Ever felt like not making it and struggling in life? Well, that image above could not be far from how I felt especially in the first five years of motherhood. I just felt that I did not have the neccessary skills and knowledge to blossom in my journey. I remember struggling to get big brother to eat. Oh my days, the boy was such a fussy eater and was as skinny as anything. In those moments, I was a failure and stressed. The health visitor would dimiss my concerns looking at my built and remarking ‘you are not of big built yourself’. True? yes it was, not helpful though. I did all the food diary, monthly weights, multivitamins etc. Sadly I didn’t understand the centile lines and growth chart. Glad that the teen hormones finally kicked in the boy now eats.
Back in 2015, a friend brought me a very beautiful blooming orchid. I loved it. Prior to that, I had bought one myself from Tesco and sadly didn’t last any long. So it was refreshing to have another variety of this beautiful plant. I watered and placed it on the window sill as suggested on some online forum. Unfortunately, it lasted only a couple months. Distraught and disheartened one of my clients reassured me to keep the stump with the hope that it will bloom again. Blooming again never happened so I threw it away. This was only the first of many other orchid gifts to be given by friends. They never made it. Someone suggested I tried the artificial ones, saw some gorgeous ones in TK Maxx, it’s not the same is it?
I was at a baby shower somewhere in December and I said a couple of nice things to the expectant mom and boom, the orchid came out again. You can imagine the agony I felt. Driving home, I looked at it and gave thanks. I thanked the giver for their heart and consideration, I just wished they knew my bad luck with this type of plant. I went home and just continued to do what I had done with the other plants. Deep down, there was a desire to see it continue to flower and bloom. I wanted it to live. I wanted to break the curse of death on my hands. O how I wanted to succeed and not continue to feel the stench of failure.
I would speak to the plant in the morning before leaving for work, admire it when I am at the sink and do a silent prayer that it makes this time. I would move it from the sunny window sill to the shade of the downstairs lavatory. I was determined and keen. I needed this. Flowering it did but not like the other orchids I saw from friends window sills.
One day, a dear friend who was visiting asked what plant food I was using for my orchid. Plant food? The plant had not come with any food in the pouch. Flowers always do, don’t they? I was beyond horrified as I didn’t think I needed to give plant food. Gwen* advised where and what type of plant food I could buy from the shops. I did that and followed the instructions on the packet on how to feed and care for my plant.
The last eighteen years, have shown me that thriving in motherhood takes determination, vulnerability, a community and a whole load of learning. No-matter how many books I read, qualifications I attained, nothing seemed to equip me enough to get the job done with little stress. Whilst I may have struggled with all this, I believe sometimes all we need to hear is that we are doing a great job. A little reassurance. I thrive in those environments because that’s my kind of learning style. Feedback is key. I have learnt to be deliberate in finding that community and that feedback. Now with two teens in tow, I am forever nagging and asking women who have gone before me to hold my hand.
I don’t know what it feels or looks like to have a son in Uni. Next year will be a first and yes, I have my anxieties. Will he survive is a big one at the moment. Survive on his own cooking, getting up in time for lectures without mom alarm clock?. Will he remember to breathe without me reminding him? Those are the conversations in my head at the moment and I have begun to speak to other mamas about it. I have been fortunate to find those soul sisters.
Here it is, my orchid, eight months down the line, blooming and my heart singing.
What would it take for your journey to be in full bloom and your heart skipping in excitement? We are a community of mothers, learning, sharing and empowering one another on this journey. If you would like to be part of that community, connect with us via email, instagram or facebook.
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself”. Eleanor Roosevelt
Bloom mama, lets bloom 🌸🌺🌼
For those wanting their orchid to thrive, I am using the Miracle grow ‘pour and feed’ plant food from B&M stores xxx