Remembering them 

I make a conscious decision to not mention his name too much throughout the year, (yes, I sometimes fail, it’s hard not to with a tiny version of him as my little shadow) but one month, I can’t help it. July has come around for the past almost 5 years now, and the second that month shows it’s face, I think of him more. I simply can’t help it. To me it doesn’t mean that I am slipping back into grief, (although some days I feel like I am) it doesn’t mean that I am dwelling on it, it just means, that for that one month, I feel it a little more, I remember dates, days, moments, even more than I normally do. 

I have also made a conscious decision to get on with things, to live my life as best as I can, to the “fullest” as I have now trained myself to do. You see, we didn’t break up…. he died. They are two very different things, two very different feelings. The love is still there, the nice memories, the feeling of loss, all still very strong in my mind. We all seem to be experts on how someone is meant to cope with such loss, we all like to tell people how to be, how to feel. The best way is to just forget, to get on with it, well that may be so in your mind, but not mine. I’m simply not able to. It’s not in my make up.

The best way I cope, is to allow myself to feel. I go through all the emotions, bit by bit. I often feel guilty. Guilty that I am here, but he’s not. Guilty that I have met a new man and feel happy with him, guilty when some days I moan because some days are just hard.

This year it’s especially pinchy on the heart strings. Due to 2 leap years, the date, the 31st, falls on the exact day, the Sunday. To most people that wouldn’t mean much, but until you’ve experienced it, please try not to tell me how to feel. 

I know I make people feel uncomfortable when I mention his name. I know I make people feel uncomfortable when I tell them I’m a widow. (My dark sense of humour does however keep me highly amused when I see their face). But I can’t help it. Just think for a moment of how hard it is to go from having someone in your life every single day, to feeling like you shouldn’t mention their name anymore. Even 5 years on. I would like to think that if I died, that you wouldn’t be afraid to talk about me, to remember me. I like to think I’ve “touched” all of the people who know me enough, that they wouldn’t feel uncomfortable when they mention my name because of what people will think of them. It’s like if you mention their name, you’re guilty of dwelling, of wallowing. I am not dwelling. I am living. But while I do that, I will remember my husband, the father of our daughter he never got to meet. I get out of bed every day, I work full time, I go for walks/events/weekends away with my boyfriend, tiny human & husky & family, I play hockey, I go out, I go on holidays (a lot, it’s what I look forward to!). Does that sound like someone who is wallowing? Nope, not to me!

So all I ask of you, is that you don’t waste another moment worrying about how I’m doing this, and just focus on the fact that I very much am, even if you don’t necessarily agree with how I go about it. 

Huss X 

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Parenting – My top 10

1. You are replaceable. No matter what you do as a Mommy, someone will always come in with a lolly pop and they will be more amazing. (This is after being recently told that it was ok if I didn’t hold her hand, and got knocked down, Nana would mind her.) Do not take offence to this, it’s just how it is.

2. Your bed is no longer your safe place. It will be taken over by the tiny ones, who need at least ¾ of it to be in any way comfortable. You will sleep uncomfortably on what’s left. It’s just not worth waking them. You will get over this, and eventually get used to it.


3. You no longer need sleep, in fact, the night you do get some, you will feel so horrifically hungover the next day and will regret ‘being sensible’ and not drinking that bottle of wine the previous night. You feel the same as if you had.

4. The tears of the tiny ones are the most powerful tool they have. No matter what they are crying over, you instantly feel like your heart is aching and you will do whatever it takes to make the wet things streaming down their face, stop.

5. Stop worrying about how much they are eating. A wise friend has drilled this into me. She is eating, be grateful for that. You will however continue to try and peel a grape if it means they will at least try it. (This is virtually impossible to do.)

6. They will get you when you are at your most vulnerable. It’s like they have an inbuilt intuition to manipulate you when you are at your weakest. This is a trait you may not appreciate now, but hope they carry with them in later life.

7. Elsa will become a part of your family. All dolls/action figures shall be named after her, and if you have any future children, male or female, the tiny ones will try to persuade you to call them after her. I would like to say this is just a phase, but chances are, 2 years later, it’s going to stick.

8. No one warns you during your decision to have a baby, or during pregnancy, just how incredible these tiny dictators are. They have the ability to turn any situation around, either by saying something hilarious after colouring on the walls “Batman did it!!” or when you are feeling a little bit sad “I love you because you made me in your tummy” (cue heart melt.)

9. You will no longer shop for yourself, but your tiny one will have the very best of what you can afford, as you look down at your trainers you bought on a wonderful, child free visit to New York back in 2002.

10. Learn to roll with the rollercoaster that is parenthood. No two days will ever be the same, and know that their personalities change like the Irish weather. They will make a liar out of you EVERY single day. “Oh she loves carrots, it’s the only veg she will eat” – as you turn around to see her retching as if they have just swallowed rat poison – on a carrot.

 

But honestly, parenthood is the most rewarding job I have ever done, and I wouldn’t change a single second of it (apart from the vomiting bugs, I would definitely question all parenting abilities during these tough times.)

A new sense of fear

After everything Ive experienced, I’m a little tougher than I used to be, a little more resilient. After having a sweet baby girl and getting her to 4 and a half without my hubby, I’m a little stronger. But lately I’ve felt less tough, less resilient, less strong. I am afraid for my tiny human, afraid of the world she is living in, the one I introduced her to. The one where people feel it’s “ok” to walk into a nightclub or concert and shoot innocent people. To drive down a promenade, knocking people over as they go. To walk into the departures lounge full of happy holiday makers and open fire. 

People’s husbands/wives/fathers/mothers/uncles/aunts/sons/daughters/friends/partners.

Just normal, unassuming people.  
I feel afraid. Afraid to visit my best friend in Turkey, afraid to fly on our annual trip to France, afraid to visit friends in London. 

What kind of a new world am I raising my tiny human in? One where travelling will no longer be something she can experience? One where anytime we step out of the house to go to a festival or concert or go on holidays I fear that something could happen? I am fully aware that by not living we are letting them win, but the more and more hateful things that happen, the more unnerved I become. You don’t need to tell me “sure you could get hit by a bus tomorrow!”. I am fully aware of how life can change in an instant, but these aren’t tragic accidents, these are all deliberate acts of disgusting hatred. Long gone are the days that all I needed to worry about was if I had enough baby wipes in my bag. There’s a new wave of worry, a new sense of fear. I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. 

I cannot stop thinking about all of the families who woke up today with an ache in their chests, having to embrace their new life without their loved ones. My heart aches for them. I will be holding mine that little bit closer, as always. 

What have we done to this beautiful world of ours? We should be ashamed of ourselves 😢 

Sick notes

It’s the middle of July. JULY!!! Both the tiny human and I have ended up on anti biotics because of the sheer amount of infectious snots that have been passed around. I’ve decided to become the most unaffectionate person from now on, clearly hugging & kissing is actually bad for your health. She started to feel crap on Friday night, obviously because the doc was closed. She spent most of it coughing her lungs up. Same Sat & Sunday, so as you can imagine not much sleep was had and the smallest thing sends her into full meltdown mode. She then spread the love. I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a tank this morning. Delightful. By the time I got into work, no amount of tea was making me feel better. I gave in at lunch.

A trip to the doc later, for both of our sorry, snotty heads, and we’re like something out of a old folks home with our steroids/inhalers/anti biotics…. 


Sadly though, with the medicine does not come a fully fledged babysitting service, or a night nurse, of someone to wipe my brow, bring me hot chocolate and marshmallows. Oh no no, it just means that the recovery period takes that bit longer. We don’t get as much sympathy as those with the likes of man flu… Nope, we just have to sniff it up, blow it out and get on with it. Hopefully by Friday I will be able to actually breathe again, and may even have had a full nights sleep and the barking throughout the night will have stopped by then. (Tiny human, not the dog). 

For now however, I am going to take my sorry ass off to bed, to watch Home and Away (life little pleasures eh?!) to feel completely miserable. Maybe the summer might finally make an appearance soon… Just maybe. 

So quick to judge!

He sat on the Luas, holding her tight while she screamed and shouted to be let go. She had been messing so much she was definitely going to fall and hurt herself. There were so many people staring, tutting, interrupting their quiet commute home… As I looked at the pained face he was making I realised we really are all so quick to judge. None of us know what this child was like, how she normally behaves. She couldn’t have been more than 6 years old. He dealt with it so well, stayed calm, didn’t lose his temper with her. I looked at him in admiration, I don’t think I would have kept my cool in such a situation. 

As I stepped off the Luas I thought of all the times I found myself in the same, uncomfortable situations. When the tiny human would lose her mind over the smallest thing because she was hungry, or tired, or just because she wanted to. The prying, judging eyes of others always make these situations SO MUCH WORSE. You start to feel panicky, when you know it’s the worst thing you can do. (The tiny ones can sense that you know!) You can feel the judging eyes burning into you, the ones who sit and stare and tut at the way you are managing the situation… We’ve all been there, we are all experts, we could all do it better than the other. One thing we all know, is when your child loses their sh1t for no apparent reason the best reaction is to stay calm, talk softly and distract. But how do we do that with so many judging faces looking at the way you are managing the situation. So many people making you feel like a bad mother, or that you can’t cope. 


The tiny human lost hers in the airport the other day. I left her with my boyfriend for 15 minutes, and when I came back she was bawling crying. I was so proud of him for the way he dealt with it. So proud that he didn’t lose his cool. He even got the famous “you’re not in charge of me” shouted at him, he still stayed calm. He got the high pitched scream of frustration, he stayed calm. I sat in front of her as she pretended to choke to death because there was carrot in her mouth, tears streaming down her face. I waited until she stopped crying, and I eventually gave in and let her spit the poisonous carrot into a tissue. The glares I got were incredible. Not one person in that restaurant knew our situation. I’m sure they were all thinking “what a brat to say that to her Dad”. Well let me tell you this people, I am SO proud of my daughter, of the beautiful little person she has become, of how she processes a Daddy in heaven and the new man in our lives, so if she wants to lose her sh1t for 5 minutes because she’s so tired she literally can’t function, then so be it. (I of course made her apologise to him, for those who are judging me!) 

If we could all just stop judging each other, then life would be that little bit easier. The next time you see a child losing their mind over something you think is so small, the next time you stare at a parent for the way they deal with a situation, instead of judging them, just take a moment to think about the fact that you really have no idea what is going on in their mind, and maybe praise them for doing it “their” way.