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.)

Remembering the good old days..

I remember days walking in Dublin with my wonderful Nana. Walking down Henry street, hand in hand, watching everyone rushing around me. I was only about 3 foot tall but felt so safe with my hand in hers. She was a wonderful woman. The first one I would go to when I needed someone to talk to, the first one I went to when I rowed with my parents. We would get on the 11 bus and get off on O’Connell St. and stroll through the crowds. We’d pop into Clearys, and (religiously) into Guineys to check for any bargains, and always have lunch in the Kylemore Café. We would always get doughnuts at the kiosk at the bus stop outside the arcade on the way homeIt was our Saturday ritual. Sunday’s consisted of mass in Bird Avenue church, and buying papers from the boot of the mans car at the gate. I lived for those moments. 

As I got older those Weekends in Nana’s got less and less but we always had our time together. We’d sit in her kitchen drinking tea (and maybe the odd cigarette!) and we would talk for hours. When the sun went down we would play Gin Rummy (and she always let me win!), we’d watch the Late Late Show and then it was time for bed. I slept on the Camp bed, which lay along side her “side” of the bed. I always felt so safe, always. I have never seen a bigger smile on her face than the one when I told her I was getting married. It meant the world to me to have her there that day. To watch me walk up that isle. 

She started to get sick in 2011. Not long after my husband left us. She couldn’t get her head around what happened, so unfair, so cruel, but her way of helping me get through it was to tell me to suck it up, get on with it. At the time, I found it harsh, but now, looking back, it was her way of making me stronger. After I had my tiny human we’d call in after work every day to see her. My tiny one stood up for the first time in her sitting room. They would endlessly babble at each other, like they had some sort of mutual understanding. She spent the next few years in and out of hospital, each time it broke my heart to see her that way, she didn’t deserve it, she deserved so much more. 

She finally left us in January this year, after a good fight. She went in her sleep in the end. Exactly how I hoped she would go. She deserved that much, to just nod off. A part of me went with her that day. I will never forget the dart of pain in my chest when my Mom broke the news, but she was “happier” now, no more pain, no more loss of independence (she always struggled with that bit). I felt devastated and relieved all at the same time. I have never seen so many people at an “older” persons funeral. A true testament to the incredible woman she was. As I sit on the Luas, looking out at the sunshine, I remember her so fondly,  the good auld days, walking along Henry Street, with my hand in hers….

“Miss her but remember the glint in her eye, Remeber the good times you’d had.

Miss her but remember the stories you shared, The good times, the laughs, and be glad.

Miss her but remember the places you went, To Bird Avenue, Wicklow and beyond.

Treasure those memories so dearly now, For those moments gave all of us that bond. 

Miss her but think of her wonderful smile, And we must make sure to mention,

No matter what you confided in her, All she gave was her undivided attention.

Miss her but remember she’s happier now, Reunited with who she got to know.

Miss her but keep all those memories safe, Miss her, but now let her go”

She will never know

She will never know just how important she is,
How she gave me that important goal,
To keep her safe inside me,
When my world was no longer whole.
She will never know how many tears I shed,
For the life she would now never have,
She will never know just how scared I was,
Facing life without her “Dad”.
She will never know what she kept me from,
The drink, the drugs, the sadness,
She was the one who kept me going,
Kept me away from all that badness.
She will never know how much I watch her sleep,
Watching her little chest rise and fall,
Or how I look at her and wonder,
Will she be quite as tall?
She will never know how grateful I am,
For all her smiles and giggles,
She will never know all the times I worry,
About all those little niggles.
She will never know everything I do is for her,
From work, to rest, to play,
She will never know how much I honestly hope….
That I as a Mommy am doing “ok”.
She will never know how massive just being here is,
Being my little sunshine ray,
She will never know she is my reason.
She is the reason I am here. To this day.

The Light…..

I’ve thought a lot about whether or not to post this, but feck it, here it goes!

#‎suicideprevention‬ ‪#‎aware‬ ‪#‎mystory‬ ‪#‎iamareason‬

I was just 30 when he died. A baby myself some might say, well I have never grown up so quick, so soon. I was 19 weeks pregnant, and can honestly say, hand on my heart, that that pregnancy is the only thing that kept me here. We were married a wonderful 7 months. Life was amazing, happy, exciting. Then my reality hit. Widowed, nowhere to live, no life insurance and moving back from London to live with my parents, pregnant with our little Bubba. I have never felt a wave of darkness wash over me as quick as I did that day.

I don’t remember a huge amount from the moment I got that news… “I’m sorry we did everything we could, he didn’t make it”. I laughed nervously. Then I passed out. I don’t remember much, apart from being surrounded by people/faces all the time, until in and around the time my waters broke, at 1am on the 11th of December 2011. There it was. The moment I had been waiting for, to hold our beautiful baby, the one we had made together, the reason I was still here! I had no idea how I was going to do this but but with my Mom & Sister by my side, she made her appearance. Our beautiful, perfect baby girl. I felt a new wave of relief, but also devastation. She was out, (albeit 2 weeks early) she survived 19 weeks of me crying, unable to eat, unable to breathe, panic attacks. She was perfect. But he wasn’t here. Nothing could have prepared me for that bit. The pain in my heart that he would never get to meet her.
She is 4 now. And the light in my world. She knows just what to say, when to say it (sometimes a little too much!) She makes me smile and laugh in ways that I never thought I’d be able to again. She talks openly about the man she never met, her Daddy. It’s her “normal”.

It’s been a roller coaster ride since July 2011, but a journey I am proud of. I forced myself to live. I met a wonderful man in 2013, and to be honest, he deserves a Nobel peace prize for putting up with me at this stage. He’s been by my side, through all of my emotions, my tears, my frustrations. He is simply amazing. My baby girl adores him too. We are making awesome new memories, but I will always treasure my old ones.

I’m still living with my parents, still trying to save to have our own dream home, starting over, but I am doing it. There is light at the end of my once very dark, very scary tunnel. After swearing I’d never ever meet anyone again, here I am, in love. Having said I would never have more children, here I am, hoping some day my beautiful baby girl will get to be a big sister. After Having said I couldn’t do this without him, here I am, doing it.

There is always hope. Time is a wonderful thing we all take for granted in everything we do. I have my ups and downs. I’d be lying if I said that I had never thought about how much better off everyone would be if I wasn’t around, but those thoughts pass. There are days where I really just want to curl up under a duvet and not leave the house, but I make myself, because I know that feeling will pass, I know things get better, I’m living proof. When you hit the bottom, the ONLY way is up again.

So when you are feeling like this is it, like you can’t do this anymore, just wait… Just take your time. Take a deep breath and surround yourself with the people/things that make you feel better, that make you feel happy. Talk to people, they will want to help but they need to know you feel that way (we are scarily amazing at hiding how bad we can feel). Do that for as long as it takes, because time will help you rebuild, it will help you feel better. That I promise you.

Huss x