Tonight we had soggy broccoli for dinner. This would never have happened 3 years ago without me having a huge meltdown.
3 years ago, in the height of my postnatal depression with Bear, soggy broccoli would have been a disaster. In my mind it would be a huge beacon to the world that I was unable to look after my child and prepare a dinner. It would only have to happen once and I would be left feeling like a complete failure. Failing as a wife, failing as a mother, failing as a human being.
I was very fortunate that through suffering antenatal depression with Fox that I received Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). I learnt about my unhelpful thinking habits and how I could tackle this day to day. I still use the “Good Enough Scale”. Which I am sure my therapist would be very pleased to hear. I’ve learnt it’s good to have a balance and that I only ever need to be good enough. Even more importantly I’ve learnt that I am good enough.
I still feel sad when I look back on all the times I would have “neglected” Bear to maintain the image that I was loving being a mummy. That I could balance being a mother with working life and looking after a home. To be fair at the time it was the easiest option, I would rather have done these things than enjoy a lingering cuddle.
I am so pleased that that version of me is long since gone. Tonight my Fox wanted a cuddle. It was a sleepy cuddle. He is still squidgy. However the lengthy cuddles like this are slowly disappearing, as he gets bigger and wrigglier. I sat down with him, he nestled in for a cuddle. I remembered the dinner was on, broccoli steaming away. I didn’t care, I knew it would be over cooked. 3 years ago I would have put Bear down to sort it out. I would have missed out on that cuddle. I would have been left feeling guilty that I didn’t love my son enough. Today I enjoyed every second of that cuddle. I could relax, happy in the knowledge that the cuddle was worth so much more (to both me and Fox) than a perfectly timed dinner. And I’m going to keep enjoying those squidgy cuddles for as long as I can.
And to any parent struggling out there, remember you’re good enough too.
I can’t stop watching that video of the Brownlee brothers. If you haven’t seen it watch it.
Bear does gymnastics. He now goes to the independent class. Last week I watched him do a forward roll. Perhaps I should re-phrase. I watched him numerous times attempt to do a forward roll. He is very uncoordinated. I look at the other children, they are much better at it. He doesn’t care, he’s having a wonderful time rolling around all over the place, limbs not going the way they should. People always tell me he’s tall, I occasionally blame his incoordination on this, his arms and legs are so long he hasn’t learnt where they are yet. Plus he keeps growing, constantly changing. Anyway I digress. Basically I can’t see myself having a future sporting champion on my hands, definitely not 2. My Bear and Fox are highly unlikely to ever be in the situation the Brownlee brothers were in.
What wonderful brotherly love. Alistair said he would have done it for anyone in that position, who knows if that would actually be the case. But when it came down to it, he potentially risked coming further down the field to get his brother across that line.
I look at Bear and Fox and how they play together, I hear the reports from nursery about how they interact together. Fox idolises Bear. He follows him round, wants his toys, and tries to do everything that his big brother can do. Apparently Bear is pretty protective of him at nursery too. I love the relationship that they have. I know as the years pass, there will be arguments and fights. I just hope as they get older they can remain firm friends and look out for each other. Not only that, but they will put the other one first.
One of the reasons I love the video so much, is I feel it says so much about the character of the Brownlees’. In a world where it is easy to get sucked in to being “better” than the person next to you, whatever it takes. I think this shows how wonderful it can be when we help others along too. I only hope that my boys grow up to be good men. That is what would make me proud. Not to be rich, or athletic, or successful. But for them to have good character, an ability to think clearly how their actions can impact on others and basically be true gentleman. Any tips gratefully received.