Earlier this month, my tiny baby turned five. An entire five years of living. Half a decade.
When I look back, 5 years feels like nothing but also a lifetime. So much has changed.
Over her birthday I thought about the day(s) I was in hospital bringing her into the world, the hopes I had for her future and the things I learnt during that time. I found delivering Darcy the hardest thing I've ever done. No ifs or buts, child birth and the postpartum recovery can be very rough. I think about it every year and feel little pangs of panic and trauma but each year she gets older, it feels a bit easier. This was the first year I felt really unsupported in those feelings but I know in time I will grow and strengthen and they won't feel so painful. Life is funny isn't it? You have to do the hardest thing you can ever imagine to get the best thing you can ever imagine. She is the best.
(Thank you so much to my friend Zoe for taking these pictures. I plan on printing some for the house)
Watching Darcy enjoy her day and feel so special was magical. This is a beautiful age. I love that we can talk about fairly deep things, I love the way her mind ticks over and mostly, I love that I can feel our bond deepening. I'll always be her Mother and I'll always love her but honestly, I adore this child. I know we'll be friends when she's an adult. We have similar personalities and I feel like very often I can understand her emotions and thought processes not just because I'm her Mummy and care giver, but because my mind works the same way too. I just get her.
When she was born I optimistically hoped that our life would be that of the classic family and we'd all eat croissants in bed on a Sunday morning and laugh over dinner each night (and yanno, other non food based activities haha) and all be merry and bright. As you know, life didn't pan out that way and we are now a team of two, Darcy and Louise, on life's big adventure.
I thought that as I went from parenting team to solo Mama that I would flounder. I thought I would fall short and not be able to give the nourishment that is required. A lot can change in a year. I feel like this has been my best year of Motherhood and that I've truly found my footing with it. When I walk past the Yummy Mummy's at the school gates, I don't feel inferior or like I'm pretending to do an OK job, I feel equal. I am doing a good job.
(The gorgeous dress Darcy wore for her birthday was from Mothercare and these gifts are from Alfie and Zoe)
I always knew I would love being Darcy's Mother but I didn't always know I would love Motherhood. Does that make any sense? You can love so much to care for your own child but sometimes the role of Motherhood can be a title you don't want to take. It bands you in this big club of navy and white striped tops, sensible handbags with enough space for a bento box, endless chats about who's had what sniffle when and the constant arranging of meet ups at garish soft play centres. For a while I mocked this elite group and steered as far away from it as possible. And then, something changed.
(Sneak peak of the incredible cake I ordered from the cutest bakery near my house. I'm obsessed with the colours, the glitter, the details. I'll upload the photos of her party soon and show you it more!)
(This is definitely being printed, framed and hung somewhere)
I realised life in the group is better. Motherhood is a privilege. Being with other Mother's is a joy. Their children play with your children, social development heightens, your calendar is filled, your happy memories are plentiful. Darcy loves all the fun we have with her little friends. We go to farms, have parties, have friends over for dinner, go swimming, play in the park and more. She does all these things with children her own age and you hear nothing but giggles and chatting and sweetness.
For me too, Motherhood has been a saviour. It has been support and kindness and inspiration and motivation. I even have a penchant for a navy and white striped tee. What can I say? They're stylish AND practical haha.
I made Darcy but Darcy has been the making of me. She has taught me a new kind of love and allowed me to find a new kind of strength. I walk with my head high and my heart full and one day when she's big enough, I will tell her how she made my life complete.
For now though, she is five and I will let he be that.
Happy Birthday Darcy, my sweet baby girl.