Another Link in the Daisy Chain

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When I was little my mother used to take me to the park nearest to where we lived.

We would sit on the grass and play my favourite game- Cinderella. I was always Cinderella of course- my mother still is a bit sore about having to always be the ugly sister (seriously, she always states the unfairness of my childhood games. After all, can’t adults get a good part?)

I just loved to play Cinderella. Weather it was helping with the dishes or at these instances in the park, slaving away at making endless daisy chains for my ugly stepsister to wear at the ball. In these moments, I was happiest.

Those daisy chains. They’ve haunted me ever since- in the best way. I love them. I have a deep rooted loyalty to these little pops of flowers with their delicately juicy stems and happy yellow hearts, to their beautiful halos of white. They will always hold a pride of place in my memory, taking me back to those long summer days with the gentle lift of breeze. In these moments I had my mother all to myself. I greedily gobbled up these times. In these moments, she wasn’t my stepfathers wife or my brothers mother. She was this beautiful entity of motherly love that was entirely and implicitly mine.

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These stolen moments, whilst we waited to pick my brother up from big school, or took time out before a doctors appointment to laze in the shade, I think were the makings of our bond. Don’t get me wrong, as the years ticked by and my hormones raged on we fought like cat and dog. Spatulas were thrown, rooms were wrecked in a pubescent rage, mountains shook and the wrath was felt. There were times when we felt more uncomfortable in each others company than Tiger Woods defending his fidelity.

But in another surge of time, things pass and subside. Normal service is resumed. The unthinkable happened- I grew up. I’m proud to say that my mother is my best friend. In fact, she can’t get rid of me. I call her one, two, three times a day for absolutely no reason other than to be comforted by her voice. That’s not to say we don’t have our moments- we do. We are both of a fiery disposition which sometimes leads to us burning holes in each other, but the constant is always there.

We went for a walk today and chose a spot on the grass in a patch of daisies. I made chains, letting my bump soak up the sun. Instead of playing Cinderella we spoke about life- mainly the new one growing inside of me. Where we would hold the christening, who we would invite, what she would wear…what she is going to look like. Having this moment with her to sit and do nothing was priceless, being able to sit side by side  (not just two but almost three) made me even more excited to meet my daughter.

My mother ate as I plugged on at this daisy chain, adding the links systematically.

I am a bundle of hormones, from good to bad- with a big dollop of excited thrown in.

I’m looking forward to meeting the new link in our chain…we’ll love her right from the centre of our bright yellow daisy hearts- although I may hide the kitchen utensils for the next 18 years just to be on the safe side.

The Art of Doing Nothing

 

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Being Pregnant has taught me many a thing. Allow me to elaborate.

1. Never take normal bladder function for granted. Going to to the toilet every half an hour is highly inconvenient and incredibly costly in terms of toilet paper.

2. Never underestimate the value of a decent pair of shoes. It is true, feet do swell and summer really is the worst time to be carrying the weight of another little soul.

3. Baby brain is a real thing and it is alive and well. Gone are the days where organisation comes second nature. Gone are the days when I could walk upstairs in the house and still remember what I was looking for by the time I reach the top of the stairs. Gone are the days…where was I?

4. There is nothing more blissful, nothing more sacred and more utterly necessary than doing sweet FA.

Before I found out I was a fertile myrtle I was of the opinion, that frankly my life was pretty boring. I’d work, come home, eat and sleep and participate in the rat race of life as we all do. Of a weekend I would see my friends, sink a few wines, dance like it was 1999 and eventually stumble home in the early hours. I felt like my life was pretty standard. To put it in simple terms- I always felt like there was more I should be doing, more I could pack into my evenings and weekends.  If I had no plans in the hours after work I felt a sense of social sadness, and almost even social failure. What was this ‘spare time’? I seemed to have more of it than I liked but I detested it. After all, a busy life is a means of vindication, right?

‘Friends want to see me. I have plans. I’m far too busy to sit at home.’

That was how I thought life should be. Where I got this perception from, I have no idea. I could blame it on social media. The photographs that stream endlessly onto our news feeds, the constant status updates of  ‘I had such a great night last night! I love my friends <3’  that we are all too used to seeing in these displays of social one up man-ship.

My housemate was very socially active, with a wide group of friends and an ever expanding diary. ‘I can do the 15th…but I’m busy for the rest of the month.’

It seems to me than many of us aspire to have that kind of lifestyle, to maintain that level of self righteous popularity- especially in your late teens to mid twenties. It’s almost embarrassing to make plans and reply with ‘I’m free as a bird, I can do any time’, to then be bombarded with a list of dates unsuitable for the other party.

Being a mother to be does change your social life, there’s no doubt about it- especially a single mother to be. Suddenly friends don’t know what to invite you to and what to not invite you to anymore- ‘I wasn’t sure if you would be up to it.’ And most of the time, they are right. Your energy levels deplete. You are incapable of going anywhere that doesn’t have a restroom within arms reach. Alcohol is out and so is dancing- at best you could manage a slow waddle. That’s not to say you’re forgotten about of course. That isn’t the case. They still care, they still pop round, you are still theirs. It is just different.

But, you know what I’ve discovered?

It’s okay. It’s more than okay- it’s delectable to come home from work and be given a reprieve from the go go go of the social scene. You are given a get out of jail free card to sit on your sofa with a plate of strawberries. One hand resting on your bump and another propping up an American Classic. I am a woman liberated from the shackles of ‘I’m running late, I’ll be there as soon as I can!’, of having utter hormone rage in trying to find that perfect outfit that I’m sure I must’ve owned once as there were pictures, and most brilliantly- no more Saturday mornings with my head down the toilet praying to the gods that I’ll never drink again if they offer up some sort of relief.

In retrospect I know now that my life is anything but boring. If anything, I was so caught up in the constant whirring wheel of communal goings on that I couldn’t see the spare minutes ticking by through the trees. I was on a 100% all of the time- I never gave myself a break. If I wasn’t out doing something, anything– I was at home thinking about what I could be out doing. It was a never-ending, sometimes enjoyable but sometimes sadistic way of life. Sailing at full speed whilst never having time to listen to the ocean beneath that carried the boat so effortlessly along.

I used to be so scared, all be it excepting of my own company. I’m not even entirely sure why. I’m sure a fair few therapists would have something to say on the subject.

Now, the really terrifying thing is- Life has never been so good.