On the cusp.


As always, I am slightly late on this. I have been meaning to sit down and scribble but the moment has never felt right. And it has to right?

The moment feels right because of a few factors. New year, minus the ‘New me’ BS. I turned 30. Jake is about to turn 9. New job starting soon. So it felt like today was the time.

I was also thinking back to why I started this blog, and how last year it changed slightly when talking about relationships etc, and it had nothing really significant about Jake in there. This is crucial today, so prepare for Jake spam. Mind you, if you were to glance at my instagram Jake is pretty much all you see. He’s like the cat I’d have if I didn’t have him, keeping this single, crazy lady occupied.

Anyway, about Jake.

He’s turning 9 on Sunday. Now, granted 9 isn’t really significant, not in the way turning 1 or 10 is when looking at kids. But to me it is. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing Jake, you will know that he is quite a chatty, opinionated and articulate child. Biased I realise, however, I actually put this down to the fact that I sent him to nursery as soon as I returned to uni and he has been surrounded by adults for 80% of his life. He’s like me, comfortable around adults and happy to hold a conversation, but equally at home playing with his friends.

His ability to be so comfortable is what got me through 2018. I have to say, bar a few moments, 2018 was a shitty, mentally exhausting, crappy year. So much stress and drama, a lot of it down to me, my actions, my weaknesses, my stupidity, my inability to say no and my fragile mental health. There was a crucial moment though, two very clear weeks where I remember that if it hadn’t been for Jake, I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed.

His little hands in mine, his cuddles, kisses, his funny moments, his thoughts and opinions… I really survived because a day without Jake is horrid. All this has of course, achieved the inevitable ‘Mothers guilt’. I mean, I feel like a lot of the time he’s older than he needs to be. He wants to be older than he is, desperate to be considered an adult and I’m left wondering is it my fault?

And here’s the really critical, crucial thing about why him turning 9 is so significant. I can see it. I mean I can literally see the last few bits of him being little, of still being my little boy and of the child like innocence (it really does exist) leave him.

His opinions are becoming stronger. His hopes and dreams are evolving at a staggering rate. His demands have changed and his need of me has changed. Things are becoming more black and white for him, which is something I hate. I had to really fight with him that Father Christmas isn’t fake, because I can’t deal with it yet. Everything is changing.

Jake is ready. And don’t get me wrong, I love change. Change scares me but it’s much more fun than playing it safe. But to turn round and suddenly see this… young boy rather than my little boy, is a change I can’t handle. Which is ridiculous after wondering if its my fault that he’s so comfortable with adults. How can I feel guilty for that but be proud of it, yet not be ready to see and deal with him actually getting older.

I know, mad rambles of a crazy mother. And just so you’re aware, I tell Jake daily he has to stop growing, and he rolls his eyes. I get a lot of sassy comments back. I have started getting slammed doors, comments on my inability of being a good mum. He’s wished he was dead (can’t think where he gets this dramatic character from) and he’s also stated on more occasions than I care to remember that he cannot wait to move out and leave.

I mean of course, that’s what you want your kids to be like. I never wanted a clingy child who couldn’t do a thing without me. He’s my twin in that sense. I like independence and I try hard not to smother Jake. I’ve been accused of still mothering him and treating him like a baby, which is not true. But I’m not ready now to treat him older than he is.

A lot of the lessons I’ve found myself teaching Jake involve consequences. He’s relatively free to make his own choices and decisions, but he now is learning that they all come with consequences. Trying to keep his world grey.

The other thing I’ve been trying to teach Jake is that my choices and decisions are equally as valuable as his. And believe me, when you’re raising a head strong boy who is literally you in character and mannerisms, this is not an easy task.

I’ve just told him off for screaming at FIFA and his response? It feels like real life mum. I hate football.

Anyway, as I said, I am starting a new job soon. When I told Jake, the opinions, demands and requests coming out of his mouth made it feel like I was discussing it with a much older person, rather than my 8 year old sidekick. But I need him. His opinion matters to me. I want him to be proud because if it wasn’t for him, who would I do this for? I mean obviously me, but once you have a kid, you do become slightly less important.

2018 was a year in which I was incredibly selfish. I mean I really pushed boundaries and did things that if I could take back, I would. There are so many things I would do differently, I’d say no more. And I’d have stopped to really look at Jake and essentially grow with him. Go through his changes with him. Then maybe him turning 9 wouldn’t be such a shock.

Like I said, I do not believe in the whole, new year new me thing. I believe you change when you’re ready to, not because of any other factor. But I am going to pay more attention to Jake. Be more aware and a better teacher, hopefully. You never get it right with kids, especially your 1st.

We will both be facing new challenges and new moments, and it’s better to do it together rather than apart fighting our own minds and souls.

Oh I sound preachy don’t I… disgusting.

He’s happy, healthy, tall and as obsessed with football as he’s always been. Can’t really ask for more than that can I?

Maybe the football thing…



Children are smarter than you think

It suddenly struck me the other day that there are a few things people leave out when you’re expecting a child. Firstly, your child (or children if you have or are expecting twins, triplets, etc) can manipulate you from the moment they have come out of you. From the very first wail they have you wrapped round their little finger and they know it too. And people judge you for not rushing to every single noise they make too! I took a stand because with being at uni I just don’t have the time or the patience to pander to his every single little thing and this has resulted in a pretty independent child, he’s very happy to stay with other people and gets on well with other children. Of course he will come to me if he falls over or wants a cuddle but he is very happy plodding along and doing his own thing which is just fine by me! I mean who wants a child who is always clingy and needy? Personally this to me would equal a disaster and it means the child is likely to grow up expecting you to always take care of them… so I say tough love all the way! My friends think I can be pretty horrid to Jake but the thing is, even with all their support and my family too, I am on my own, it is just us two and how can I be expected to work and study towards a bright and strong future for us if all I am doing it cuddling him and reassuring his every worry?

Secondly, routine is a god send from the word go. My mum was very much happy to allow me to attempt parenting and guide me when I needed it, however the one thing she stressed on was routine. And what no one tells you is you can beat your childs manipulation by feeding them at specific times and not letting them sleep when they want so that when you put them down after their final feed, they know that’s it and it’s bed time. *touches wood* Jake has of yet not had a night where he has put up a fight with going to sleep and his bed time has stayed the same from the word go, because again I don’t have the time for him to play up and it also means that I get my evenings free to myself. I work better during the day but recently I have switched to nights to get more done and it is brilliant to know that come half seven/ eight he will be fast asleep and I can get on with my evening. And the best bit about all of this? If you have a routine set up there is nothing stopping you from still having a social life.

That last bit really gets on my nerves. I mean why aren’t young mums told that they can still have their baby and STAY in education? You can do both and I know that when I said I would go back to university to finish my studies the midwife would reply ‘Sure well we will see’. Where is the encouragement? Why shouldn’t you go back to school? I mean of course practise safe sex first and don’t risk putting yourself in the position where you have to make these choices in the first place, but if it does happen it doesn’t mean its the end. I remember Jake’s dad and his mum trying to convince me to not go ahead with the pregnancy, and her reasoning argument? That I would end up in a council house somewhere sponging off the government with not enough money and trying to work out whether to spend the money I did have on milk or fags… suffice to say they aren’t in the picture (they’re choice not mine). I do believe it also depends on what kind of upbringing you have had, but then even if you haven’t had the best one, the midwife should still be making sure you know every single option available, and I mean every single one!

I think that’s my rant over for now… oh and also in case you didn’t know… children develop selective hearing from about the age of… six months so you know get tough and strict pretty early on. We still have loads of fun together and I love him more every day which I didn’t think was possible, but if he messes up he knows about it and he doesn’t do it twice. I am not claiming I am the perfect parent at all… the ‘you have a dad somewhere in the world’ conversation still has to be tackled at some point… but he’s happy and healthy and to me that’s a sign I am on the right track at least. Enjoy your Sundays xxxxxxx

P.S. No I didn’t finish the essay… I came close but I lack certain books so :p


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