30 Jun Love is…
From time to time on my facebook and instagram feeds you’ll see a post that starts like this, ‘Love is…’ I then go on to tell a short story about something lovely that my ever-supportive husband has done for me. Like buying me new running shoes, or creating a yoga room in our house. But my latest encounter with, Love is… felt so important and significant that is deserved a full blog post.
I’m a new mum with a beautiful five-month old baby girl who has just developed separation anxiety. This means that we are permanently attached to each other both day and night. She can be all happy smiles but if I try to leave the room or go out of her site for a minute, an instant melt down happens.
She very much needs me around to help her feel happy, secure and confident and that is exactly how she appears when she’s sat on my knee. But if other people try to hold and cuddle her she cries and sometimes ‘other people’ includes her amazing Dad.
Her Pearly power naps give me a little down time, perhaps 20 – 30 minutes of her snoozing in the sling whilst I dance her around, or maybe in the pram whilst I walk the dogs. On the rare occasion we time it just right, I get to plonk my bum on the sofa and read a chapter of a book while she falls asleep feeding.
As Pearl grows bigger the time I get to myself seems to be getting smaller and I often find that I’m so exhausted, I can’t even muster up the energy to imagine what I might like to do with time if I did get some.
But this week inspiration hit, I battled through the exhaustion and the baby brain fog to see a glimmer of the woman I used to be. I popped a pair of heels on her and took her to the ballet!
Yes! As soon as Pearls little round belly was full of milk and she was sound asleep on her Dad’s chest for the evening, I made for the door. There was a ticket in the cheap seats for the Northern Ballets rendition of Jayne Eyre with my name on it. And despite checking my phone every ten minutes and thinking about Pearl constantly I had the most amazing time. I arrived home still exhausted but full of a new enthusiasm.
I love my daughter and my life as her mum more than I could have imagined possible. I am so pleased that the bond between us is so strong that we must see each other ALL the time. But realistically I only have so much happy mama fuel in my tank.
I learnt a long time ago that in all relationships it is important to show up as the very best version of yourself. And that we alone are responsible for maintaining our own health and happiness. For me that means time spent doing the things that satisfy my creativity, interests and ambition.
In the midst of loving and caring for someone else I’d forgotten how important it was to still make the time to love and care for myself. And along with that, how much I believed that this was an important act for Pearl to observe, learn from and adopt when she grows into a woman.
It took another three and a half months for me to remember to spend a little time with myself again and here I am on the first of my monthly, ‘space to write’ days.
The family is having fun with the new paddling pool whilst I hide away in the sun filled attic with a whole day of creative space just for me. Finally making the time to type up the journal entries I want to share, I can feel my happy mama fuel tank filling up with each word.
Here’s a question. What’s your, love is?