For my thirtieth birthday, 3 of the best gifts I got weren’t the most expensive or the most fancy, but truly meant a lot to me. One was my ticket to see Paloma Faith, thanks Emily!
The other was a book from L, it’s so simple, yet so me and the beautiful note wrote inside to encourage me and the explanation behind the gift was lovely.
And last but no means least was my present from Rida, it arrived a little late, but I am glad that it did. It gave me time to really appreciate it and the sentiment behind it. It was a personalised necklace. It has my name engraved in it with a small star, on the back it also has a small 30. I love it!!
Now I have known L and Rida for well over a decade. They knew me pre children, pre marriage, basically pre adulthood hahaha. They have seen me with crazy hairstyles including a Mohawk,platinum blonde and a buzz cut. They have seen me try and fail at many things and both have supported me through some dark times over the years. Emily is what Sean and I call the second wife in the marriage. I’ve known Emily around 5/6 years and she has watched me change as a person from a cool fashionista (pahahaha) into a mama of three (I don’t mean that to sound as negative as it does) I mean she knows that in order to spend time together it generally means a pot of tea at mine and a broken conversation whilst trying to entertain my boys. My boys LOVE Aunty Emily and get super excited when she visits, on occasions I have been known to say “she is my friend and she is here to visit me“.
As per usual I digress, the reasons I love these particular presents are because they remember I am me. They are gifts for Cherie. Not Cherie the wife or Cherie the Mother. Just plain old Cherie. At a time when I feel like I want/ need to discover who I am without the labels. It appears my best friends know who I am, even if I may not. I am someone who loves music, loves live music and dancing. I love writing, I had forgotten how much I love writing. Poems, letters, songs even blogs it would appear. I also love handmade, personalised sentimental things. Things that have memories attached to them. I am so lucky to have such amazing women and friends in my lives. I do not know what I have done to deserve them and their faithfulness to our friendships.
I am a bit like Pheobe from friends, flakey (I hope some of you get the reference, hahaha). Anyway, my friends put up with late/ no cards at all on special occasions, random phone calls and texts, I always have some form of drama going on in my life, so they often have to listen to me stress/moan/cry and yet there are all still there for me. When I ask them why, they all say the same thing, call me a numpty (ok maybe that is just L) and they tell me they love me for being me. I don’t know what is so special about me, but I am glad that they can see it!
I appreciate all of the gifts I got for my birthday and they are all special in different ways, but these felt like they were passing a hidden message onto me. I think it is so important when people have children that people remember and remind them not of life before children, but of them before children. It might just encourage them to remember and re explore who they are now. Now I know some people might read this and think not everyone loses themselves when they have children and yes that is true, but I think for a lot of people they do and it actually takes a lot of thought and effort to see yourself as yourself and can open up a whole new can of worms with regards to parental guilt and judgement. There is a wonderful article posted on Beth’s blog, lipstick and petticoats about Being a mum and being myself go have a look! This year is definitely about finding out who I am and these gifts are helping me to start that process. Emily and I are already planning our next adventure. So if you are a mummy take the time to be you, rediscover who you are. If you are a friend to a mama give them something to remind them that to remember who they are. Ask them how they are and if they answer about the kids, the house, work or marriage ask them again and say “how are you?” Ask them what they have done/ what they want to do. It’s a small gift but it has a huge impact.
Thanks for reading