My Third Letter To My First Daughter

Cheeks, in less than a week you will be 2 YEARS OLD, needless to say these were the fastest 2 years of my life. I’m writing this so I remember what you were like and to try and embarrass you and maybe make you cry when you’re older and hopefully read this.

I’m going to start with my favourite photos of you of all time.

Look at those cheeks! Look at that smile, you’re really cute. I can’t resist, here  are some more (mummy is obsessed with taking pictures of you!):

 

I’m not sure where to start, you might want to know what you are like…well you are quite the character. You are EXTREMELY independent, “me do it” is one of the things you say the most. Determined is another characteristic of yours, if you don’t want to do something well basically I have to force or bribe you. For example yesterday, we went out for a walk and you were wearing your “bellies” once you realized there  were no puddles outside so you couldn’t do “splash”, you decided you would stop walking and just stand by a wall:

img_0437

I had to pick you up and carry you down the road. The power struggles are a daily occurrence, usually involving not wanting to go in the buggy or hold my hand in the street or let me brush your teeth etc etc. Sometimes it makes me want to scream (and sometimes I do but clearly it doesn’t help the situation at all), sometimes people give me pitying looks in the street and sometimes I’m actually quite pleased you seem to have such a strong character but I don’t think we’ll know if this is your personality for ever for a few more years as it is also quite typical behavior of other monsters your age.

You love the following:

  • dinosaurs
  • playing catch
  • watching telly (mainly Frozen, Shrek 2 and Bing)
  • having a bath
  • doing chores – helping to cook and stirring things is a particular favourite
  • having tea parties
  • having your own seat on the train
  • feeding the ducks
  • doing anything by yourself basically!

You definitely have your habits and know what you like, this is what happens on a typical day:

  • wake up and chat straight away, you always have something to say, nowadays it’s usually “Elsa, Anna?”, you could watch Frozen all day, mummy bans you in the morning but every evening you watch it. The morning is for Bing and Postman Pat, you used to love Bing more than anything, Elsa has taken over

img_0406

  • You then come running over to sit on my knee, the minute you notice I have started eating breakfast and basically proceed to eat as much as my breakfast as I will let you
  • When we leave for nursery, I have too force you into the buggy by bending your legs, EVERY SINGLE DAY
  • Your BFF is called Maya, you are both so happy to see each other every morning
  • EVERY SINGLE DAY you whine when I leave you at nursery but are then fine within a minute
  • EVERY SINGLE DAY you come running up to me when you see me in the evenings as if you hadn’t seen me for weeks, it’s the best part of my day, sometimes the best part of my week. You cheer me up, wipe away any work or life stress and make me happy EVERY SINGLE DAY
  • Nowadays, you insist on walking home in the evening, this is fine as long as you hold my hand…
  • To be honest you are quite easy in the evenings, as long as there is Elsa and milk everything is fine until it’s time to brush your teeth…

This is the bit where I get a bit less objective, here are some of the things you do that make you “you” and make me think that you will probably turn out to be quite clever…

  • You started smiling at 3 weeks old and haven’t stopped since!
  • You have taught yourself some of the words to the Frozen songs, here you are in action:
  • You never forget anything and remember the most random of things – for example a few months ago we went to a new pub one rainy Sunday  afternoon and you had apple juice. Over a week later, we went past that pub again and you started shouting “juice, juice!” outside the door, I don’t know how you recognized the front door, to this day you still ask for juice when we go by that pub…
  • We were folding washing recently and you remembered that a nightie I was folding belongs to “mamie”
  • You know how things are “supposed” to be – if anybody doesn’t take their coat off and walks past the hallway, you are very quick to remind them!
  • You know how to have a good time! You were recently dancing for ages in a local pub even though nobody else was!
  • You have compassion and empathy and it is very sweet and makes me proud. Talking of mamie, when she had to leave for the airport a few weeks ago, mummy was very sad and you saw this on my face, came over, gave me a hug and stroked my back, my heart skipped a beat. It was so sweet and probably the only thing that could have made me feel better.

I could go and on and on about you, all I want you to know is that I couldn’t love you more if I wanted to (and I am sure daddy feels the same), you’ve been one of the most challenging parts of my life so far because I want to do the right thing and sometimes that means not screaming or getting angry when you just will not do something you need to do – I had never realised how difficult it could be to deal with somebody that only weighs 12 kilos but is stronger than me in many ways!!! Stay the confident, funny, lovely girl that you are, I am already so proud. You are not only challenging but you are very fulfilling too, you were definitely missing from my life.

I also want you to know that even when mummy escapes, it’s not because I don’t want to be with you, it’s because I need to be with myself for a while and with other people and come back a happier mummy (the below pic is from the day I came back from Ibiza, 12 hours before mummy was dancing under a flight path and some of my makeup is still visible! You can also spot some of the grey hairs that have appeared since your birth…)

img_1762

What do I hope for you in the future?

First of all, I hope you get to travel and go to some of my favourite places in the world such as New York City, Ibiza and France . I hope you have great friends like I am lucky to have, I hope you get to live in different countries like I have but unlike me I really hope you do a job you are super passionate about like some of these ladies. Mummy has a great job but it’s not my dream job (that’s having a cooking programme on TV in case you’re wondering…), maybe you could be the first female President of the USA? I just want you to be HAPPY and have fun, lots of fun. As one of mummy’s good friends says “the first rule of fun is to have more fun” , which is very true.

Mummy loves you and will be there to guide up, dance with you, pick you up when you fall and high five you when you reach the dizzying heights that I know you are destined to reach. Carpe Diem Cheeks!

 

Advertisements

An Open Letter To Marissa Mayer

For those of you, who don’t know, Marissa is the CEO of Yahoo and recently announced this

Dear Marissa,

First, congratulations on your latest pregnancy! Secondly, I don’t actually expect you to ever read this, you clearly have other things to do. Finally I really admire you for being so successful in business, it’s a real achievement and inspiring for other women.

Since becoming a mum, I’ve learnt not to judge other parents so I’m not going to judge you but I do have some questions for you following your announcement that “My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I’ll work throughout it.” Indeed I don’t understand a few things and was wondering if you could explain yourself?

  1. I’m sure you realise twins are often born premature (you’ve already quoted the likelihood of being pregnant with twins so I’m sure you’re clued up on all things scientifically twin-related) and might arrive months before you are due. Would this affect the length of your maternity leave as you may not give birth in December as planned?
  2. If they are indeed premature (which I sincerely hope they aren’t, my brothers were and it’s horrible to see them so tiny alone in incubators, I don’t wish that on anybody) and have to stay in hospital for while, how often will you visit them? would you still go back to work after 2 weeks and only see them in the evening?
  3. I assume you’re not even considering breastfeeding? Even the first week when the colostrum and first milk can have amazing benefits for newborns?
  4. What time will you be finishing work when you go back? Apologies for the detailed questions but I’m trying to get my head around all this.
  5. Why don’t you take a month off? Surely if Yahoo can survive 2 weeks without you, it can survive a month? especially if they are born when planned around December, surely things slow down around Christmas and it’s a nice time to be hoe with family?

It clearly isn’t easy for you whatever length of maternity leave you choose to take, you’re going to be judged harshly for it because you are a powerful, successful woman in the public eye. I think it’s a shame your announcement didn’t say anything about other working women, including your own employees and their choices around maternity leave.

Didn’t you think that other women working for Yahoo might think that, despite you having increased the paid maternity leave to 16 weeks since joining the company, you actually don’t think women should take that long? Maybe you wish to take longer but fear it may negatively impact the company too much? Is that more important than  newborn twins hardly seeing their mother? Didn’t you think clarifying that you do/or don’t expect any of your employees to do the same would be helpful?

You had the opportunity to to address a big issue that matters to millions of women and you just made it sound like you couldn’t take more than 2 weeks because the company needs you more. Maybe this is a misunderstanding, maybe not. I know you once said that you wanted to take 6 months maternity leave but then you were just about to start the new job at Yahoo so it was impossible, is it really impossible to take more than 2 weeks off this time?

Maybe you simply don’t want to take longer off and that is totally fine and respectable but then why didn’t you say “I find looking after newborns boring and tiring and would rather be in the office, qualified nannies would probably look after them better than me anyway”, if you said that, I think people would really respect you for being honest, instead you’ve just been vague. Given how bad the law around maternity leave in the US is, its a shame you didn’t use this opportunity to make a stand. I guess you’re not a politician and you don’t have to justify anything to anyone but with great success, comes great responsibility and it’s a missed opportunity to further working women’s rights.

It’s not easy for working mums and I don’t feel like you are helping anybody, on the contrary, I think it puts even more pressure on working mums to come back to work quickly, especially women in senior positions.

Lots of commentators have been saying “if she were a man , we wouldn’t be having this discussion”, no we wouldn’t but I doubt there are many male CEOs, whose wives give birth and then within 2 weeks, they are both back to work full time. I don’t imagine your husband is going to stay home, is he? So the babies will not have either parent at home, I think that’s sad.

I respect your choice and you are VERY lucky to be able to choose to go back to work so quickly despite being a millionaire and obviously not doing it for financial reasons, lots of women, don’t have a choice and have to go back to work to earn money.

I respect but can’t understand your choice (I’m not a CEO so clearly can’t imagine your professional life) and I can’t understand why you didn’t just add a few sentences to your announcement that said something along the lines of ” I am not trying to set an example to other Yahoo mothers, they are fully entitled to use the 16 weeks of maternity leave that is our policy, they should be supported in their choice. I do not see it in a negative light to take the full allowance and it should not have a detrimental effect on any woman’s career”.

I wish you all the best with the rest of your pregnancy and just hope that in the future the US government dramatically improves the maternity leave situation and no woman working for Yahoo or another company feels guilty about taking longer than 2 weeks off after giving birth.

You can respond to this in the comments below 🙂

Linking up to:
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

 

How My Life has Changed in 7.5 Months

Back in November 2014, out “popped” Bella-Roo and as the cliche goes “our lives were changed forever” but how so? Here are a few insights into my new life…

I am now thinner than before I got pregnant but my boobs will never be the same again, this is very sad as they used to be one of my best “assets”, I need to think of what my new “thing” will be and probably have to wear push up bras for the first time in my life. Sigh.

We no longer regularly eat in restaurants, again I am thinner (I’m not saying thin, let’s not get crazy here) but we spend less money.

I get excited when Bella-Roo sleeps past 7AM, I have indeed learnt to take pleasure in the “little” things. Indeed I now love Lidl chocolate, good bye Paul Young, hello SMP and Lidl.

I have an excuse to have beauty treatments at home in the evening, however this happens once about every 2 months (see SMP above).

Going to a bar on a Saturday night and being asked for my ID was probably the highlight of the year but then once I was in said noisy bar, I just felt like a MUM.

I have plenty of time to buy clothes online in the sale for Arabella for when she is older (this is called saving money Mister B), yet this means she has about as many clothes as me, good for any friends having a girl in the future bad for my wardrobe space.

I have a lot of time to read things on my phone so am quite up-to-date on current affairs, however I am getting tendinitis, yep life is hard.

The good times (her giggling, smiling, playing with her, teaching her things, putting her in cute clothes, seeing how she loves the bath etc) do make up for the bad times (the crying, dirty nappies, whining, trying to do everything with one hand, the mess from feeding her, the list goes on…). I’m definitely trying to make the most of it before I have to go back to work, oh no I won’t have to because I AM GOING TO WIN THE LOTTERY.

Maman

As next week is Mother’s Day in the UK and today is my mum’s birthday, I thought I would dedicate this post to ma maman with 20 pretty amazing facts about her.
1. She left home in her teens to go around the world on a boat and follow a much older man she was in love with
2. On said “years abroad”, she caught sharks and wore her bra top as a bikini ( the seventies were not the consumerism years we experience nowadays)
3. She has had 5 children and they all get on and they all love her very much
4. She used to pile us all into her Renaud 5, if the car would not start she had a chant that she would repeat, the car always started
5. She has a talent for drawing and painting
6. Talking of which the best present she ever gave me was a few years ago when she gave me a drawing she had made of me as a baby, even diamonds (and I love diamonds) don’t come close
7. I inherited the “worrying” genes from her but …
8. I also inherited the open minded genes from her
9. Without her help I would not have left France and gone to university, she helped with a complicated student loan situation
10. Before I left for university, she taught me to cook, now that I ( and my husband) am forever grateful for
11. If she was rich, she would have the most beautiful house and clothes
12. She always finds a way, she can make anything out of anything. She even changed a glass window pane once on her own
13. She is not a scared of anything
14. She will win tons of money betting on horses one day 🙂
15. She has at least one kir a night
16. She does not know who the Kardashians are
16. She has lived in the Seychelles and one day I will take her back
17. She has lived in France for over 20 years and still answers the phone with “hello”
18. When I was stuck in NYC during Sandy, she is the only person who wanted to be there with me “for the life experience because it was exciting”
19. She has a passion for horses and used to get up at the crack of dawn when she was young to go riding. One day I will buy her one.
20. She’s always there for all of us and we will always be there for her

20140316-170207.jpg

20140316-170222.jpg

20140316-170228.jpg

20140316-170242.jpg

20140316-170317.jpg

20140316-170403.jpg

20140316-170454.jpg