Three – the magic number?
Three years. And it has passed by in a blink of an eye. Now I’m not one for over emotional posts, judging by what’s been before however, some of you may disagree. Three years have changed our lives. And today, as we focus on the youngest reaching this milestone of toddlerhood, I’m sitting here looking back at how far we have come as a family. Beware ardent reader, honesty and a few tears have been spilt in the making of this post.
In 2014, long before G was even imagined, we were a three. My daughter, my son and I. Having had a long, and hard battle, to get back to Wales from Norfolk, we had started life again. I’d been a single mum for many years, and moved the kids cross country to support my ex husband as he couldn’t travel to North Wales to see his children. This was having an effect on his health, so as I had no work at the time, it wasn’t a big deal for us to move away. Or so I thought.
As with all escapes it started happily enough. The children loved being so close to dad. I enjoyed the free time and started making friends, growing bonds, found work which I was happy doing. This all changed abruptly towards the end of 2013, and without going into details, war ensued. A war that had quite an effect on the children, and myself. And as a result I found that thinking about the future was causing anxiety. Little did I know what was in store.
I’ve always been the mum that takes too many photos. But I guess when we got home to Wales, I concentrated on the kids. Making memories and hedonistic days out. We were hardly ever at home, and that was part of my anxiety I guess, that someone would just turn up and try and steal the kids from me. That someone may judge me a bad mother if I didn’t go out with them and take photos and try and do all the things normal families do. Because I constantly felt watched, insecure and totally on my own.
When I met Iolo, my partner, my position on this shifted slightly. I began feeling safe. Our unit of three was a four, we moved house and became a unit once more. When I found out I was pregnant with G, it was a huge shock. Not only had I been told that having another child was out of the question medically but we had been a family only a few months. I had been on my own for the best part of eight years, bringing up two kids. But this pregnancy had not only bought hope, but a new strength in me.
Of course, the best laid plans always go to waste. Eight months of the pregnancy passed happily. The kids seemed excited that a sibling was on the way. Cara, my eldest daughter was having what I thought was the usual troubles settling into school. The children saw their father on school holidays, so after Christmas 2015, they visited their parents in Norfolk. This was usual, and I truly wanted them to know their father, despite what happened historically.
Hell on earth
I’m pretty intuitive, and having not heard from the kids in the week I started to worry. But the pregnancy coming to an end coupled with working and trying to promote my business kept me busy. An email dropped on New Years Day however that my ex was planning to keep my daughter. In the last month of my pregnancy I fought with all I had to get her back.
I’ll never forgive my ex for his timing or what he did to our children in this time. Separating both of them, and ultimately forcing my daughter to miss the birth of her baby brother. He was almost six weeks old when she came home.
So the last three years have been all about repairing the damage.
Three years of change
G made his own personality felt in our now five-some very early on. His love for berating and playing with both his sister and his brother have made us a unit. I still think we have an element of dysfunction, but it could be from too much time spent looking backwards. G drives us forward diving into every new day like a force of nature.
I had to fight for weeks after his birth, and it forced me to leave him. I feel sometimes out of all my children he is the one I’ve bonded to most fiercely because of this. I would do anything to protect him, but I know by now that I can’t protect him from everything.
Cara who is now almost 15 is his saint. And I think she secretly idolises him too. Ellis the middle child is the moaner, groaner and probably had the biggest adjustment period. He misses his had, but also feels rejection, and a little bit of jealousy that a little brother has taken his spotlight as the baby. I certainly feel like he’s made monumental leaps in his understanding and maturity in the past few years.
G is G. Stubborn, wilful, and ultimately a force to be reckoned with. The biggest change has come in Iolo and my relationship. Ultimately it’s harder than it was, and some of the old walls I built around myself for protection have reared their ugly heads. I suppose time and effort will break them down, but it would be nice to feel normal once in a while. Maybe have a date night, or something to keep sane.
Three is the magic number?
So in three year we have moved house twice, gone from two to three children, gone from a family of three, to four, to five. I think that would be enough to drive anyone bonkers. But hey, we’re still here. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster, but tonight, we will all eat cake together. Can’t wait. Happy birthday G.