Thursday, 2 August 2012
This is Isla. She is one month old today. I look at her and feel such a wealth of emotions. How can I best look after her? When will she go to sleep? Do we have enough time to save for her university education? How did I get to be so lucky to be blessed with a third daughter? She is also my little bundle of inspiration. When I look at her I wonder will she be proud of her Mummy? What lessons will she learn from me? Not just the things I will explicitly teach her, how to say the alphabet, how to bake muffins, the words to many songs, but the other things I will teach her just by example and without me always being conscious of them. She will learn from me how to cope with stressful situations, how to behave towards people, strangers, friends and our loved ones, she will also learn from me how to live our lives. What is it I would like her to learn then? What should I be modelling for her to absorb from me over the years?
I would like her to learn that family life is sacred and that we are lucky to have each other. That it is important to take care of our bodies and minds, to eat nourishing food and to read nourishing books, these things are important to me. I would like her to learn that as she grows up she will be on a journey towards discovering who she really is, as I still am and will be until the day I die. I wish for Isla to learn from her Mummy that it is our job, our duty, to continue on this path of self-discovery, to dedicate our lives to it. If we are being our true, authentic selves, then we can be the best parent, sibling, spouse to each other. We can do a great job of being all these things. And so, 'to practice what I preach', I return to writing, for myself, with no expectations, no pressure, just to writing because when I slow down and listen it is something that emerges from within me and to not listen to this inner voice wishing to be expressed is 'inauthentic'. My Isla is so beautiful, so little and vulnerable and she makes me want to be a better Mummy, a Mummy who is true to herself and carves out ten minutes of this day so that I can return to my 'motherly duties' of changing nappies, feeding and starting her off with those songs I want her to learn.
Sunday, 1 January 2012
"The soul's awakening is gratitude" (Sarah Ban Breathnach)
This New Year's Day will not see me joining a new gym or starting a new healthy eating plan, I don't have to give up smoking because I don't and I didn't drink very much before I got pregnant anyway. What it will see me doing though is starting my new journal as I did this morning, a precious hour in bed alone while my girls were downstairs with their Daddy. I took some time to think about the upcoming year and about January in particular. January can be such a bleak month, all the festivity is finished and all that stretches ahead of us is two more months of winter and the usual daily routine, but with some reflection and creativity it can be a month of new beginnings.
So, in my journal I've thought about how to make January a bit brighter - just with a few simple ideas. Making plans for lunch with friends, planning a trip in to the museums in London with my girls, a trip to a local art gallery on my own for a little treat, spending some time organising photo albums and writing in dates and special memories to go with the photos, compiling a list of books I'd like to read ( I find the 'New Books' magazine particularly helpful with this), making some little plans for the gardens (I don't plan on doing much gardening this year with a new little one on the way) and I'm also making plans for the things I would like to make for the new baby, starting with some little cardis and some bootees.
Also in my journal I'm trying to start as I mean to go on with a list of the gifts that January will bring. Already this morning, before I even got out of bed, I wrote down the following;
"- Lying in bed, before sunrise, kissing and cuddling my girls, laughing and singing - heavenly.
- Sunday morning reading and writing in bed."
Already January has started pretty well. How happier and more content does it make me feel to start the day knowing that I already have something for which to feel grateful. If I write nothing else in my journal this year I want to commit to recording the gifts in my life. The really small moments in my day, that can go by unacknowledged unless I'm looking for them. Flicking back on previous journals when I've done this well, each entry brings a smile to my face and makes me feel as though my life is so rich and full.