This blog is about having children at a young age. It might come as a shock to some but I am 25 years old at the time of writing this. I was 22 when I gave birth to Cadence and turned 25 the same month I gave birth to Asher. I hope you enjoy.
I haven't travelled the world yet. But I journeyed to the edge of the universe when I gave birth to you.
I see pictures of people with hearts still inside their bodies and wonder how they boarded planes or clambered rocks or swam in oceans without a tiny hand to hold.
Some of the people in my life put on high heels and go out into the world. We stay here, in our own world. A world without lunch breaks or much adult interaction. I spend my days with you within these four walls, so privileged to call my home "your home; our home". We spend time in nature. We spend time in libraries. We spend time at playgrounds. We spend time.
I pack your toys away where my magazines once lived; the magazines that sold a different life.
My old clothes are no longer worn due to the impossibility of offering my breast to you.
My body, the temple that loved you to fruition, is different. I stand proud and slightly softer, both in body and mind, as I watch you, a piece of me. I watch you experience the world with the eyes, brain, lungs, heart and feet that I created.
My work is sometimes invisible. My work happens around you. My work interrupts our play. My work is important. But not important enough that I would trade a tidy house for another game of doctors or story.
I don't sleep.
I think back to my former self, the person I was before you. She was magic. And I am still magic. But she didn't know.
I am watching you and you are watching me and I know that you know. You know that I am learning still. You are patient with me as you teach and guide through this season of my life, our life.
We aren't watching the time. The time is just fading. There is no plan. There is no waiting. Because you were always the plan. You're already here. Now, we have an entire lifetime together. But it's not long enough.
I am thankful that you came to me at a young age. I am thankful that you chose me at a time when I thought I wasn't ready for you. I am thankful that my life took a path where I am able to walk it with you.
"You idiot", they said. "Was it planned?" they asked. I found myself holding you closer to me, sucking my belly in, my cheeks a rosy red of shame.
The moment I did this though was the moment I was denying myself the power of you. It was the moment I decided I would never be ashamed of you, even when you tell everyone at the supermarket about your runny bum from last week. I say this with my tongue in my cheek. There is no exception.
My children, I am blessed to have such a title for you. But it doesn't do you justice. My angels, my soulmates, my loves: thank you for being here in this life with me, this very second. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
In gratitude, your mama. X
Welcome to the September edition of The Postnatal Project Q&A. Here, I answer two questions a month related to parenting, sleep, breastfeeding, postnatal depression and everything in between. If you'd like your question answered, get in touch via the contact page.
Just a reminder that this post does not replace medical advice.
Try as you might, having 20 minutes to yourself to listen to a meditation track or practice some breathing exercises can feel near impossible. And even if you're lucky enough to have this golden 20 minutes, if you're anything like me, you can get into a trap of thinking that there are "better, more important things to do" or you sit and engage in mindlessness such as scrolling through social media.
I've outlined some techniques that have helped me in the past. I have found that the more I practice these simple ways to incorporate mindfulness and meditation, the easier it is to attend a yoga class or listen to a full meditation because my mindset is already positive about it and I'm already enjoying the practice and reaping the benefits.
There is a part of me that doesn't fully comprehend just how unwell I was. I look at the person I am now and don't think that I have changed, progressed, recovered at all. But I have.
When you're a mum, you will come to know that a 16GB iPhone just isn't big enough - I don't even have any music stored on it - just photos of Cadence. I've had to buy a separate hard drive dedicated to silly selfies and celebrating milestones. But I came across a poem that I wrote in the notes section of my phone dated November 11 2015 - about the time that I requested a referral to the mother and baby unit. My heart aches to read it.