Introducing my Husband

I haven’t told my husband I’m writing this and he’ll most likely keel over when he sees it. I’m not usually the soppy type- unless my kids are involved but I think it’s time he got a mention.

You may know Steve as the one who doesn’t do very well at keeping on top of the recycling and as true as this is he is so much more.

I met Steve 5 years ago when I was 27. He was 37 and we met a few times before we actually spoke. I assumed he was married and I’m still not sure why. He was always a gentleman and made sure I had a seat and a drink. I’ve always been partial to a man who makes sure I have a drink.

Lewis was 2 and I had had a few causal relationships after his Dad but none of which I’d write home about. They were all pretty rocky, slightly dramatic and just as I’d decided enough was enough there was Steve.

We joke about who pursued who but none of that matters (he pursued me FYI). He asked me out for drinks and I was slightly reluctant. I’d swore off men on the Wednesday and here I was on the Sunday contemplating a date. Madness surely? My friends talked me round. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that and I went. It was lovely and we agreed to meet again. We met again the following week and then he cooked me dinner at mine the week after. I knew then he was different.

He was romantic and there we’re no games. I’d never been treated so well before and as much as it took some getting used to I really liked it. Steve saw my worth and helped me realise it.

When we got together people praised him to high heavens for ‘taking on’ my child. Steve never seen it like this. He was just grateful I’d allowed him to be part of our life and 5 years on Lewis is very much our child.

A lot has happened in the time I’ve know Steve. We’ve crammed in an engagement, moved house twice, 4 lots of major surgery, numerous new jobs, a marriage, the loss of my dear Nan and the birth of our beautiful Joy. One thing has remained consistent throughout and that’s the love we have for each other. It’s different from any other love I’ve had. It’s simple, uncomplicated and being married to Steve is easy.

It’s never boring, we argue like all couples about recycling and who’s more tired (me) but it’s not high maintenance. There’s no unnecessary drama at all and we put work into having fun.

Once you have two kids fun changes completely so instead of cocktails at the Balmoral we now listen to TTF at home and play battleships with a glass of Malbec. It’s still fun though, even when we’re exhausted and can barely get a conversation going we still have that love for each other.

Steve buys me flowers weekly. The cheap ones he knows I like best as they last longer. He runs me nice baths and makes sure I’m feeling ok. I’m rubbish at sharing feelings so it’s not easy for him at times but he always knows when I’m down and just needing a cuddle.

He’s came to accept that doing insta stories in Lidl is the norm for me and will happily take 300 pictures of me in front of a wall just so I can find 1 I like. He may roll his eyes but he does it and for that I’m very thankful.

The most important thing about Steve is he supports me. He backs me up always and supports every ridiculous idea I’ve ever had (and there’s been plenty!) He never says I told you so even though he really should at times and he always picks me up when things go wrong.

He’s the positive to my negative and it works. We bring out the best in each other and he cares for our kids better than I could have ever dreamed. Watching him grow as a Daddy has been the most beautiful transition ever. Our kids have cemented our love for each other.

When he comes in from work I still get butterflies and he still takes any opportunity for a quick grab of my arse. We still flirt and even if we’re drinking at home we make an effort to dress up. He takes longer than any man I’ve ever known to get ready but he takes pride in his appearance and always looks so handsome.

We’re a team and we make mistakes but we can admit them and learn from them. In my eyes that makes us the perfect team.

Love you DB

Yvonne x

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Dear Rose… 

Dear Rose,

I bet you have to think before you even remember me but I often think of you. I don’t think you would have forgotten me although I wouldn’t blame you if you did. You probably see people like me every day. 

You were my health visitor and I was a naive 24 year old with not an ounce of common sense. 

I planned a baby with someone I thought I knew. I really didn’t but the less said about him the better. For the sake of my son. 

So I found myself 24, pregnant and very much alone. That wasn’t my plan. I was angry at that fact for so long. I didn’t want to be that person. Who does? 

You showed me that ‘that person’ could be anyone. Most of all you believed in me when I had zero faith I could make this sorry situation work. You gave me strength and never once looked down at me- and so many others did. 

You made sure I didn’t just make the situation work I fucking rocked it and you made sure I knew I did. Little comments of praise and texts here and there. They were the small things I really needed and I could tell you meant it all.

I genuinly believe there are some truly great people in the world. I’m not talking the Kardashians and all these other ridiculous people were constantly confronted with. Proper role models who make a difference to people’s lives day after day. People like you.

I was at my lowest ebb when I had Lewis. I hid it well as I always do but you saw through that. You supported me through it all like the guardian Angel I needed and you gave me the confidence to continue alone. 

When I moved house I got a new health visitor. I felt a bit sad to be leaving you but by this point I’d met Steve (my now husband) and we were ready to plan another baby. I text you to tell you and as predicted I got the loveliest response. 

My health visitor with Joy is nice. I see so little of her but she seems lovely. I don’t really need her and I just hope she’s spending her time with the people who do need her. Like you did with me. I do hope you guys realise the impact you have on our lives. 

I don’t think I ever got to properly thank you but I hope you know how much I appreciated everything you did for me and I have no doubt that you’re still making a difference to others. You rock Rose! 

Thank you! 

Yvonne (and Lewis) x 

We are good enough 

when you hear of postnatal depression what do you think of? For many it’s not bonding with your baby instantly after birth. For me that wasn’t the case. You see it’s different for everyone. There isn’t a right way to suffer PND and there certainly isn’t a wrong way. unfortunately you get the version you’re given.

For me I’ve been treated about a year after both my kids. Looking back it reared its head immediately but I soldiered on. I don’t know who I was trying to kid.

The stigma is still there with any mental health issues. People are frightened to speak up for fear of being judged. When you’re already feeling like you’re not good enough the last thing you need is others thinking it too.

I instantly bonded with both my children and it was love at first sight for me. weirdly the case for me- as it is for most is I love them… a bit too much.

Newborns scare me. The anxiety they give me drives me insane. I love the squishy, pink, milky bundles but what about all the other stuff they come with? For example cot death statistics, how much they should be eating, pooing and bloody peeing! Anything I can worry about I would.

When I had my first I slept with the windows locked in a first floor flat all summer. For fear someone would come and take my baby. I called my Nan once to ask her to look after the baby while I had a shower. She suggested I left him to sleep while I showered and I genuinely couldn’t believe she would suggest something so absurd.

When I had Joy, my second I stayed awake for 3 whole days. Even when she slept. For fear of something happening to her if I slept. Of course that didn’t last and I eventually passed out with exhaustion.

Second time round it’s much easier to spot though and  luckily I’m surrounded by love and support. I’m now very good at asking for help if I need it now and I’m aware of the importance of self care. We all need to look after ourselves first. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

The more we talk about these issues the more we educate others. If we normalize talking about mental health then we put people at ease and eliminate ignorance.

My point? Keep talking. If unsure ask questions. Never be ashamed and make sure you have a good GP who understands what’s going on. I can’t stress that enough. These issues are often easily resolved but only once treated. Either it be with counselling, drugs or maybe both. Whatever works for you.

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. We’re all guilty of it. Some days I can clean the whole house, have 2 playdates, make the dinner and do a food shop. Other days I stay in Pjs and that’s okay too. It’s about balance.

I’ll say it again. Keep talking!

I’ve posted some links below that may be helpful:

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Postnataldepression/Pages/Introduction.aspx
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Anxiety/Pages/Introduction.aspx
https://insighttimer.com/
Yvonne x

Mothering without a mother 

Recently I’ve seen an influx of Facebook posts about always loving your mother as you never get another. Even when you dont see eye to eye. This may be very true but for some sadly it isn’t this black and white. 

My Mum isn’t dead. Not my biological one anyway. My Nan raised me and she was my ‘real’ Mum and sadly she’s no longer with us. My Biological Mum isn’t part of my life however and won’t ever be. 

I won’t go into it as I have no urge to publicly slate her and have younger siblings I wouldn’t want to hurt. 

She hasn’t met Joy and hasn’t seen Lewis in years. It isn’t a fallout or an argument situation but for the sake of my mental health she will remain an outsider. I wish her well. 

Do I love her? Yes! Am I sad I don’t have a mother around? Of course! This really is the best decision all round and I’ve made peace with that. That has taken a long time but I really have made peace with it. 

That doesn’t mean I don’t get a pang of upset when I see friends Mum’s coo over their gorgeous grandchildren. Or when I’m ill and I could really use a cuddle. You’re really never too old to want your Mum at times. 

I do love it when I see my friends with good relationships with their Mums. Over the years a few of them have played a Mum role to me and that’s helped me build a picture of the type of mother I want to be. 

Having Joy was bittersweet. My Nan died when I was pregnant and to not have a mother to show of my baby too… bloody hurt. I still look at my kids and think ‘wow! I made this!’ I just wish I had my Nan here to gush to at times. 

I’m fiercely independent and this is probably why. It’s a defence mechanism. I’ve not always had the choice. I’ve just had to crack on with it. 

The one good thing to come from the situation is my relationship with my children. I’ll always put them first, do my best to never let them down and love them with every part of me. 

I have a great support network and I’m so grateful. My Auntie Helen, my siblings, my friends, my cousins, my mother in law and obviously my husband. Having a big family does have its perks- sometimes! 

I’m not angry or sad at these Facebook posts. It’s a copy and paste type thing and people are more than entitled to celebrate anyone in their life that they wish. So long as we’re mindful it isn’t the same for everyone. I hope one day my kids can celebrate me in that way. Maybe even throw in a wee afternoon tea. 

If you have your Mum in your life then give her a kiss from me. This mothering lark isn’t easy but a kiss from your child always helps. 

Yvonne x