Noah and pregnancy with baby number thr
Written at 34 weeks pregnant… when I didn’t feel like I was doing very well

 

Dear Noah,

There are so many things that I want to say to you in this moment. I want to tell you how proud of you, how grateful, how in awe of you I am. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of you right now though, is the words ‘I’m so sorry!’. I feel this deep, aching need in my heart to hold on to you so tightly and to apologise over and over again until I’m certain that you have heard me.

I’ve never wanted you to have to accept this version of your mama, to understand her, to be so fiercely loyal to her. I’m not proud to be her and I don’t really know how you can look at me like you do. Like I’m the best thing since sliced bread.

But, you do!

Everyday, you wipe the slate clean. You show up. You smile at me. You encourage me. You love me. You love me even harder lately, I can feel it. It’s almost as if you are loving me harder because you know that I am struggling to love myself.

I am sorry Son! Ever since I became a mother… Your mother, I have wanted you to see me as this ‘perfect’ person, this wonderful woman who can do no wrong. I’ve wanted you to put me on a pedestal. I’ve wanted you to hold me in high regard and to hold me in your heart as someone who will never falter.

And now I’m scared that even though you tell me every day without fail, that I am the best mum in the world… You may not really think so anymore. Now that it has become so obvious that I am just a human being. Just a person. Now that I have faltered. Now that I have shown you that I am so very far from being perfect.

Every day you somehow manage to tell me that I am your beautiful mama. Everyday you kiss my belly, your little brother and you talk to him… so excited for him to be here with us all. You don’t show envy towards him. You don’t show resentment, for the times I have been forced to put him first. As someone who loves you with everything I am… It has hurt me to have to do that. To make a choice to lay down and rest so I don’t fall down…rather than to play with you in the garden. You have taken 34 weeks (so far) of my choices and needs in your stride, constantly reminding me that I am pregnant and I need to relax. You are an old soul and you have such kindness in your heart. So much love and empathy. You have shown how truly selfless you can be and I don’t think words could ever express what that means to me.

Noah and pregnancy with baby number thr

I’m sorry that you have had to see me struggle, to walk and to cope with sickness. I’m sorry that I’ve had to ask you to wait, for things and for me. I’m sorry that I have become someone who has made you learn about how patient you can be and are. I just want you to be a child. I just want you to have fun. I don’t want you to learn all of your lessons now. You have time.

I have found myself saying to you a lot lately, that there isn’t long left, that in a few weeks your baby brother will be here. I have implied that as if by magic, you will have me back, as I was. As you remember. As I remember. And it doesn’t phase you. You look at me like I’m mad, like nothing has changed…and then you carry on talking about life after, with your new baby brother.

Can it be that you haven’t noticed how badly I’m doing? Can it be that I’m carrying the heavy burden of this mum guilt on my shoulders, every second of every day and you are actually okay?

Are you happy Noah? I desperately hope that you are.

You are going to be such an amazing brother to your baby brother. Even though you bicker and rough and tumble with her, I’ve seen how great you already are to Ellenah. You are perfect proof of how a heart can grow and how much love one can hold.

Noah and pregnancy with baby number thr

We are all so blessed to have you in our lives. So lucky to have you brightening every day with your beautiful spirit and energy. Apart from saying a world of sorry’s… I also want to say the biggest thank you.

Thank you for being you. Thank you for smiling every day. Thank you for trying your hardest at school. Thank you for being strong. Thank you for being resilient. Thank you for your acceptance. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for loving me back, unconditionally. Thank you for the spring in your step. Thank you for the cuddles. Thank you for the bump love. Thank you for being so considerate. Thank you for being mine.

Noah and pregnancy with baby number thr

Thank you for being a daily reminder that even when things feel tough and I don’t feel like I have very much confidence left within myself at all… I did something so right and so perfect. I raised one incredible little boy. I love watching you shine bright and be exactly everything that makes up who you are.

Thank you for being a daily reminder that there is good in every day… simply because you are in it.

I love you,

Mama x

 

 

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Dear Ellenah, You Are Five

Dear Ellenah, my beautiful little girl.

This is long over due. On the evening before each of your birthday’s, I will write you a letter… but on the evening before your fifth birthday, I couldn’t make it happen. I’m really sorry Sweetheart, it wasn’t because I don’t care. It wasn’t because you are not important. It wasn’t because I had forgotten. It was the most important thing for me to do that day but the best I could do was to write down my thoughts in the notes on my phone, hoping that this day would come. This day when I would be able to string together the sentences to better communicate exactly what it is that I want to say to you.

And just over two months late, I have found the right day.

Turning five is a big deal. I can’t remember anything about my fifth birthday but I can remember the feeling of turning five. Your big brother was impatient to get to this age too. It’s the age where things change. It’s the age that you have really started to show the little girl that you are becoming. The petite, inquisitive and sassy little diva that storms through each day with that beautiful smile and sharp wit. You are our delightful chaos. Forever known as ‘Hurricane Bella Roo’.

You are bold and fearless. You are strong-willed and spirited. You are everything that I could ever want in a little girl. You are a pleasure to raise. You challenge me in ways that nobody else can. You question me and you make me question the world around me… Everything and everyone in it. You seem to simply know things that it takes some of us years to understand. You make no apology for being exactly as you are and I love that about you.

Dear Ellenah, You Are Five

Some days I look at you and I see so much of myself. You smile like me. You run like me. You perform like me and you believe in the world like me. Other days, I look at you and see someone who I want to be. Brave, certain and rambunctious.

This past year, you have started to show what matters to you, who you love dearly and how you like to go about your day. You like your space… Alone time is very important to you. It is part of what enables you to be creative which is one of your biggest strengths. You communicate your real feelings clearly and never try and adapt your mood to anyone else’s expectation of you. I respect that about you.

Dear Ellenah, You Are Five

To be honest, as with each passing year and the bigger and more charismatic you get… there never feels to me like enough words in the world that can fully sum up just how wonderful I think you are. Just how much I love you, from the bottom of my proud mama heart.

It has just been so much fun, getting to know each side of you with each passing moment. To see such beautiful sweetness to your sassy. To see such kindness in your heart that balances out your strong will. To see you shine bright and bring out the brightness and light in those around you, those who have fallen in love with you for everything that you are and for the blessing that you are to this world.

I love how much you love snails and how you will always move them if they are in harms way, no matter how much it’s raining. I love how conscious you are of protecting the planet and our daily conversations about throwing our litter away. I love watching you play, watching your imagination soar. I love listening to you make up little songs about the things that you find important. I love watching you dance like mama used to. I love your dirty laugh and how bright red your cheeks turn when you find something really funny.

I love the way that you make every day better.

I love the way that you make me better.

Love, Mama x

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Body Confidence // Dear Ellenah

To my sweet little Ellenah,

Did you know that once upon a time, the thought of having a little girl absolutely terrified me? In a time when so much comes down to who we are on the outside… and comparison (the thief of joy) plagues so many. It’s a scary time to be a girl or a woman, let alone to raise one.

It was hard enough when I was younger. People made comments about what I looked like, all of the time. I would return home from school on the daily and try to think of ways that I could make my legs shorter, ways to looks shorter…to blend in with the other girls my age. I would stare at my face in the mirror, for what felt like hours. Sometimes I would stare at it for so long that it would eventually distort my reflection and then I would walk away, happy. It was my way of hiding from myself. I did this because I was not happy with my outside and at the time, to me… that was what mattered the most.

I felt that because my outside didn’t please others, somehow it made who I was on the inside lesser, unimportant, less worthy.

I was wrong!

I was wrong about that and I was wrong to be scared of raising a little girl.

I was wrong about me because regardless of how I felt about myself back then, I always tried to be kinder than I felt. I always tried to treat people how I wanted others to treat me. I always tried to prevent others from feeling how I did. In that time, bit by bit… I learned about the things that actually matter.

Body Confidence // Dear Ellenah

I learned that your heart should be the most attractive thing about you and like any muscle, the more you use it in the right way, the stronger it will become. In life, if you are using your heart to say kind things to people (and of course, to yourself!), if you are using it to treat everyone as the equal, important humans that they are, to accept people for everything that they are, to love and to forgive, even when that feels hard… Your beautiful heart beams from within and becomes everything that you need, to be ‘beautiful’ on the outside.

And this is what I try and show you, every day.

Being beautiful, being perfect…These are not aspirations. Perfection isn’t real and beauty is skin deep. These goals are a waste of time, energy and nothing good can come from trying to be them.

If you were to ask me, when I feel most beautiful, my answer would be this…

It’s early in the morning, as the sun beams through the bedroom window. I hear the door squeak as it opens and you appear. Your big, blue eyes are heavy and your soft, tiny hand is crunched in to a ball, trying to rub the sleepiness away. Your dainty little footsteps pad along the floor and then from the side of my bed, you roll over me. You snuggle beneath the duvet and rest your head in my arms. And, your eyes meet mine in this secret moment between a mother and her daughter, before the world wakes up… I feel beautiful. I feel beautiful because as you cup your hand on my cheek and stroke my fresh but slightly ageing face, the look in your eyes reminds me that I am loved by you, no matter what. Despite the fine lines that appear when I smile and laugh, despite my messy hair, despite any of the things that mean that I am not perfect. You don’t care about those things… You see me and they don’t matter to you.

Body Confidence // Dear Ellenah

I feel beautiful because the ability to love from within, gave me your dad, gave me your brother and it gave me you.

I so desperately hope that you are the kind of girl who isn’t defined by what make-up you put on, how shiny your hair is, how much you weigh…who you appear to be.

I hope that in the future, any body shaming, mean words, comments designed to make you feel bad or doubt yourself, do not land. I hope they fall, like water off of a ducks back.

I so desperately hope that you have the courage to stand up and be you, unapologetically. I so desperately hope that you stand up and fiercely protect your right to love yourself.

I hope you don’t spend your time trying to adjust yourself to fit in, change yourself to please the world. Be brave, have confidence in exactly who you are and you may just end up changing the world.

Forget fad diets, forget what the media portrays, forget the filters that make you look flawless. That is not real life.

Be kind to yourself…eat the foods that will look after you. Don’t punish yourself though… eat the cake.

Don’t hate your body sweetheart. You are so blessed to have it. Run as fast as you can, dance in the rain, skip when you are feeling happy, climb trees, hike through forests , breathe deeply and feel gratitude for each and every day that you get to have in this world.

Body Confidence // Dear Ellenah

Of course, if it takes you a little time to become you, like it did me and you listen too much to those who try to bash you… I will always be here, loving you so hard, until you love yourself.

Because, you are a beautiful person Els. You are a sweet, kind-hearted soul. A diva…Yes! Fierce… Definitely! A force to be reckoned with… Absolutely! An absolute blessing to the world?

Ellenah, this big, wide world is incredibly and undoubtedly blessed to have you in it. Exactly as you are.

I love you!

– Mama x

 

 

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As Noah Turns Seven

Dear Noah,

Tomorrow you are turning seven!

Tonight I am sitting here having just written in your birthday card and I am surrounded by banners and balloons that say ‘Happy Seventh Birthday’ and it doesn’t feel like they belong in our home.

I can’t look at the number and see you being this age. I feel like some time has been rather wickedly stolen from me and I will never see it again.

About Me, The Sweetest Life

But it’s all true. You will be seven. In just a few hours…and I am trying to catch up quickly.

I need to catch up so that tomorrow morning, when you bundle in to bed with me and whisper that it is your birthday, I don’t fall apart.

I feel like falling apart right now. My lips keep quivering quite hard, my eyes are full of tears…my face is a little contorted…because I am trying to push the need to cry to the back of my heart.

But I could Noah! I could sit here in the privacy of my bedroom as you sleep so calmly next door and cry hard in to my hands. These tears that I’m not sure I can keep in if I’m honest, they have been trying to fall a lot of times in the past year.

First Love

This year has been a hard one to be your mother. Before that makes you sad…It has been hard in the best way that I could ever imagine.

You have grown so much. Yes you still have shorter legs and a longer body like daddy…but really I mean, you have grown up so much. And, at a speed that makes everything that holds me together, feel a little unsteady.

While you have powered on with your Beaver Sleepover, SATs and many other wonderful things, I have questioned and doubted myself. I’ve realised how far we have come and i’ve looked back at what we’ve had…and all I ever hope is that I am a good mama to you. I hope that you feel as proud of me as I do you.

This year I have internally battled with being a working mum. I know that over the years I have missed little things, not heard everything that you have said, I have had to ask you to ‘wait’ and I’ve begged you for your patience. It has broken me a little this year that I have had to do those things when time is passing us by so quickly. I feel guilty that I’ve wasted precious time working so hard, working late in to the night and using energy that could have been better spent, being in this moment with you. I’ve realised how fast time goes and how easy it is to miss the little things that matter so much. I’ve questioned what the point is. I’ve questioned myself constantly, always asking if I am doing the right thing.

-x-

This journey leaves me dizzy right now my boy!

Noah's 6th Birthday Eve

Do you know what steadies me though and helps me to gain focus?

It’s you!

Noah's 5th Birthday Eve

Because even when our journey as mother and son shakes me and scares me… you are absolutely, every single reason for me to smile and love bigger and harder. No doubt or worry will ever be bigger than all of the good that comes from you and out into the world.

Sats And Snails

Like today, after you shared your birthday sweeties out to your school friends at the end of the day, you went back in to class to give the last ones to your teachers.

Like your opinion on The EU Referendum. You said you wanted to remain because the more people, the more friends, the merrier. You couldn’t understand the choice to be alone.

Like when you hug me for no reason and you say that I am your favourite person in the whole world.

Like how you read my copy of Matilda by Roald Dahl, that I got for my eleventh birthday and you hold it dear to you.

Like when you make a plan every few months to donate everything that you have to poor countries and to people who have very little to nothing. You understand that material things do not define us nor do they matter.

Like when you say nothing at all and I look at you with such pride. I am truly grateful for you and for who you are. You were the first person to make me a mother and with that you have given me the strength and courage to realise all that I can be, want to be and all that I am. You never make me feel lesser, even when I feel like I could be more. You are kind, brave and charming. You are everything that I could have ever hoped for and you will never know what your smile does to my soul.

You are exactly the reason that I believe in dreams coming true. Because you did.

SATS And Snails

I hope your seventh birthday is as perfect as you are.

I love you more and most,

Mummy x x x

 

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SATS And Snails

Dear Noah (My Beautiful Boy),

The sun has been shining lately and there have been blossoms on the trees. The world has started to look so beautiful after a long winter. This morning after a splash of rain, a cool release from the heat over the weekend, Ellenah and I walked back from the school run without you. We walked quite slowly. Ellenah because she is small and wanted to look at the snails which were on the move. Me because like every week day morning, I miss you. I especially missed you today. I missed you because while Ellenah crouched down low, taking all of the time in the world to look at the snail which I held in the palm of my hand for her, it hurt my heart that you were not there. You would have loved that snail. You would have made up a story about it. You would have wanted to keep it. You would have said it was cute. You would have been so intrigued by where it lives, its family…its life so far and where it is going.

And I thought to myself about this moment.

This moment which wasn’t dictated by a clock, elsewhere’s to be… we had time as we crouched down in the rain with the world passing us by.

Moments like that are few and far between with you right now. Our moments are scheduled, organised and not quite so raw.

I have to steal those moments with you. Like at the weekend, on the bridge in our garden. The sun beat down on us and you sat on my knee like you did when you were much smaller. And my heart felt warm. And you will never know how much those few minutes of perfection meant to me.

SATS And Snails

Sometimes I hate myself when I ask you for ‘two minutes’ until I can read to you or for you to ‘wait until after dinner’ when you ask to build lego with me. I know that you want those moments with me too and I know that you hate waiting for them as much as I do. I hope you know that I am trying my best to be everything that you could ever want or need from a mother. I hope you know that when I ask you to ‘please wait’… that doesn’t mean that my love for you is paused.

Noah, isn’t everything so busy all of the time? Do you remember when we walked into the hills of the woods that time and as we stood on that bank and looked out upon tree tops, wasn’t it lovely? Do you remember what we did? When I said ‘Let’s think of all of the busy in our heads, all of the things we need to do, all of the things that worry us, bother us… let’s put it all in a ball in our stomach’s and shout our loudest until it’s gone!!!’ And we did. Do you remember how much we laughed, even though our eyes had tears in… It made us feel much better didn’t it?! Shall we do that again this weekend? Will you come with me?

Noah, I know that you feel nervous right now. Next week you have your very first SATS at school. Each day is taking a little chunk out of you and a little piece of your spirit. I can feel it! I’ve never seen you sweat anything before. I’ve never seen you try and rise to pressure. You have never needed to. You have always been so confident in the fact that you are good enough… because you most definitely are! Sometimes when I catch a glimpse of you, deep in thought… I can almost see you treading water, trying to keep going and all with a smile on your face. I can see you trying to figure out what you are feeling and why you feel strange about a little test. A test that doesn’t say anything about you and one that certainly doesn’t define you.

Noah, you know how special you are, right? You know that you are such a wonderful little boy? Do you know how you make people feel when you smile at them? Do you know how much that matters?

Noah, Do you know that I don’t care what a piece of paper with some numbers on tries to tell me about you?

I don’t care because you make the world better. You make it better with your beautiful eyes and the way that you see the world around you. You make it better with your laugh and ability to make others around you laugh and feel joy. You make it better because you see the good in everyone and you say such heartfelt things that make people feel good about themselves.

You are love, courage, enthusiasm, confidence and good.

You are happiness.

And you are small. And I am your Mother. And in this life, you will know everything that you are meant to and need to.

You will know that the sun will rise and the sun will set and everything in between is all that you make it. And, it is beautiful.

And you will know that your best is always good enough.

And you will know that ‘I Love You’, no matter what!

-Mama x

SATS And Snails

 

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