Lately I have been so focussed on vlogging, I am so pleased that I have managed to capture Sophia’s first week of school (mainly first day) on camera for us to keep forever. Its a beautiful thing to be able to make videos and keep them. Its a strange thought that in 10 or 20 years the children, my husband and I will sit on the sofa and settle down to watch some of these vlogs I am doing and to read our blog posts. I am glad I have the vlogs and blogs to give to my children, a little thank you to them for a life well lived and for what they have given me.
There are many days I am out with them or at home with them, folding the washing, cleaning the dishes, tidying their room for the third time the same day and I feel a little upset. I never feel like I am doing quite enough. I mean I know I am as I never stop, I am always doing something. Don’t you ever wish there was more time in the day? I ask myself, did I do today right? Did I shout too much today? Was I good enough today?
Its got me thinking, I really believe that us woman, we put far too much pressure on ourselves. I love a challenge, I love taking risks, being spontaneous and facing up to my fears. I do it everyday in some form or another. And it makes me happy, because everyday I do what I love, I watch and video record my children, and I write. I write about what makes me happy and the memories we are making. But still sometimes I doubt, and I ask myself is that enough?
It’s silly and I feel silly writing it down too, but I am sure I am normal right?
Maybe it all stems back to my childhood? I remember always wishing mum was home, waiting for her to return from work late at night. I don’t remember mum being around much at all when I was younger and before we moved to England. I think my brain has remembered how much I missed mum and then left everything else out, my mum may disagree but that is how I remember it. She is a hard worker, she always has been. She loves her job and for many years has been the higher earner in the family, she is a modern woman. She has been an amazing role model in many ways to me and I wouldn’t change her or our life together for anything. She has taught me so much. Growing up I remember my dad most, pushing me on the swings, taking me on adventures around the garden, we were always exploring.
Once I was swinging on a tree -swing my dad had made me and just above my head on the branch was a green mamba one of the most poisonous snakes in South Africa and we both didn’t realise for some time because it was so camouflaged in the branch and its leaves. When my dad saw it of course he grabbed me and pulled me away with great speed. One thing I love about England is I can walk in my garden and not be afraid of standing on a snake. It was that common that I remember walking out on our gardener throwing stones at a snake to protect himself. Our housemaid had been bitten by one and even my little sister nearly stood on one before she was 2 years old. It really is dangerous out in the bush of Africa! People in England are scared of spiders and moths, where I feel lucky to have those creepy crawlies around my house. We had many episodes of snakes in our house too. Snakes really scare me. Actually I am pretty afraid of worms too. I put that down to a close friend of mine when I was younger, we were walking at the beach on a grassy bit and he grabbed a worm and shoved it down the back of my top I jumped out of my skin and still remember the skin crawling sensation and slimy slithery worm that was stuck under my top. To this day I am petrified of worms.
Dad also used to push me on our swings he had made us back in our home in South Africa and once he pushed me so hard I went flying into the bushes behind me. This is so funny now looking back on it but actually at the time I was really upset and couldn’t wait to tell mum when she arrived home, she always gave me the sympathy I desired.
Once dad took me swimming in the ocean and the current was so strong we got sucked so far out we couldn’t come back to shore. This was really dangerous and really scary. I remember dad just kept telling me we would be fine and I believed him. There is nothing like the protection your dad offers you as a child. I remember been deathly scared of the dark, but not when dad was around. So, dad and I in the ocean, it was so deep neither of us could stand and there must of been all sorts of fish and underwater animals beneath us I don’t even want to imagine it if I am honest. I didn’t know at the time, but when I recently asked my dad about it he told me that he was absolutely terrified but of course didn’t let me know. As my dad is a surfer he knew to follow the tide and thats what we did until it washed us up onto shore the other side of the beach. We must have been out there for over an hour maybe more, I really can’t remember. I just remember feeling really tired and cold.
I had many experiences growing up, encounters with wildlife, I was brutally attacked by a dog at the age of 10. Things that thankfully I will never have to worry about my children experiencing. Through my eyes now it all just seems dangerous and crazy. But at the time I remember feeling happy and safe. The snakes and huge ocean was all so normal to me, so ordinary I missed it terribly when we first moved to England. From where I stand now, I cant believe how many times I hurt myself or caused myself pain. So many things happened to me. many many more that I haven’t even mentioned here.
From all the books I have read and what I believe I cant help but think that it was partly how very much I didn’t approve of myself, I constantly doubted myself growing up and didn’t believe in who I was I don’t know how I got on in life. I was outcasted many times at school and always ended up playing with the boys. I don’t know how I created that for myself I don’t know why or where it steamed from. But I am pleased that now I am okay I am in a really good place, a place that I am happy and have a lot more confidence in myself. I tend not to worry what anyone else thinks of me because I know I am a good person and I treat people well. When I was younger maybe I didn’t like myself.
I think giving birth changes you, it shows you that your body can accomplish anything. You are amazing and powerful beyond your own understanding. Your imagination is everything. I am learning everyday about myself. I am still figuring ‘her’ out. Maybe because I am only 26? All I know is that I love life, I am living it as best I can for my children. One thing I am so very thankful for is that I am here for them each and every day I am always around and thats something I am so proud of. Because I know not many mums are able to do the same. I also know how it feels to miss your own mum terribly. And I don’t want my two to miss me ever, if anything I want them to be sick of me always hanging around! Thats the kind of mum I want to be.
From everything I have written, and being afraid of the dark and not fitting in at school makes me realise how bad I thought the world was, how everything outside of my home was out to get me. There were many burglaries where we lived and there were always terrible stories floating around our village. I guess there is no wonder I grew up feeling out of control, scared and doubtful. I think moving to England was the best thing my parents could ever have done for me. I feel safe here.
So through it all, I try and accept that I am enough, I do enough for my children, I try my best and I shouldn’t beat myself up. We are not perfect. I read a quote a few years ago and from the top of my head went something like this: ‘In any job you have in life give it your best because if you do your best you know you have given it your all and thats all you can do.’ it just reminds me that we are not perfect and thats okay. We are all in the same boat, we all try our best and for me, to know what I am doing is good enough, makes me happy.
I also know that blogging has opened a whole new world for me, it is such a great community and full of ever growing potential. The online world is beautiful and I am so glad to be a part of it. Here is to life and things that make you happy.
A few weeks ago my lovely sister in law sent me this video, it is a campaign that Sanctuary Spa are working on and the video really touched me I had to share it. It is a lot to do with what I have written today.
To my mum and dad, I just wanted to use this post to say thank you, thank you for the life you gave me, for the experiences I had because of you. I had an exciting childhood filled with adventure. I felt loved and safe. I am grateful that we went from country to country while I was young it gave me a great perspective. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I wouldn’t swap anything. I have the most wonderful memories, I feel lucky and especially because I have you both here to share in my journey of motherhood.