*ck!’

I did ponder how far I have come in my years. I was that girl once, with little to no confidence. I was that girl who walked hunched over to blend in. I was that girl who people tried to tear down. I was that girl who was afraid. I was that girl who doubted my worth in most things that I did. I was that girl who didn’t go for any of the things that I wanted. I was that girl who smiled to conceal any real emotion. I was that girl who was naive. I was that girl who had her heart broken. I was that girl who had her heart broken again. I was that girl who had her heart broken again still.

And then I started to give myself the credit that I deserve. Because I am not that girl anymore. I haven’t been for a long while.

I am that girl who has picked myself up, brushed myself off and faked my confidence until it started to become real. I am that girl who will walk tall now. I am that girl who yes, is her own worst critic… but I won’t let myself be torn apart from spite. I am that girl with fears and worries just like every human being and that is okay. I am a girl who knows my worth. I am that girl who knows exactly what I want and I will work hard at making my dreams come true. I am that girl who smiles because I am genuinely happy. I am that girl who is naive because I want to see the best in everything and everyone and that too, is okay. I am that girl who may or may not have my heart broken again. I am that girl who survived it a few times. I am that girl who is stronger now, a fighter but more importantly, I am a lover, a forgiver, a learner and a better version of myself because of everything that has got me to this point. This person.

Nowadays, I am that girl who actually, is not a girl (and without sounding a bit like Britney Circa 2000) I am a woman.


And then, my thought process was muted by the swing of my bedroom door being banged in to my shiny, white wardrobe. Ellenah stood in the doorway, smiling so sweetly as her two pigtails draped loosely on her shoulders. I sat up and held my arms out for her. She fell into them saying ‘Happy Birthday Mama!’

Matt opened his eyes and blinked out the sleepiness. He looked handsome as always but like he had a bad night. If at all possible, for the few days before he looked more excited about my birthday than I did. ‘Happy 30th Birthday Ree!’ He croaked.

And then Noah came. He bulldozed in to the room, eyes wide with happiness and his infectious smile, beaming, ‘Happy Birthday Mama’ He sang.

And there were gifts and cards in bed. And I was very spoilt on ‘My 30th Birthday’. And I loved waking up, being with my most favourite people in the whole world. I felt so special.

My 30th Birthday


The next hour went by so fast. Uniforms flew everywhere, teeth were brushed, faces washed, breakfast gobbled and the school run was upon us. I said goodbye at the door, half ready for the day ahead and I missed them already.

My 30th Birthday

Matt came back quickly and whisked me off to breakfast in The City of Canterbury. We visited ‘The Skinny Kitchen’ which was literally incredible. There were friendly faces and chit-chat from the second we walked through the door. The decor was so cute and the menu was out of this world incredible. The Skinny Kitchen is a based around a nutritious, wholesome and healthy-eating menu to make you feel great.

My 30th Birthday

My 30th Birthday

Matt had steak, eggs, spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes with a honey latte and I had smashed avocado on sour dough bread with chilli, black pepper and two poached eggs.

My 30th Birthday

My 30th Birthday

I had a date smoothie to go with it. We were so impressed and want to go back so desperately…and quickly. We thought that perhaps we would try out the evening menu next time and make a date out of it. We couldn’t recommend it enough to anyone in the area.

My 30th Birthday

Then we had a wonderful day of shopping and holding hands. It was kind of lovely.


Once we could shop no more, we went back home to collect the children from school who were both so excited to see me and continue the celebrations. It was so nice when I came back home to find a flower delivery from my best friend who lives in Southampton. It was such a stunning surprise and it hit me really hard how much I miss her because I haven’t seen her in such a long time.  And honestly, they were so beautiful, see for yourself…

My 30th Birthday

Matt did himself and me so proud and started preparing a Mexican Fiesta for my rather large family.

My first visitor was my biggest sister, Nicola and my nephew, Zack who have just moved back to the area after so many years away. It was a complete surprise. There were tears, hugs and we cracked opened the fizz.

My 30th Birthday

My 30th Birthday

And then the usual suspects filtered in. My Mum and Dad, My other siblings and their families. I was spoilt some more, more overwhelmed and just so excited to spend a part of the day with them all, because they mean so much to me.

My 30th Birthday

My 30th Birthday

We all laughed, had photographs taken, acted silly, ate cake and had a pretty epic time. It was simply perfect in every way. I didn’t want the night to end. I didn’t want everyone to go home.

My 30th Birthday

My 30th Birthday

My 30th Birthday

And so the day after, upon reflection of my milestone, one of importance,  I just wanted to say a big thank you for all of the kindness, birthday wishes, surprises, gifts and the most gorgeous friends and family a gal could ever ask for. I feel so grateful, emotional and overwhelmed. And not in the way of material things (as spoilt and thankful as I was and am). More in the way of noticing who I have in my life, who I will be taking in to this next chapter with me, those people who truly get me. The ‘woman’ who sings in to her hairbrush daily, truly wishes for world peace and thinks that life is so much better when you’re laughing/ dancing.

My 30th Birthday

I feel truly blessed!

With Love,

-Ria x

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Do You Remember?

Dear Matthew,

Do you remember when we first met? Do you remember how as you sat, waiting for your interview, our eyes met from across the room and (okay, I’ll admit it) I tried to find reasons to talk to you. There was something wonderful hanging in the air. Maybe it was because I was putting up a Christmas tree but I think it was because we were meant to fall in love with each other.

Do you remember how you got the job but by the time you had your first day, zesty, enthusiastic and I think, ready to meet me again… I had gone?!

Do you remember how we used to talk about each other to mutual colleagues. Do you think that maybe we missed each other before we even knew each other?

Do you remember when we met again? You couldn’t believe that all I seemed to eat were kiwi’s and I just wanted to be near you, talking to you and laughing with you. Did you know that you made me forget the heartbreak from a three year relationship that went wrong? Did you know that you made me smile so much? Did you know that you made me feel like the only girl in the whole world?

Do You Remember?

Do you remember that night, just me and you? Do you remember how we were set up and we had our first date? The most amazing first date! Did you know that the night before, in reply to a text, I said that nothing could happen because you were just too good for me? Did you know how little I had come to think of myself? Did you know what that night meant to me, the night that ‘we’ started something, our love story? Do you remember when you drove me home, you told me off for wanting to go travelling for a year? Do you think that already you couldn’t stand the thought of me not being around?

Do you remember that since that night we were inseparable?

Do You remember?

Do you remember how quickly we fell truly, madly, deeply in love? The love that conquers, the love that sometimes hurts but the love that lasts a thousand lifetimes!

Do you remember how we found ourselves on my old school field one afternoon and practiced long jump, belly laughing in the sand until it hurt?

Do you remember when for about two weeks, every night for dinner we ate crumpets with lashings of honey because we could?

Do you remember playing board games and card games and only having about four channels on T.V?

Do you remember when we had no heating that winter at my first flat so we kept each other warm?

Do you remember that night that I told you I was pregnant with Noah? We were young and it was scary…but the love was enough, right? Because you saw a chocolate weeto pop out of my nose when the pregnancy made me feel awful… and you saw me jump from the car on the way to work, be sick over the side of a bridge and on to a person below…and you still loved me…and you didn’t leave…even though I told you that you could!

Do you remember the day that he was born? When we became family? I do!

I remember everything about us. Our wedding, our beautiful Ellenah, our adventures…and the other bits that weren’t so glamorous, the bits that I would rather forget but can’t because they are important to us, who we are and how happy we are now.

Do You Remember?

I remember everything that has pushed and pulled us to here, right now.

Our marriage is five years old today.

Do You Remember?

We are completely different people now from those two crazy kids that fell in love so fiercely.

After eight years together, we have fought for every part of this love that we are so blessed to have. We have cried over it at times, tried to forget it, even tried to hate it…but we can’t, we always come back to it and will never stop saving it.

Because true love is always worth saving.Do You Remember?

Happy Anniversary Matt, I love you!

From Ria x

 

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Return To Sheldon Spa

So to end ‘My Weird And Wonderful Week’ quite perfectly, on Sunday morning, Matt and I escaped for three whole hours to Sheldon Spa in Faversham- my secret place, my hideaway. Last year for my best friends hen day, I visited for the first time and immediately knew that I wanted to come back with Matt for a romantic morning of peace and tranquility. Matt turned thirty years old quite recently, so I booked in for a belated birthday treat. It was just as lovely as I remembered.

We came with a little breakfast picnic of pastries, blueberries and smoothies and hung out on a lounger for a few minutes to have a morning cup of tea and some refreshing lemon water to start our relaxation.

The pool was so warm like a bath and we were actually really good and did some lengths before we hit the sauna.

The sauna was incredible. I suffer with a sun allergy and after we had some incredibly beautiful weather recently, my skin really suffered and it hadn’t yet managed to soften up properly and get back to normal. The steam and heat really cleaned out my pores and my skin felt incredible after using it. We sprinkled some eucalyptus oil on the stones before pouring (perhaps a little too much) water over the top and it smelt so beautiful. I felt like I could really breathe and let any worries of the previous week simply float away, completely out of my system.

We managed about seven or eight minutes in our first burst and then moved on to the jacuzzi where we chatted and let the bubbles massage our (pretty tired) bodies. It was just lovely!

I managed to read some of my book as I hooked myself on to the side of the pool and treaded water. After being a part of the promotion on Thursday, I really wanted to get lost in it and honestly it is so good so far. Once I am finished, I will do a book review and let you know a more detailed opinion for anyone thinking about reading it. As I read, I did tell myself off a little. I definitely need to make more time to read. It’s the perfect escape from reality and… it reminds me how much I really hope to write a book of my own one day. That would be my dream come true.

Matt went for his treatment which was a half an hour back, neck and should massage…and I read the whole time that he was there.

Then it was my turn (and I had the same treatment). The massage was amazing. I felt so pampered and relaxed after and I think I may have fallen asleep for a little while. I obviously needed it. I probably needed to catch up on the sleep that I lost when I was full of worry in the past week. When it was finished, it took me a while to regain my place in the day… I felt like I was somewhere else completely. It was amazing.

It takes a lot to leave me short for words, but I was too relaxed to speak.

Return To Sheldon Spa

It was so nice to have a little space in time to be completely selfish for a change. It was nice knowing that Noah and Ellenah were safe and happy so that I could feel much less guilt about taking some ‘me/us time’ on their time.

Sometimes it is so hard for me to listen to what my body really needs. What I really need, as a person.

The truth is, I want to give everything that I am to the people that I brought in to the world. When I say that they are my everything, that’s no joke. The parenting thing, I’m totally in it, one hundred and ten percent! The reality though, is that I can’t give EVERYTHING because then there would be nothing left…no good bits, no patience, no understanding, no empathy! And, I would be half the person that they deserve. I want them to have the best.

In this video HERE, I talk about ‘Me Time & Motherhood’…but I am terrible at taking my own advice.

It’s only when I went to collect the children after the spa and Ellenah had a melt down about who would help put her shoes on, I realised that I felt way more confident in handling the situation and myself. That little bit of time away stripped everything back and gave me a fresh start and a fresh voice.

I mean, I can’t be nipping off to the spa every day for a little talk with myself, can I?…I’ve gotta get real and knock that wonderful idea on the head.

But, surely I can save a little piece of myself in other ways. For the greater good?

How do you mama’s revive yourself and you sanity to be the best mum you can be?

With Love,

Ria x

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