I am looking back at the journeys where my life suddenly changed quite radically.

1. From Romford Road to Epping Forest

I was born on the Romford Road but very quickly, my mother decided she did not want me in her life.  I was taken to a convent in Epping Forest.  So you could say I became a convent girl at a very early age.    As a child, very occasionally we would travel through Epping Forest and I would get the strangest feeling.  It was only in my forties that I discovered that once it was home.

2. From Epping Forest to Dewsbury

I was fostered at the age of 11 months and by the people who would eventually become my adoptive parents.  They were older than the norm so it was felt they would make a good fit with a child who was also that bit older.   So unusually, I was adopted outside of the local area and found myself as a Yorkshire lass.  Mum and Dad took me home on Bonfire Night so I have two birthdays like the Queen.  Mum said it was so exciting taking their first daughter home and how it felt like all the fireworks were marking a new chapter for all of us.

3.  From Dewbury to Cambridge – Stage 1

This is the first life-changing journey that I remember.  My Dad drove me to my interview for entrance to Cambridge University.  It was my very first interview for anything and very daunting.  I remember babbling all the way down about war poetry and all the things I would say depending on what questions I was asked.  I will never forget walking through the arch and seeing college for the first time.

4. From Dewsbury to Cambridge – Stage 2

It was a glorious day as we set off to get me settled in at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University.   My parents wanted to make it a lovely day so we stopped for a picnic on the way down.  Dad had bought a copy of the good university guide to reassure me that Cambridge really was good enough for me lol.  We arrived and the magic began and continued for 3 lovely years.

5.  From Cambridge to Dewsbury

I don’t think I had ever quite believed Cambridge would end.  I remember travelling home and it felt like my whole world had ended.  Goodbye to wonderful friends, lovely architecture and parties most nights of the week.   I remember feeling bleak and also wondering how on earth I was going to tell my parents that actually I had decided I did not want to be a lawyer after all.

6. From Dewsbury to Carlisle

It took me a long time to work out what to do next.  I ended up getting a job in an  advice agency in Carlisle.  This was the journey with Mum and Dad where I had to face the rather uncomfy fact that , like it or not, I was an adult and had better start making my way in the world.  I remember thinking what a beautiful county I was moving to and Mum saying about a zillion times that I would be OK and it would all be amazing.  I was in Carlisle for 3 years and apart from meeting the man who would hurt me most in the world, it was a good time.

7. From Dewsbury to Exeter and Back Again

My Dad drove me down to collect my things after I was told by my then partner that he had moved a girl in whilst I was away for the weekend.  I remember Dad saying that if I let said fella con me again, it would be the end of my relationship with Mum and Dad.  Of course, when someone decides they don’t want you and you still think you love them, things are not simple.  I remember feeling sad and tearful all the way down.  We collected my things and headed North so that at the age of 29 I could start all over again.

8. Back to Convent Girl

My college friends decided to start to repair my broken heart.  We went on a sunny weekend to Wales where one of them had surprised us all by becoming a nun in an enclosed order.  I remember meeting up with my friends at Birmingham New Street and suddenly feeling like me and realising that when you are part of a couple, some of that gets lost somewhere.  We laughed, we had fun and one of my friends remembers me talking on and on about the man who is now my husband.

9. The Journey to Motherhood

When I went into my labour with my first child, I got into our car and within minutes it broke down.  It was the middle of the night and we lived in the countryside so it was hours before a taxi turned up for us.  I remember the driver was playing Beatles music and told me to scream along as much as I wanted.  I took the poor bloke at his world.  This definitely qualifies as the noisiest journey of my life and the one with the best prize at the end of it.

10. BritMums Live

I am going to BritMums Live this year having missed out last time round.  I have a feeling it is going to change my life in ways I cannot imagine yet.  It feels significant.  So right from the moment I set off, I am going to savour every moment.  Time away from family responsibilities, time to maybe discover how to let my hair down and time to travel to the next chapter.

 

I am picking up now but for much of the day my mood was so low. Black clouds weighing me down.

I hate how even with post-natal depression long gone (years ago), I can still be right back in the depths. I am not a nice person to know at such times. I get taciturn and solemn. If Him Indoors is around, I get angry and raise every real or imagined sin with him.

What were the triggers this time?

The weight gain this week and the malfunctioning scales. I have felt so in control of things for the last couple of months and then suddenly the scales were telling me either that I had not lost any weight at all or that I had reached my target weight already. It felt like I was going slightly mad and that it has finally happened, happened …

Untidiness of family. This is a bugbear for me. Am I the only person that can see when things need tidying, putting back, cleaning up? I hate how you just think you are on top of things when you walk in another room and it is a disaster zone and not of your making.

Husband texting one of his female work colleagues outside work hours. I hate this side of me but when you are stuck at home and lacking in the glamour department lifestyle wise and looks wise, I can feel really easily threatened.

Son’s birthday. He is sort of on the cusp on becoming a teenager and right now I have no faith that I am equipped to help him navigate all the challenges ahead.

So what did I do? I drank too much last night which is so very self-sabotaging. I ate too much. I had a big go at Him Indoors for anything I could think of.

My son’s birthday has motivated me to get sorted and I am Ok now, not quite as up as I would like but functioning decently enough and capable of enjoying his birthday tea and so on.

I just hate how these dark days can creep up on me and have such an adverse impact on my own life and those around me.

Before anyone has a dig at me because some mums once did saying I was too needy for them to want to know, I know that lots of mums feel this way. Blogging has taught me that if nothing else.

I am going to post later with a fun meme thing to make up for dragging readers down with this one.

National Adoption Week – a birth mum’s tale
I know she doesn’t understand. She will blame me I am sure. I can’t see her. I can’t face the upset it will cause to my family. What will she expect of me anyway? I can’t be her mum now. It is too late for that. What good would it do?

I had her in the Sixties. It is true that they were swinging and I had a great time in the dance halls of London. Away from Ireland, away from my parents, being young and free.

I thought I was in love. An Irish lad of course. A plumber by trade and a great dancer to boot. We talked of marriage. I was probably young and daft. I fell for his charm and was easily led. I don’t like to talk about it but he hit me. In the end, I decided he was not a good bet.

The problem was by then I was pregnant with his child. I had to hide it from Mammy and Daddy. This was difficult as I usually went home at Christmas every year. As I was due in mid-December, I had to say I was working over Christmas. I don’t know whether they believed me. They never knew about their grandchild.

He came to see his new daughter and said she was beautiful. A big baby with curls and soft skin. We argued though and he went away. I don’t know where he ended up.
My daughter went to a Yorkshire family. I told them to make sure she had a big garden to play in and to keep her in the Catholic faith.

I had to take my baby up to Yorkshire and hand her over to the nuns. I left her with a blanket and a doll I had bought her. I wonder if she still has it. (SHE DOES BY THE WAY)

Cuddle Fairy

I feel I have so much to say about the #groovingmums blog hop. I may well break this down into several posts over the course of this week.

The #groovingmums blog hop is about encouraging mums to rediscover themselves, to reinvent themselves, to seek out some time just for them and their interests and perhaps to just live a little more vibrantly. Each mum decides how they want to tackle this journey. From weight loss to volunteering, from new courses to seeking employment, from having a new hair cut to having a special day out or anything else for that matter. How can we sum all this up in a badge that you can display on your blog should you wish to do so.

Katie, one of our #groovingmums helped me with this so huge thanks are due to her.

In the Celtic calendar Halloween is the New Year festival of Samhain. It marks the time of death and rebirth, of letting go of that which no longer serves us and celebrating our new intentions. That sounds quite groovingmumsy to me!

I opened a fortune cookie yesterday and it said the sunflower was relevant to me. Could this be because us #groovingmums are turning our faces to the light?

Last week, as well as our regulars we had some newbies and we love you already for your honest posts and willingness to change and add a little spark to your lives one step at a time. Have you noticed how we all seem to be in this together supporting each other on the good, the more challenging and the bloody awful weeks?

I had asked #groovingmums to consider how 5 weeks of the blog hop had helped them and was really touched to see that people really can see a benefit to their lives and in very individual ways.

I also wondered how we could deal with the frankly shitty weeks where we are hit by negative self-talk, external setbacks and so on. We all seem to have had these in the last month or so at different times and in different ways. I liked the suggestion that we should care for the carer (ie ourselves as mums). Part of that is not beating yourself up if you think you are not up to taking part at all, yet, every week or whatever. The whole point of establishing this blog hop was to help people not to hit people with a big stick.

Now here are possible challenges you may or may not feel like giving a go this week.

1. Photographs – Put a photograph up on your blog post about #groovingmums If you don’t normally do this, do it in a way that is comfortable to you. Even if it is from the back if you really don’t want to show your face to the world yet. For those who do put photographs of themselves on their blog, do it differently. Put on fancy dress, flash your pants like Glasgow_Mummy, whatever does it for you without making you feel overly embarrassed. Break out of the comfort zone one step at a time. I will be joining in on this one too tomorrow but for now, if you want to see me in all my triple-chinned glory, check out the Britmums Live website. It took me weeks to pluck up the courage to do this so I do know the photo thing can be very daunting indeed.

2. Write the blog post you have in your mind but are scared to publish. Every time I have done that on some quite controversial topics, I have had supportive comments so put it out there and see what people think. You can always set up comment moderation so you are in charge of which comments go live.

Ready, steady go. Your mission is to write a blog post about how you are doing one or all of the following ..

1. Rediscovering yourself

2. Reinventing yourself

3. Making time for yourself

4. Getting your Groove Back

5. Developping your va-va-voom

Then send the link for your blog post to me on mums-the-word@live.com and I will promote it here and on Twitter and other social networks.

Visit back here tomorrow to see my post as I am on the journey too and some of my achievements are really tiny but still vital for me in moving forwards. I need your support just as the other #groovingmums do so please do try to leave a comment here and on the other posts. If you are not on Twitter, do let me know if you would like to be alerted to new entries to the blog hop via email. On Twitter, if you want to know what us #groovingmums are getting up to, just enter #groovingmums into the seach box and all will be revealed.

N.B. Yes you are good enough to take part. No, you don’t have to do massive steps, the slightest move forwards counts. You will tap into a lovely group of mums just keen to share the journey with you. Newcomers are really welcome and if you have any questions or concerns, just email me on mums-the-word@live.com

Let’s get grooving!