Sunday, 28 August 2016

Girls can do it too!

I've always believed that anything boys can do, so can girls. I don't really get the whole gender stereotype thing. Sure the mini one might wear a tutu or a pretty dress, but if there's a puddle or opportunity to get muddy and wet she's the first one in there. She has gruffalo tops that were "meant for boys" and a cowboy hoodie from Cath Kidston for boys.

She watches Fireman Sam and Paw Patrol then tells me she's a princess and a doctor and wants to watch Frozen. If she's happy and she is learning and loving lots of different things then that's good enough for me.

So you can only imagine how happy a conversation I overheard her having last weekend made me....

We were visiting one of our local soft play areas (review to follow) and the mini one was playing with some kids who wanted to climb up the slide - because down is so 2015. There were two boys who started joining in and was bashing the smaller kids around a little bit. The mini one looked at me and grumbled when one pushed her but I just said "ignore them" and she went back to the game.

These boys kept getting pushy and kids kept leaving and soon the mini one was the only girl left. The boys turned round to her and said, "This (climbing a slide) isn't for girls so you can't do it." She looked crestfallen! Then you almost saw the "pull yourself together" moment go across her face as she turned round, stared them dead in the eye and shouted, "girls can do it too!" Before barging past them and doing a great attempt to get up the slide.

Sure she didn't make it to the top, but she kept trying until it was time to leave. I'm always proud of my little girl especially now she seems to have taken on my attitude of girls can do it too.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

And then there were two...

I will always remember the day I knew my marriage was truly over. Sure I still loved him and wanted more than anything to say I forgave him and of course we could try again, but I just couldn't. The words refused to come out. Those who know me know I'm not one to mince my words. If I want to say something I often do, but this time my usual self escaped me and all I could do was shake my head, say I'm sorry and walk away from the man some four years previously I'd stood with in front of our friends and family and promised to love and cherish forever.

The pain was so just intense and so raw there was nothing that could be done to take it back. You see that man had walked out on me. Not once, but twice. He packed his bags and left. Not just the house but the country... Twice. But I don't hate him, I hate the circumstances that lead to our ultimate end. He was the man who gave me our beautiful amazing intelligent little girl but he was also the man who made me break down in front of my daughter midway through reading Stickman to her at bedtime because I couldn't go on anymore.

Our marriage became toxic but it wasn't always that way. He Egyptian, me British, we met while working in the Middle East. We started as friends and when I went through one of the toughest times of my life out there, he saved me. He pulled me back from the brink and loved me, which is what I needed. Three years later we married and 7 months after that I got sick. A trip to the doctors showed I was pregnant. It was a difficult pregnancy and traumatic birth but the end result was perfection.

After struggling to find a way we could live out there and be good parents we decided the time had come to return to the uk. When she was 3 months old my daughter and I moved to the uk and the clock began. We'd agreed to give me a few months maternity leave before starting to find work. But I struggled to find something close to my parents that paid enough for me to meet the financial requirements of the spouse visa. I found something, but then the English language requirement came into play. My husband struggled to pass the listening segment of the test and despite taking classes it took a year and a half for him to get the required grade. We hadn't seen each other this whole time as all our money went on the visa and tests.

In September last year, he arrived. Day 1 was amazing. Day 2 however the cracks began to show. He didn't get that if our daughter woke up so did we, if she was hungry we got food, if she gets bored there's drama, if you say no... She screamed. He had arrived in time for the terrible twos. He still thought he was living the single life which I voiced my frustrations at but he threw it back that I cared more for our daughter than him. We argued a lot and one day when he was so withdrawn he watched our daughter knock over cups of coffee in Costa not once but twice. I lost my rag. I told him he was her father and I (who had been in the toilet) couldn't watch her all the time. She went to do something naughty a third time and he grabbed her. It scared the hell out of her. I pulled him off her and shouted he was to never do it again. He walked out the coffee shop.

The next day was my birthday and there was nothing. No card, no present, no look I've made dinner or shall we order something nice in... Just sat in silence watching tv. I cried myself to sleep that night.

I won't say too much about the leavings, the returns and the eventual goodbye, but they all hurt. I broke down, I picked myself up, I broke down again and when I picked myself up the second time knew this was it I couldn't continue the cycle anymore and enough was enough.

Things aren't always easy as a family of two and as she grows up I know we will face different challenges, but I love my daughter so much. Whether she's smearing yellow paint round the living room, leaving the freezer open, waking me up all night or smiling at me from across the park and saying she loves me... She's worth all the hard work.

This blog was set up to chronicle my life as a mum and wife, now it will stay as my journey of motherhood and the things I love. The highs, the lows, the happiness and the tears. I hope you will continue to follow.