the parent child contract

Were you aware that they pick you?

They’re up there in Heaven,

(Or wherever it is that babies come from)

Looking down and pointing

To all the parents that they may want.

They may have a checklist

And if we meet their criteria

Then they will offer us a contract

That can only be signed

With a heady mixture of love and pain.

So be careful when you wish

You had more money or time.

That babe in your arms

Picked you out of everyone else.

Don’t let them down

And don’t break the contract

They need you to honour.

I’ve always had this funny little belief that babies pick their parents. I couldn’t tell you exactly how it worked, but I definitely think that I was paired up perfectly with my child.

But also, if you think of it in this way, you start to feel much more lucky and grateful when you are starting to feel a little bit frazzled. It feels like such an honour to be picked by a person, to know that they want to spend all of their formative years with you. This becomes even more incredible when you don’t have much money and you think that your child chose you over Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, I know how hard parenting is at the best of times so I really feel for you if you are struggling (especially if you are in the baby phase and struggling to get a full night’s sleep!). But stay strong and know that you are in the right place with the right people at the right time.

Much Love

Rachel xx

growing up together

He left us when you were so young

Peeling away to reveal

That gaping raw wound in our home.

A home that was trashed with the slamming of a door,

Leaving a mother and son.

But what comes down must also go up,

I think that’s the way the expression goes.

I grabbed him, probably by the scruff of the neck,

And pulled him along at a speed that was slow.

But together we gathered our pace

Rolling along on our rickety track.

There may have been ups and downs

Which I like to call loop the loops.

Soon we will reach the station, and he will leave too,

But this time there won’t be a crash.

No gaping wounds to patch up,

No need to feel like I must catch up

With everyone who raced on ahead

All of those years ago.

He’ll fly away as I watch and wave,

I won’t break this time because I am brave.

I’ve wanted this moment for all of his life,

And I’ll watch him fade away with tears in my eyes

And him on the arm of his beautiful wife.

I don’t know about any other single mums out there, but the moment that I am most looking forward to in my child’s life is the wedding. I can’t wait to be mother of the groom and watch with pride as he marries someone that he loves entirely.

When I was drinking all I wanted to do was make it to that moment before I let the alcohol take me over and kill me. That makes me cry to write because it’s so painful, but it’s the truth.

We’ve had to pull ourselves through all kinds over the years since his dad left us. It really has felt like a rollercoaster, but a good one that’s been more fun than scary.

The parenting journey is so difficult and brilliant all rolled into one. I’ve got a few years left before my Noah goes off to university and then gets married, and I’m going to treasure every moment of it.

Much Love

Rachel xx

my son shouted at me today and this is what i felt

He shouted at me today.

Not loud and boisterous words,

But words delivered short and sharp,

Designed to hook their barbs inside my heart.

I don’t blame him though.

It’s hard to shift and change in life,

And being angry’s part and parcel of the slide.

It’s me who needs to handle this with grace and love,

And all the things I never got.

Later on that night

He came to me and held me tight

And in the kitchen, there we stood,

A decision made to heal our wounds,

Rewrite the past that’s caused this pain.

Between us we can start afresh,

Weather the storm that’s not abating,

Surviving the feelings that are inundating.

Words have power but love is stronger

And we’ll stay standing just a little longer.

Today I went to the bus stop to collect my son. He has a long journey because we have recently moved from my parents’ house which is much closer to his school. He has lived in this house since he was a baby and so this change has been hard on him. Add to this the fact that he hasn’t seen his nan in months and now she is starting divorce proceedings; it has led to a very stressful time for both of us.

So, anyway, I went to collect him and when I asked how his day was he snapped at me. It was out of character and it made me go quiet. I feel bad about everything that he has had to go through and see this year and it makes me feel like a terrible mother when I know that he is hurting.

He came to me afterwards and he said he was sorry and we hugged. I want him to feel that he can vent his anger when things are hard because I was never allowed to do this and it’s been really damaging in my adult life.

He’s on his computer now. I have no idea if he’s happy but I have a feeling that there’s a lot of hurt inside. All I can do is love and forgive. He does the same for me when I’m venting.

I hope that this poem can touch a few hearts. I’m sure there are mums out there that have been through a turbulent time and had to shelter their little humans from as much as it as possible. I sometimes just need a cry to get through it and that’s what I’m doing as I sit on the sofa and write this poem. Keep strong if you are struggling, and hug it out when things get super bad. A good hug can fix anything that’s hurting.

Much Love

Rachel xx

The Parenting Journey (a poem)

Sometimes when you set out into the land of parenting you can be a little bit gung ho and think that everything is just going to fall into place. You think that you will give birth to this rosy cheeked angel who will grown into the perfect child and then the perfect teenager and the journey will end when they fly the nest as a fully formed adult.

But in reality we all know it’s not quite that simple. We forget that most of the time we spend struggling with next to no sleep. Partners who seemed almost perfect suddenly become an annoyance at best; at worst, they disappear altogether and leave you to do the job all on your lonesome.

It’s a really difficult road to traverse and a lot of people gloss over the horrible bits. That’s pretty much what this poem aims to address. It’s the pain and the agony, the tears and the tantrums in all of their technicolour glory. It’s true that children really are a blessing but life is difficult and parenting really brings this message to the forefront. So without further ado, I give you The Parenting Journey:

The blurred and fuzzy black and white

image doesn’t seem so right

knowing that the little bean is mine.

I’ve seen it played out for

The other couples that deserve it more,

That know the way to sparkle and to shine

As loving leaders who will guide

That little child and push aside

The horrors that can plague our earth.

And when the babe is finally born,

And our hearts are gladly torn

Into shreds that have no worth,

We realise without a doubt

That older worries all mean nowt,

As new life starts to take its root.

There will be pain and hurt and strife

As there is as part of life

And that’s a point you can’t dispute.

So then you have to watch them grow

Even though it hurts you so

To watch them stumble, trip and fall,

When all that’s running over, round and through

Your mind are all the things that are not true

That hold you back from standing tall.

It’s all a bunch of hurtful lies

That are designed to close your eyes

To all the things you do so well.

You’ve brought him up through all these years

Of fun, of laughter and some tears.

Sure you lose your temper, you may yell.

You may wonder what it is that keeps you going,

And then you see him as he’s growing

And see the journey you are taking.

You realise it’s worth the struggle,

The daily battles that you juggle,

Because there’s love with no mistaking.