Firstly don’t ever agree to have your wisdom teeth out exactly a week before you move. I imagined I would be healed a few days after the operation but it turns out they had to remove my teeth from under the gum so I was sporting a complete hamster face for a good ten days and surviving on milkshakes and soup… not the best state to be moving across the country in.
Moving day was planned to a tee by Kate – we even had a call sheet with all the important details on. We thought it would be breezy – I mean we’ve organised huge TV shoots before so surely a move can’t be that bad can it? WRONG! Throw in a very poorly baby, a missing cat, rude movers who kept trying to add in costs, a van that was too small and did I mention my wisdom teeth?! We ended up leaving the house 6 hours after we meant to – without said cat. (Don’t worry though, he was retrieved and my brother went down to fetch him the next day.)
We arrived in the evening to find my in-laws managing the movers who were now demanding even more money and with a toddler who was spiking a horrible fever. Luckily our beds were all made up and there were pizzas in the oven so with full tummies we headed to bed.
Fast forward a week and we are pretty settled in our house… it’s still a HUGE novelty to have stairs (Scout spends most of her time going up and down in pure amazement) and SPACE! We’ve already had four guests stay over which is amazing as we’ve never been able to do this and we have a space for our car! I don’t have to park it miles away and constantly worry that it’s going to get broken in to.
However I miss my friends terribly, especially my Mama crew who I used to see most days. We are lucky to have a few friends up here but it’s going to be a long time before I meet a group of Mums who I can feel totally myself with. I also miss Stokey and church street coffee and living below my Mum who I could see in an instant and hand over a crying Scout to or double team an explosive nappy. I miss Clissold Park – I don’t think I appreciated how amazing that park actually is.
But then I look at the bigger picture and realise that Sheffield is where we we are supposed to be – it feels right and I feel so lucky to be able to call this incredible house ours. There’s so much to do here and already I feel less stressed and am benefitting from being away from London. I can see us growing our family here and having so many adventures in this city!
For the first time it occurred to me this morning as I scrolled through instagram and saw lots of posts from Mums who are celebrating their children’s Father today., that Father’s Day will never be relevant to Scout. Even Pampers have got on board spamming my insta with (actually a really sweet ad) claiming that every time a baby is born a Dad is born too… hmmm, in our case – no.
Scout doesn’t have a Dad and she never will. She may one day want to get in touch with her sperm donor (we will let her make that decision herself when she is old enough) but even then that man won’t be her Dad – biologically maybe, but that’s where it ends.
Kate and I try to make sure Scout has plenty of close male role models in her life (between us we have 4 brothers as well as Grandads, a Godfather, cousins etc) and that she spends time with each of them. However, I’m not completely living on a cloud I know that probably in 3 years time when Scout is in reception and they are making Father’s Day cards that our little girl will come home with some big questions. I mean, perhaps she won’t and she won’t be fussed that she doesn’t have a Dad and instead has two very hands on Mums who love her more than anything but I’m sure she will have some questions. Until then I can relax… I think.
Happy Father’s Day to all the single Mums and lesbian Mums – you’re doing a marvellous job!
In the little world of Instagram there’s been lots of posts from Mums about body positivity. Following Clemmie (@mother_of_daughters) who first posted a swimsuit photo of herself after having four children and stated that she was proud of her body – stretch marks and all – many other women have followed suit sharing their photos and stated that MOD’s post made themselves realise they are not alone with c-section scars, stretch marks, loose skin and the dreaded c-section pouch and that they too should be proud of their body. After all, it’s grown and pushed out a tiny human in to the world.
Body positivity is something I too have always struggled with. Growing up I didn’t have any major issues – but when I was diagnosed with end stage renal failure a few days after my nineteenth birthday I was horrified when I had to first have a neckline inserted by my collar bone to attach me to a dialysis machine and then shortly after a tube put in my stomach to attach me to a home dialysis machine which pumped my stomach full of fluid making me look 6 months pregnant at all times. Just bloody great at 19! I managed to hide the tubes skilfully inside my bra and tucked under vests most of the time but that didn’t stop me being really self conscious about them. Never mind the dialysis, the fear of lifting my arms up too much and the tube popping out lived inside me constantly. Bikinis were a big no-no as were tight tops and skimpy dresses too, all things I was wanting to wear when I was in my early twenties.
Fast forward 8 years after my kidney transplant which I had when I was 24 and I now sport an excellent collection of scars and of course added a c-section scar to that last year. Clemmie and other women’s posts reminded me that Kate and I (Kate has also been through a lot of operations and has the marks to show for them) should be proud of our scars and bodies. They represent battles which we have won – illnesses and operations that we have got through and of course babies we’ve made! Thank you to all the ladies that have shared their photos – it’s great not to feel alone with a post baby body and I’m proud to say that I feel great in my swimsuit on the beach this year, yeah I’m still working on slimming down and getting rid of the excess baby weight but I’m not going to let that get me down and I’ll stand proud instead.