CHAPTER ONE – And so it begins

THE DECISION – 21st of June, 2015

Something strange and wondrous has been happening for more than a year. Something I didn’t expect and wouldn’t have predicted.

I was getting clucky for a third baby.

Yup. A third.

Family

Me with #1 and #2. They are aged 8 and 4 now!

We’d never even really discussed it, just assumed that Oz would be our last baby and just basked in the fun and craziness that is our two lovely boys. Oz was an easy baby in lots of ways, and such a happy-go-lucky soul that raising him is a joy. And Mr H is such a little man already at 8 and so smart and thoughtful that life is pretty easy. But somewhere in my brain, the thought of MORE babies was gnawing at me.

I thought it was just me. Just some of the ‘crazy’ that I’m happy to accept as part of my personality. I’ll always love tiny babies, the same way I freak-out with pure joy if I get to pat a puppy or hold a kitten. It never meant that I NEEDED more pets, just that I love them. But I thought it was only me.

It was The Captain who actually brought it up first. He’s an amazing dad. That awesome balance of stern and structured and silly and conspiratorial. And the thought had been gnawing at him in the silence too.

But kids are expensive! Especially when you value good education and good education (IN MY OPINION) is very hard to find cheaply. I spend a lot of money on it, because I value it. And that’s my choice. So what if a baby #3 meant giving that up? Do we not educate a #3 the same way we have H and Oz? Or pull everyone out to a cheaper education? ARGH – it hurt my brain.

But kids are AMAZING! We love our family. We love our boys. We love raising little humans into bigger humans. And what we kept coming back to was the over-arching thought:

In my elderly years, or on my death-bed, will I think to myself “Thank God I didn’t have more children. That money I saved was totally worth it.”?

Hell no.

So we decided that Baby #3 is a thing. A thing we are doing. At some point soon we are going to start trying for another baby.

And I am excited and delighted and terrified.

Pretty much just being a mum in a nutshell.

Stay Tuned,

Bella

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Decide to be lucky

I have a friend who is working through a divorce at the moment. I say ‘working through’ rather than going through. Because it is and has been, an amicable separation and now legal divorce. No yelling, no hating, no ugliness. When I heard them speak about it though, they mentioned how lucky they are to have things work out so well.

I agree and I don’t.

In many situations in life, we make choices that affect our ‘luck’. In that particular end of a marriage, there are two people who are making choices about their behaviour, their mindset and about working together. So it’s ‘lucky’ that they both feel the same way about it, but not that it’s actually coming together this way.

I often tell myself that I am so lucky to have met The Captain and to have a lovely husband and a strong marriage. But that luck in meeting him was totally steered by the fact I had no desire to hang out with guys who were less than good people. The fact was that I was purposefully aloof and would always prefer to be single than the girlfriend of some ass. Even if they weren’t an ass all the time. So when I met The Captain, and time after time he demonstrated his amazing character not just about or to me, just the way he thinks and the little glimpses into his moral compass, it was no surprise that I fell madly in love. So yes, it was luck that this meeting happened when I was so young, but not that I married someone with the same values that I have. It’s not at all perfect, but we mark thirteen years together and ten years married next week, and it is amazing.

One area where I do feel true luck is with the conception, pregnancies, birth and beyond of my lovely boys. As someone who had been less-than-healthy in my teens and early twenties, I fully expected to struggle to get pregnant, and maybe that I wouldn’t be able to have children at all. The fact that I did really is luck. I see that Michelle Bridges is ‘being slammed’ (there’s a few irked facebook comments) for saying the healthy lifestyles of herself and her partner Steve contributed to the luck of them falling pregnant at her age (she is 44). In the article (you can read it here) she repeatedly uses the word lucky. Like me, the couple had assumed that a contributing factor in their lives might hamper getting pregnant, they had even gone so far as to book IVF appointments, but with luck, fell pregnant naturally. Had they steered their luck by being uber fit and healthy? Maybe. And when you finally take the plunge to start or extend your family, the constant worry about how things will turn out sometimes make you cling to the choices you CAN make, rather than the flipping of the universe’s coin. Even now, when I think about taking the plunge one day to expand our family, I think I couldn’t possibly be this lucky again.

luck quote

Because realistically, there are people out there who do ALL THE RIGHT THINGS who struggle and even fail to be able to fall pregnant, carry babies to term or have their children born with health or developmental struggles. I was lucky as was Michelle. I truly don’t think her comments are offensive to people who are trying to fall pregnant who aren’t as fit and healthy as she is. Because it was luck. And even if it took her a year, and IVF and sixteen lab-coats, it would still have been luck.

So where I think I’m at with luck is that a lot of what we feel is luck is actually mindset. We choose so much of our future without even realising it’s in the little choices we make all the time. Stick to your goals, and beliefs and the rest really is pure, dumb luck.

Heads or Tails?
Bella

Who’s your Mama?

It’s the eve of kid#1 turning 6. Six freakin years! Where have they gone?

It makes me think though about him and about our family. What an amazing, funny, unique and charming little character he is and his vital role in our funny little band of sailors. And I think about me. The type of mum I have been, the mum I am now and the mum I want to be in the future.

You have to remember that before I threw myself headfirst into changing and saving my life,  I was weak. And very afraid. Of everything. Being a parent was no different.

I think a healthy dose of fear is a good thing in a parent. The constant ‘what if’ and reminder that they really are a big piece of your heart running around in the world on their own inspires care and considerations. But I was too afraid of life.

The fear of not doing well, the fear of him not being ‘perfect’, the fear that my own quirks would somehow splash onto him and mark him too…

I was being interviewed recently and talking about my horrendous old eating habits when the interviewer innocently asked if I was the type of mother who made sure my kids ate well but ate badly myself?

Ummm. No.

I was the bad mummy. My children ate better than I did but we still ate ‘treats’ too often, had brunch dates at fast food places and had dessert every night. My weakness with food was a bad habit being passed down.

But as I changed my own life, without a jolt or any yelling or screaming, I without thinking,  changed my children’s lives too.

I was inactive and rose to the challenge of adjusting to an active life. I ate poorly and rose to the challenge of eating well forever. But most importantly, I was timid, easily swayed and therefore made poor decisions but when challenged, I realised and clarified who I am and what I value most in the world.

My whole life changed then.

I train the way I do because I like it. I eat the way I do because I like it and it helps me train the way I like. And I love the Captain and raise the kids the way I do because I couldn’t have done any of it without their love.

Cheers,
SV