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Currently Browsing: Just my Feelings

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday

Today’s post won’t be long…in fact you’ll notice I went MIA again on you. I needed this however, just to focus on Christmas and getting those last minute details in place. We did though, have a wonderful day, with a huge dinner that I believe we are still eating! After that cook-a-thon I told the family that would be all my cooking until the weekend was over, as even Mom needs some time off once in a while. They were all fine, and so grateful that there was a lovely dinner on the day.

Now I spend my weekend in quiet contemplation, looking ahead at the New Year to come, knowing what’s in store in the months ahead and still not knowing all at the same time. New Year is funny like that, you know the direction that you’d like to head and yet once on the journey sometimes it doesn’t take you there at all. The only thing I am sure of, is that in April our little man will arrive and soon life will be back to the chaos that is caring for a baby and each member of our household adjusting to that new existance of our newest arrival. It seems forever until then, yet still that feeling I haven’t had enough time being pregnant, or enough time to get everything sorted before he comes. Nothing and everything, it’s one of those strange feelings.

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and a very blessed New Year ahead. Hopefully things will get back to normal for us all soon, although I imagine that we’re all on the down time until the New Year passes. Enjoy the time however you spend it, even if that does mean working or attempting to get back to the grind of daily life!

Losing your tact

Today I am on my soapbox. Today I am going to sit and have a rant about why people feel the need to lose their tact around pregnant women.

Before I really get started, let me make a couple of things perfectly clear. I don’t take it personally half as much as I used to when someone sticks a foot in their mouth. During the first two pregnancies I did and I suppose a part of me has just developed an immunity to hearing stupid comments being thrown at me from the mouths of some rather inconsiderate people. So this post isn’t about me believing a single word that is uttered to me these days, but rather a rant because other pregnant women out there do take it to heart. I certainly did once upon a time and I’d be lying if there wasn’t some little part of me that simply wishes that other people wouldn’t attempt to ruin the enjoyment of my pregnancies, I’ve just moved past allowing them to. Still, it is so annoying. But I stand ever proud of my figure, every woman develops in pregnancy differently, almost like a fingerprint, unique and equally as beautiful as each other.

So now the rant. Now comes the absolutely true events that took place yesterday while out on a shopping trip with a dear friend. We were in a toy shop, the shop was small and cozy, but attracts a number of people especially in this holiday season, so we were all in tight together fighting for elbow space while trying to sort out a few stocking fillers for the children we all have at home. But the mood was happy, everyone chatting to each other, the way strangers do when the start of the shopping season begins, no one really panicking just yet since we have a few weeks left to shop. Next to me a woman grabbed an item that my friend and I were laughing over, a silly little rubber chicken that upon a squeeze releases a rather gross egg type thing from between it’s legs. Definetly something for the boys to giggle over. When I saw the woman, I looked up long enough to realise I knew her from some years ago since our boys went to pre-school together back then. We started chatting away about the years that have past and how many more children we’ve had since, how our families were and…ooh look yes I am expecting another one on the way.

Here is where the quite innocent and great conversation we were having goes terribly wrong. She asks when I am due to have the baby, I state April and that smile on her face got wiped off so quickly you’d have thought someone just told her a person was mugged outside the door. The eyes widened (I’m used to that) the mouth dropped (also, pretty used to that) and the gasping for words (seen that too, it’s all good) So you’re….just…. 20 weeks, I said. Who the hell can do maths that fast in shock? I didn’t want her to show herself up so, I did the maths for her. What came next was probably every sensitive pregnant woman’s nightmare. Just note, the tone of voice…she’s going now from a normal chat to practically shouting. My friend did the decent thing of going to the other side of the shop so that we could play catch up without that awkward third wheel thing. I am defenseless, with just my toddler. Here’s how it went down…and I quote (no exaggeration here done for dramatic effect)

Oh my god! Oh my god! You’re ONLY 20 weeks?! You’re massive! Oh my god you’re huge! But, you’re so huge! Oh I know it’s rude, but you are so massive! Oh it’s so rude, but oh my god! You are just so huge!

At this point she has taken a step back away from me, with her hand over her mouth and pretty much every shopper nearby is checking her out and then checking me out. With the announcement that I am only 20 weeks I feel a few eyes upon me scanning the belly to see if by their own standard am I huge and massive or not. Some are looking at her whincing, others are just doing their best to pretend it’s not going on. I am simply standing there waiting for her to finish her rather loud display, that she may as well just put over the damn intercom system. It wasn’t just a quick damn girl you big statement, it was a whole gasping for breath and I wondered if I’d just said I was pregnant with an elephant or something. People have said some pretty rude things before in previous pregnancies, but this was just mind boggling. Even with her saying twice she knew it was rude, but still carried on saying over and over how huge and massive I was, it left me standing there wondering why then did she continue on?

So what happens after a conversation like that? Apologies don’t happen, apparently after something like that people simply tie up the convo and wish you a merry christmas before heading as fast as possible away from you and out of the store. Because that’s what she did. We had our moment of awkward silence once she was finally finished blowing me to smithereens in public and then, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! See you later!  Have a Merry Christmas? Are you fecking kidding me? Not even a Oh my god I am so sorry, I am such an ass! Nope, just happy holidays I’m outta here. Well Ho ho ho to you too asswipe, I hope you and your family have a Merry Effing Christmas AND a Happy Friggin New Year! Merry Christmas….dear god she did so not just say that. Oh but she did, with a smile to boot.

Of all the rude things, comments about twins, are you sure it’s not twins haha, don’t fall over on your face with that huge thing attatched, whatever comments stated before, that had to take the cake. That had to simply be the most stupidest thing ever to have happened to me and I stood there not able to do anything but stare in shock once I saw nothing but dust in the place she had been standing. There’s a part of me that wondered if once she got home that day she confessed to her other half that she had done something terribly rude to someone in town, or whether she carried on gasping for breath retelling the story of how absolutely massive I was. Either way, I’ll never know and in fact it doesn’t make a blinding bit of difference, the deed is done.

But I’m not worried about what I look like. I relish in the hugeness of this belly because for me, this comes but only a few times in life. I am lucky enough to have done this four times over and I simply love the way my body looks sporting this baby inside me. Yeah, I’m huge, so what? I’m not going to spend the rest of the pregnancy worrying myself over it. I’m going to count my blessings that I have a healthy happy little man in there, one I will meet in 4 1/2 months and love till the ends of the earth.

Until then, please for the love of all that is holy, have a moment to honestly think before you speak. Pregnant lady hormones and rude comments don’t seem to mix well for some reason and even once your baby is born you never forget the things people have said. Ok rant over, I’m stepping off my soapbox now and leaving you all with that thought for today, especially in light of the upcoming holidays. So if upon your shopping sprees you stumble upon a pregnant lady, do let her know how utterly gorgeous she is. Because if you can’t see the beauty of a belly, I too wish you a Merry Effing Christmas and hope Santa fills your damn socks with coal.

Officially at the half way point

Today is the day. Today I am exactly 20 weeks pregnant, which means I am already half way there.

 If I’m honest, it’s a little strange to be at the half way point already. Things seem to be flying along much faster than with the others, perhaps it’s because I know what to expect and when without resorting to the books every 5 minutes of the day. I suppose too that having three others to look after makes the days shoot off at full speed. Despite the rate at which this baby is growing, I don’t feel I am missing anything along the journey. I’ve relished in every little kick and prod this mini us has dished out and even spured the little guy (or gal) on trying to get the kicks a little harder. Papa can’t wait to feel for himself, as so far he’s only managed to catch the little one out once, even then I’m sure it was purely down to the way I happened to be lying. When he does finally get to feel a big ol’ kick again, I do so wish I could have a camera pointing at his face. I know I won’t, but it would be great to forever have that look etched in my mind, how excited and happy that face portrays. There is no prouder Papa in this world than my other half, he is beside himself with joy over this little one’s arrival and I of course am soaking all the happiness in.

Tomorrow we have our 20 week ultrasound at the hospital, along with a possible date for the baby to be born. Sadly we are being scheduled for a C-section, so this one is coming with full on planning with all the guess work done for us. (I am not thrilled to be having one, but with two previous sections, I really don’t have room to argue.) However we are going to find out the sex of the little guy (or gal!), mostly because we are the most impatient parents and need to know and second because our families are all in different countries it does make sending things so much easier. Besides, with all this planning ahead for the birth why not throw in the sex as a bonus. I think it’s a boy. I’ve always predicted right with my other three, in fact I knew their sexes even before they were concieved, believe it or not. I was right, so let’s see if tomorrow I am right again. It doesn’t matter to us one bit be it boy or girl, but oh how the butterflies are bouncing in our stomachs out of pure excitement. My guess is that today will linger on like a bad smell to torture me.

Let us hope that whatever tomorrow brings in news, that along side such wonderful knowledge comes the relief that all is well with our little one and that he or she is growing beautifully. I am confident that everything is fine, but isn’t it always nice to get that confirmation? Here’s to being half way already, I’m going to enjoy every little bump and kick and hope this pregnancy doesn’t rush the rest of the way through.

Watching the world go by

What a beautiful sight the world is when you stop to watch it go by. This past week has reminded me what it is to have a little down time to visit family and enjoy the children and my wonderful partner even if only for a few days. You see we had family down from Holland to come and see us, so hence I was busy this past week making preparations and entertaining a lovely guest who seemed to really enjoy his visit here. It was nice just to relax a little, go down to the park with the dogs and kids and simply be. Despite the cold weather that is fast approaching us, there are still signs of autumn clinging on to the last few days of existance and a winter chill in the air reminding us that in fact winter will soon reign. I took this picture while we were there just to see that last second of autumn before it’s gone for another year.

The weather has been cold enough to warrant breaking out the hot chocolate and marshmellows for a hot drink in the evenings. We’ve all sat around enjoying little moments together listening to the rain outside on a few of the days. The wind is kicking up and softly playing outside the window even at the peak of the day. It’s lovely. The mornings are so dark it’s getting harder to stir and wake the body up to greet the day. Not even a hot cup of coffee will entice me out of bed at 7am, just the little spec of sunlight that starts to yawn through as my eyes crack open. It’s not at all like the sunlight of the summer that blinds it’s way into tell you to get your lazy butt out of bed and see the gorgeous day. It seems that even the sun is finding it difficult to brave the cold mornings. I can’t say that I blame him at all.

My days are a little more relaxed, seeing to the chores around the house but deciding to stay indoors for the day and have an extra cuddle or two with the youngest of the children while the other two are at school.  We do venture out, as I love the early winter signs outside, watching the trees blow in the wind and rid of those last few little leaves that hang onto dear life refusing to see autumn going. It’s the stillness of it all that makes it for me, less people outside, birds quieting down and nothing but you and perhaps the wind whispering winters secrets in your ear. I love that feeling of being out in the cold and finding your way inside where it’s warm and cozy and that little brisk of heat that suddenly washes over you like an old friend. It’s amazing, a feeling I knew so well as a child, came to love then and adore now.

In winter I tend to sit and contemplate many things, I have permission to sit a little longer and think, be inspired or perhaps just enjoy not thinking about anything at all. The latter is such a rarity for me, not thinking, it’s like a vacation for my mind when it happens. Soon I’ll begin to eye up the kitchen and bake a little more, enjoy the smell of hot cakes or cookies and see the family’s eyes light up when they come home to find a treat or two some days. Soup will certainly be on the menu too, with fresh bread and jacket potatoes comfort food at it’s best. This time of year sees me enjoying the food a little more, although I don’t eat much more except perhaps during the holidays. It’s just that I enjoy lovely hot foods, foods that leave you with that feeling of being nurished, food that smells like heaven when it’s cold outside.

Today I’ll sit and watch the world go by, listen to the wind and embrace the winter chill that keeps peeking outside my door. Perhaps it has something inspiring to say today, or maybe we’ll just sit and be together with nothing to worry about at all.

Picking up the pieces

I wanted to post something rather personal today. Something that, had I not gone through in my life I know I wouldn’t be the woman I am now. This isn’t a post about triumph, it’s not a post meant to spark sorrow, pity, or any sort of pain, because the pain left my heart long ago. It’s a post about second chances, about being thrown into a life you never wanted to lead, it’s about finding love again, within myself and with someone. The day this post begins was the day I became a single mother to three beautiful children.

Looking back, I have no idea how the hell we ate some days. I’m not even sure some days existed because I can’t recall a moment when I didn’t have something swimming in my head while doing something else. There was always worry, worry about bills, food, toys, holidays. Worry when the heating wasn’t working, why our new house wasn’t like the old one and explaining why Mom and Dad aren’t together anymore. When you get married, you never expect to wind up divorced, you expect that the world awaits the pair of you in a journey of self discovery and awe. You never think for one second you’d be packing your bags and walking out the door. But I had to, I won’t list the reasons because I’m done with that part of my life. Never would I choose to walk away from a marriage without knowing in my heart I had to, it is not the easy road. Especially since going there meant being totally alone, my family are all still back home in the States, my children firmly rooted here.

When there is no where to turn you start to feel a little humbled with life. My friends showed the most amazing side to the human spirit in existance, everyone pitched in and helped me set up a new house in a place that wasn’t at all the standard I was used to. This new house wasn’t anything like I wanted, but it was all I could grab a hold of to make a bad situation better. My friends all phoned, they all helped, I wept at their kindness, it was unlike I had ever seen. I can only hope they all know how much it meant to me then, I hope I have expressed my feelings strongly enough to carry that message to them.

When you stand before three faces who look up to you for answers you simply can’t give, the world takes on an entirely new shape. When you stand crying because you can’t afford to buy even just a little thing for them, the world seems so cruel. Yet, there is joy in the midst of such change, there are moments you find together as a family that give a little ray of hope. Times when you’re all in bed reading stories together and laughing, moments when you hear them say things that bring a smile to a rainy day, kids are sometimes the best therapy like that. It was hard some days, others filled with a freedom of the likes I had never known, but would I go back and exchange those days however tough they were? Of course not, I learned more during that time than any other in my life and it woke me up to appreciate when something good came on my doorstep. Not that I took it all for granted before, but I can’t sit here and safely say that I didn’t to some degree, I suppose that life decided to teach me that sense of deeper appreciation whether I wanted to learn or not.

When you aren’t dealing with the worries of life as a single mom, you’re worried about what love is going to drag you through next, if it drags you at all. The conversations my reflection and I had back then were hard, sometimes they were said with a heavy heart, other times they tried to be optimistic and hopeful that perhaps after all there was a man out there who wanted an instant family. Maybe there was a single dad somewhere in the world looking for love again too, I didn’t know. It took a while before I cared about that part of my life, but eventually I look the leap and entertained a few getting to know sessions and slight dating. I found nothing, nothing that captured my heart and attention in the way I knew it was supposed to and although I was starting to feel comfortable with the life I was thrown into, I began to think the best thing was just to be content with myself. Then he came, right when I decided that those few dates were enough to swear off dating for all eternity, right when I wondered if there was a man strong enough to take a woman with an instant family, right then he arrived. I wasn’t ready, not for a second.

You start to worry about how much time has passed, am I supposed to feel ready for this, do I want to, is it wrong to want to? So many questions and life decided you don’t have time to answer, you have to act, you have to listen to whatever your heart says. It’s easier said than done. Inviting a man into not just your life, but the life of your kids is hard, suddenly you have a criteria. Suddenly you have to know what he thinks about family, is he going to put them first just like his own and keep the respect there that he didn’t plant the seed? I was scared, he excited me, I hated feeling this way and yet here I was feeling just like that, not knowing whether I should or shouldn’t, just knowing if I didn’t I’d be sitting in my room alone one night down the line crying in the face of regret. Whatever I wanted in my life, it wasn’t to feel like I’d passed up the man of my dreams, I’m far too romantic for that. So I leaped, I leaped hoping it was the right thing, I did what any protective Mom would do and kept the kids out of it until I knew it was all it seemed to be and I gave my heart away again hoping this time it would be right. It’s been so right, despite what life threw our way to make it interesting, whatever obstacles we overcame we did so together. There was so much in our way, different countries for a start, seeing one another as and when we could and the goodbye’s were more painful each time we had to say them. Those goodbye’s didn’t last, we don’t have to say them anymore, we stand together complete as a family and watching this family grow as the fourth child makes it’s way to join us. Through it all he has been more than I could have asked him to be, he looked at love dead in the face and did things that shocked and surprised me in a way that only exist in movies. It’s not perfection, we’d be too bored if it was, but it’s perfection in our eyes and that’s what is important. What an amazing journey it’s been and what an amazing journey ahead for us.

So why have I posted this now? Why look back at a time I’ve said farewell to, a life that now seems so far away from where we are now? Because no matter how far it feels, each time something better comes into my life I look back and remember where I was then. How far we’ve all come, how much I learned crying in my room alone, how much strength I mustered when I felt there was nothing left inside me to conjure up. It’s not because I’m any different to any other Mom, woman, or person out there. It’s because when you have to find the strength you do, when you need to fall apart you will and when it’s time to pick up the pieces and try again, eventually you do that too.

When you find yourself alone having conversations with your reflection, however critical they are, however tough they feel right at that moment, they shape the ones you’ll sit and have one day that show you smiling back.

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