I think this is a good way to describe me, all or nothing. Either putting 100% into what I am doing, or zero effort at all. I am a bit of a perfectionist, and it might sound like a good thing, but it’s really not and it causes a lot of heartache and anxiety. It can come across wrong on social media too when I share the highlights, our lives are far from perfect. I have realised over the last year I am a bit of a closed book, and I don’t really ever share anything about myself, even with close friends.
I think my perfectionism stems a lot from my childhood. I was raised by my grandparents and only saw parents rarely, but their messages were very strong and different.
The Miracle Baby
I was a miracle baby, and I shouldn’t be here today. My mother was so Ill with MS when she fell pregnant, the doctor was convinced I wouldn’t survive, and If I did I would never walk. He wanted her to abort and refused care, so my Mum had to find a different doctor. I was premature, but proved the doctors wrong by being perfectly healthy. My mum died when I was eleven and lived her life after my birth in a care home.
I didn’t know my mother or her side of the family, and I don’t think they really wanted to know me. My mother left her husband and children when she met my dad. I have tried to make contact with my half brother & sister, and manage to speak to my half-sister through facebook years ago, but she since deleted her account and we don’t have contact anymore. My message to them would be – I am not my father.
My Dad wanted me to aim high, the world was my oyster and I could do anything. I will always remember the day he was telling me how so very proud he was of his step-daughter (from his third marriage to a Chinese woman – that lasted about a year until he decided she only wanted a visa). He had met her once and she was training to be a doctor, getting A* across the board. I was at home with 3 young children, and a fourth on the way, struggling with hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy. It was his passive-aggressive way of saying, you’re a failure – To my father, I will never be good enough.
At the other end of the spectrum, was my Grandma. The incredible lady who took me in as her own when I was a few weeks old, at the age of 48, and raised me despite financial struggles. She was quite strictly religious, she was a Christadelphian, a form of Christian with slightly different views. I would cough and she would keep me off school for a week. I was outgoing as a child, I wanted to experience and achieve, but my Grandma wouldn’t of minded if I skipped school, ate mars bars all day and never brushed my teeth. She loved me, and she wanted me to be happy.
My Grandma and I really struggled when we lost my Grandad. I was 15 years old and we clashed, she shouted, I shouted back. She told me I was worthless, and that no one would want me. She didn’t mean it, she was frustrated, I was a typical teen and the more she shouted the more I shouted back. I don’t actually remember much talking happening through any of those years, its all a bit if of a blur. At 15 years old I didn’t know better, and we just couldn’t break the cycle. She would tell the rest of the family (my aunts, uncles and cousins) what a horrible person I was, and I felt so isolated and unloved. I went through a huge stage of depression during my GCSES. It could have gone either way, but I threw myself into education & career as a result.
By the time I was 18, I was studying a full-time degree, and working full time as an office manager. I moved out of my Grandmas house, and in with my university lecturer (nothing dodgy there, just frowned upon- he was just a flatmate) I barely had time to eat, and money was a struggle, something had to give and I couldn’t bare to move back home so I gave up studying. One good thing came from my university days, I met my future husband Mr T, although I didn’t know it at the time. My relationship with my Grandma returned to a loving one when I moved out and we didn’t have that strain on our relationship. Mr T saved me in lots of ways, more than he will ever know.
Capturing The Moment
Capturing the moment and recording our days is really important to me, I want my children to be able to look back on our adventures, and see they were loved and an enormous part of our lives. My mothers’ sister had MS too, and although it’s not hereditary, having a parent or sibling with MS really increases your chances of developing the disease. I’ve also heard that its more likely to skip a generation, and if that’s the case, then my beautiful children are more likely than me to develop MS. I know our chances are still rare, and medical advances have come on in leaps and bounds over the last thirty years, but it is still something that’s always at the back of my mind. I guess that’s one of our big motivational pushes to pay off our mortgage before we are forty, as well as my love for minimalism, slow living & the simple things in life
And so my only want for my four children is for them to follow their passions and be happy. I am fiercely protective of them, and I am a gentle parent. I put a lot of pressure on myself to stay calm and avoid shouting. I want to support them as individuals and let them shine in their own different ways.
My sister-in-law asked me to take some photographs of my nephew’s christening last week. I was incredibly nervous of fluffing it up, and even went a few days before to practice! I am so used to taking photos outdoors and with lots of time and light, not indoors and with only a few moments to capture a memory. I am pleased with the shots I took though, and these are a few of us from the day.
This weekend hasn’t been so picturesque, we have all had a horrible sickness bug and not one photograph has been taken. Both the toilet and the washing machine are relieved it is over and we are all on the mend. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we also and to cancel our trip to flamingo land for the fifth week running! Next week then…