A few years ago, I was a bit of a high flyer. Doing really well in my job, feeling successful and satisfied, had the respect of my colleagues (which was extremely important) to me. I was happy. Then I got married. Even happier. Became pregnant – over the moon! Then I gave birth to my little baby. Suddenly, everything turned itself on its head. I wasn’t in control anymore. This tiny little baby was in charge of everything! She slept when she wanted (which was hardly ever), always wriggly, curious, full of energy – so I was drained – and in fairness to him, so was my husband. But at the same time, it was an amazing feeling. This feisty, happy little creature, who the world now revolved around was the best thing in our lives. We were now parents.
Having said that, I was more than that wasn’t I? I was a high flyer, in a senior position, and it wasn’t very long before I went back to work. There I was again, in the thick of it, working all the hours that I could – with a little baby in tow. If I’m honest – I wasn’t getting the balance right. My little one was teething, and grouchy and in pain, and I had work to do; so my mum would help; my husband be there – because Mummy was really busy. She grew a bit older, and needed cuddles and a story – but Mummy was still really busy – so my mum helped out; my husband was always there…and I told myself, everything was ok.
Until one day it was not. She was eighteen months old at the time, I must have had some time on my hands, so we went out for a walk – my little bundle of energy was running so quickly, as they do at that age, and in her excitement, she tripped, fell over, hurt her knees and started to scream in pain. Of course, I rushed over and picked her up, started to cuddle her…but I’ll never forget what she cried, “I want my Nani!” And that’s when the penny dropped. She didn’t need me for comfort anymore – she wanted someone else. And that’s when I woke up.
Luckily, my workplace and my husband were both really supportive of my decision to ‘step down’. Others, I knew, thought I was making a huge mistake (career wise). All I knew at the time was that my 18 month daughter had been in pain, and because of all other the times that I hadn’t been there for her, she didn’t want me anymore…
After I had my second daughter, I stayed at home for slightly longer before returning to work. By the time she came along, I had learnt my lesson. No matter how much I loved my job, as far as I could manage it, I would always try to put my girls first. The problem was that I wasn’t good at the sleepless nights. My hormones were still doing the strangest things. I’m not really sure what happened – but I became quite ill. It started off with bouts of vertigo – if you’ve never had it, it’s not a fear of heights that Alfred Hitchcock made us believe. It’s a condition where you are sitting or even lying still – yet the world around you is spinning. It’s triggered by an inner ear infection – and it’s incredibly common. So I was trying to look after two children who were under 3, get myself strong and healthy again, trying to get ready to go back to work, trying to be a good mother and a good wife…and I became ill.
I saw my GP quite a few times, eventually I was referred to the hospital. I was assessed by different departments, audiology, cardiology, ENT – eventually ending up at neurology. That was when the doctor told me that the other departments couldn’t understand what was wrong and the only thing left now was for them to do an MRI scan of my head.
I know it’s because my father passed away when he was young that I panic when I don’t feel well. And I panicked about the results of the scan….I remember having a tearful conversation with my husband one evening…I won’t even go into what we spoke about, but what played over and over again in my head was – what if I let my girls down again and wasn’t there for them again when they would need me?
I’m not really sure what happened, but after the MRI scan – which showed that I was healthy, thank God, my health started to improve. But it was from that moment that I knew that I wanted to leave something behind. I was lucky enough to have known my dad for 11 years, but my brother who was 6 months when my dad passed away, didn’t know him at all. Everything that he knows about my dad is anecdotal. This played on my mind for a long time – which is why I eventually put fingers to keyboard to set up my blog.
Sometimes, some things happen in life, and I wish I could speak to my dad and ask him for his advice. Although I know that he loved us, sometimes it would be comforting just to read that somewhere, or hear him say it again. Hear the sound of his voice (which I have forgotten), the expression in his eyes, his smile…
The wonderful thing about technology now – with photos, videos, blogs – we can be immortal. I want my daughters to know that I was not perfect. I made mistakes, at times some wrong decisions, but I also overcame and achieved a lot. Life has peaks and troughs – and even if something seems terrible now, it won’t always be that way. If things aren’t going the way that you want them to a) maybe it’s secretly a blessing; b) don’t give up; c) learn lessons when things go wrong – it will help you to succeed.
But most importantly, I want them to always know that they are loved. More than anything in the world. That every fibre and molecule of their being is loved. And they can do anything. Girls – you can do anything and everything! There is nothing that you can’t do – just put your mind to it and do it.
So this is why I write my blog, to record my thoughts about things that have happened in my life, and so that I become immortal. So that no matter what happens to me, my daughters will know who I was, what I thought about things – and most importantly – that they are/were/always will be loved. Because love transcends all…..