I was absolutely over the moon to attend the most beautiful and heart felt wedding for two of my friends who were celebrating their special day last weekend. The weather was gorgeous, the bride was absolutely stunning and the groom beamed with pride the whole day. The wedding really restored my faith in true love and humanity, and seeing the happy couple holding hands, making their vows and looking lovingly into each others eyes just melted my heart. It was so precious.
It was the first time that I’ve been to a special occasion by myself as a spinster, without a partner and without being a plus one to anybody, just me all alone and I have to admit I was pretty apprehensive beforehand. I’ve only ever been to a handful of weddings and I really had no idea what to wear. You know when you have that moment of panic, where no matter what you try on from your wardrobe it just doesn’t look right? Normally I’d co-ordinate to the children’s clothes or as a couple, so even if it the colour was random or the cut a bit weird, it would all make sense when you see everyone together, but being alone the only thing I could match to was a gooseberry. I bought a purple and black lace dress just a few days before and a new pair of strappy heels to go with it, having never worn purple before I didn’t want to go too bold in red and stand out as a solo, wearing white to a wedding just isn’t done, and my faithful LBD would be a bit depressing in black, so purple it was. Getting ready to leave for the venue I had nobody to turn to to ask if it looked alright, whether my bag went with my shoes or if the length was ok, so I just emptied a can of hairspray onto my locks and ran to the car. Parking in the car park and walking up the gravel drive to the barn I concentrated so hard on keeping my footing and not looking ahead, that I didn’t realise there were a group of ushers stood at the entrance.
Now, I’m going to have to mention the ‘e’ word, emotions, but I promise I’ll make it quick. Without wanting to disturb the past, I was invited to the wedding as a couple with my ex fiance last year before he left, and almost ten months later we were both at the wedding alone and not talking. And as I grinned to myself having Bambi-mastered the gravel incline to the door without taking a tumble in my brand spanking new heels, I looked up and came face to face with my ex. Hmm. Awkward! Bambi on past, smile like you know where you’re going and hope that you recognise somebody inside to sit with. Thankfully we were seated at opposite ends of the room for the table plan, and the couples on my table were an absolute hoot. I had another fellow spinster as my date and after a few glasses of champagne, shots and martinis I totally forgot about the elephant in the room, being at a wedding with my ex fiance, and had the most fantastic time. I was asked beforehand not to talk to him, not to cause him trouble and not to get drunk and upset about it all; none of which I would ever purposely intend on doing, but girls and champagne are a lethal combination aren’t they. I really don’t like to have bad feelings with anyone, and although we hadn’t fallen out, I did as I was asked and purposely kept my distance and didn’t speak to him at all. Not in a spoilt brat kind of way, and not to be nasty, I just did as I was asked, and when he walked past me a few times on the way to the bar and said hello, I smiled politely and kept on walking and that was the extent of our communication. After six years together and having our children, there we both were at our friends beautiful wedding, and the only thing we said to each other was hello.
Isn’t it strange how life can turn on its toes so quickly, how everything you’ve ever known can one day be gone and how people you share your life with now, and know everything about you, are suddenly one day a stranger within a room full of friends. But I guess that’s life isn’t it? And we don’t get a say on the ups and downs we just have to hold on tight for the ride and hope that nobody in front of us throws up when we have our mouth open. I drank far too much, danced like my dad, teetered in my new heels without falling over and animatedly chatted and laughed drunkenly with everyone I came across, putting the world to rights and philosophising over life. What a magical day and night it was. You never know what emotions will do to you when you’ve had a few too many martinis, and teamed with the challenge of being at a wedding with an ex and mending my broken heart; I think I could have been forgiven for balling into a plant pot, crying like a drowning cat and ruining my mascara, but I didn’t, I was completely fine. I felt nothing but love and happiness all evening and it’s testament that life really does goes on because time is a great healer.
I did however get a lump in my throat during the speeches, hearing the proud groom, family and the best men talk about their memories, life and future together. I sat clutching my hands looking up at them like a complete love sick puppy, as each and every word made me want to cry for how heart felt and meaningful it was. Men never seem to show emotion or share their feelings, and it was a rare and precious sight. It reminded me that this is what life is about, finding somebody who completes you, marrying your best friend and living with your soulmate as you share your old age together. And as we toasted the bride and groom the room erupted into a sea of clapping and cheering and I couldn’t have been happier for such a perfect new Mr & Mrs. I wish them all of the love, luck and happiness in the world for the rest of their lives together and hope that they will soon bless the world with beautiful children of their own.
And speaking of beautiful children, the following morning was Mother’s Day and after teetering home in the early hours of the morning, I managed to get almost two hours of sleep before the children woke me up and bounced on me with flowers, a card and treats. We played in the sunshine for a few hours before heading over to my parents to cook my mother, father and brother a Sunday roast and give “nanna” her presents from the children and I. My babies just put the biggest smile on my face, the love I have for them is immeasurable and impossible to comprehend, I am the luckiest woman alive to be their mother.
And I’m sure that every parent will agree with me when I say raising a family is not easy. Especially as a single parent. No matter what age you are, I don’t think you’ll ever be prepared for how much having a child changes your life. Before children my life was all about me, what I wanted, when I wanted it and I did as I pleased 24/7. Becoming a parent the week before my twentieth birthday was a massive shock to my system, I grew up instantly overnight and suddenly everything I did was for a tiny little person, completely helpless looking up at me with the most gorgeous blue eyes. It was the biggest and hardest lesson I’ve ever had to learn, to live my life for somebody else, to put my own needs, feelings and hunger on the back burner and do everything to please another, but it’s the most valuable lesson of all. And as time went on, I had my son and I put myself even further back in the queue of importance. As the children are growing I’m gradually getting little snatches of ‘me time’, but it’s been a long time coming. Given the choice between being with my children or being alone on a paradise island I would choose my children everytime, even taking into account the sleepless nights and tantrums. But with my hand forced to be away from them when they visit their father, I now have time to do what I please again, and it’s a little alien to have the taste of freedom that I missed out on as a young adult. But I realise now that I needed that, I deserve to have me time, just as everybody does, only I did it all in reverse.
Millie had quite a shock this week when her front tooth finally wiggled its way free in the night, and she greeted me the following morning like a feral child, with blood all up her face and around her mouth, her bedhead hair all over the place and a sleepy yawn in her One Direction pyjamas asking if it was time to get up yet. I didn’t know whether to scream or laugh at the sight of my sleepy princess covered in blood with a gappy gum, and when I asked her how she got her tooth out she ran straight to the bathroom mirror in shock to go look. Thinking on my feet, I reached into my purse to fetch a pound coin and followed her into her room to look for her tooth in her bed. As she checked around her pillows and bedding she was confused that the Toothfairy had somehow been without her knowing, taking both her tooth and gold! After her fruitless rummaging I reminded her to check between her two pillows instead of just under them, and somehow as I lifted them up, a gold pound coin miraculously dropped onto her bedsheets – what’s the chance of that!? I have a funny feeling that she’s swallowed her tooth in her sleep, in which case I hope that it leaves as silently as it came out.
And if being a gappy, bloodied whistler wasn’t enough, poor Millie had a trip to the doctors after school as she complained of stomach pains yet again and weakness. It appears that her water infection has returned for the third time in the last year and she’s on more antibiotics, increased fluids and dried fruit to help her to go to the toilet. The doctor advised that she may be getting her water infections through constipation and that dried fruit would help her to go more often. We have a special stools chart which we have to check at every toilet time, grading Millie’s deposits by texture and consistency to ensure that she progresses.
I completed ninety days of bodybuilding for the P90X3 workout and am feeling on top of the world right now. My body is tight, toned and incredibly strong and I love pushing myself and testing my limits. There is no such word as impossible, we are all far more capable than we give ourselves credit for, and you never know how strong you can be until being strong is your only choice. I have used this past year to rebuild my myself, mind, body and soul and am thankful for my good health at last. Each year I want to push myself further, see more of the world, learn, progress, grow and teach my family and others about humanity, humility and hope.
I am incredibly pleased and excited that my blog has had 100,000 views this week and I would like to say a hug thank you to everyone who has found their way to my words. I hope that I have helped you in some way or another, that I may have enlightened the male race to the strange beings that are females, to provide understanding, explanation and reasoning from a woman and mothers perspective. And also to have raised funds, awareness and strengthened communities through supporting local businesses, giving my thoughts and opinions on products, produce and services locally to help those who haven’t the skills necessary to market their own business, and to use my time and passion to do good. For the incredible journey I have been on across this past year I am truly thankful. The people I have met and shared time with, the places I have visited and the productions I have been involved in. I really am a lucky girl and I will continue to give my all to benefit others, and to raise my children with the same love, respect and work ethic that I have. The world can be a very beautiful and positive place if we all took the time to do just one thing for others, no matter how big or small, every little thing can make the biggest difference to so many.
I received this email from a Priest at a church in Australia this week, thanking me for my work and asking my permission to share an Easter story video I’d animated of Millie reading when she was four years old from my children’s educational company Dizkis. His message was so sweet and kind and he said that the church had no credit card to pay for it, to which I responded telling him it was all for free. As a mother I know that raising children is expensive, without the need for food, clothes, toys, days out and entertainment. So when I created Dizkis five years ago, I did so to help people, to give back to the world and to share a worthwhile message with children, families and schools; by providing positive role models for children in a nature-inspired learning environment, to enhance education and make learning fun no matter your age, background or ability. I am fortunate enough to have the skills and ability to illustrate, animate and construct videos and worksheets to benefit my children, and so I share these freely with the public in order to help others.
It must be my week of good karma as I then received a letter from the Rennie Grove Hospice thanking me for my donation of clothes, toys and shoes that the children and I had sorted, folded, and taken to the local branch in the village. I believe in helping others and teaching the children to respect and care for their belongings, so that when they no longer need them they can be used by another family to help somebody else. And in donating our belongings to charity, the Hospice has also raised money so that they can continue to provide care to their patients and support the community. I urge you all to please take an afternoon to have a spring clean and root around your cupboards, and donate anything that you no longer need because it can help so many people in so many ways.
Finally it’s the weekend and Millie has broken up from school for two whole weeks for Easter and I’m racking my brains over fun and exciting things that we can do each day to keep the children entertained, the house vaguely tidy, and most importantly, make the most of this special time of year together. Let’s hope that the weather is on our side and our craft drawers well stocked. If I don’t surface from the ocean of pom-poms, pritt stick and sequins for the next fortnight please call for backup!