Just over two years.
It’s just myself, Ida who’s three, Ev who’s five, and Charlie our Beagle. We’ve been a unit of 4 since March 2018, after tragically losing my husband Ben in a car accident. Our lives were turned upside down overnight.
I’m very lucky in that we have great family, friends and a community around us – plus I have a flexible job.
I usually work three days a week from home and use grandparents, neighbours, and school wrap-around care for the two days I go into the office. It’s full on, and there are never enough hours in the day, but as time goes on I’m definitely getting better at asking for help. I’ve always been fiercely independent, and a bit of a control freak but I’m finally learning to let go a little as you can’t do it all!
Mainly catching up with friends, or doing things that I can’t get to when they’re around. Long walks and running would be such a luxury right now, and are probably up there with seeing friends and family on my list of things I’m missing during lockdown!
I love how Frolo has introduced me to a whole new set of friends that completely get where I’m coming from. They’re a great support, have similar life experiences and interests, and have just made me feel normal again.
The social side is amazing, especially on the days that I may feel lonely. I know that I can dip into the app and there’s always something happening or a discussion that I can get involved in.
Enlightening, emotional, hilarious.
Try and go with the flow a little more, listen to your instincts, take each day as it comes and enjoy it. You’re stronger than you realise and you ARE enough.
You know yourself and children better than anybody else, do what you feel is right and what works for you.
I can’t narrow that down to one thing! Ben, the girls, music and food.
The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read by Philippa Perry – particularly for the days when I turn into shouty mum – and the Happy Place podcasts.
Be thankful for your life, spend time in nature, breathe deeply, let go of your worries, forgive yourself and others, and build a life around what you love. This is actually an Instagram quote I’ve saved and often refer back to.
My beautiful girls.
Not listening to myself.
Never take anything for granted and focus on what you already have.
This morning when Ida was parading around in my eye mask pretending it was a bra. The girls make me erupt into tears of laughter daily!
Two days ago, when trying to decide what the hell I’m meant to be doing when it comes to sending my daughter back to school! It’s at times like this that I miss Ben the most. I’m still trying to find my way without him when it comes to making those big life decisions (oh the tears I cried over picking primary schools).
Soulmate by Lizzo.
Find or create your own support network. If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel guilty about having to ask for favours from people, but if you have a number of different people you can lean on you won’t feel like you’re being a burden (and chances are you’re not being one anyway).
And, most importantly, make time for you and don’t feel guilty about it. You need to stay fully charged and happy to be the best parent you can be!
I need my own space. Whether that’s getting up a few hours before the girls, or going to the loo on my own. I’m so much calmer and more patient when I’ve had a bit of a break from the girls.
I’ve also learned that I can do those ‘man jobs’ that I was never allowed to do before, and it’s actually quite rewarding having to learn new skills – even if it takes 100 YouTube videos to work out how to work a drill!