As I sit here in the park listening to wrens and goldfinches sing their sweet songs, as I watch the kids run about with light sabers, see parents huddled together in small groups and laugh at dogs whooshing in circles unbounded, I feel so wonderfully lucky for the life I lead and all the fun I have. I go where I want, do what I want, whenever I want. I feel so free. I can do anything. My creativity is flowing and I can’t stop making my own brand of magic. I want to keep doing this unhinged. Forever brighter. Forever full power Holly.
This realisation has lead me to making an important life decision. After thinking I wanted to have a baby, after imagining the story of me birthing and raising a child, I woke up one morning and realised I’m actually much more suited to life as a part time auntie than a full time mum. It was quite a moment. So many emotions came up. Confusion, relief, sadness, excitement. Ultimately it felt right.
I’ve read there’s a somewhat invisible pressure on women to have children. I guess with my obvious physical difficulties I didn’t have too many questions of that ilk over the years - except for people asking me - due to my natural body posture - when I was due?! How ironic. I look pregnant and walk pregnant, I’ve just never been pregnant. It’s something I’ve gradually gotten used to over the last twenty years. It hasn’t stopped - I was asked again last week : )
I was reflecting that despite all my challenges, I still put myself under pressure to have kids. I’m a woman, I should basically think about having kids at some point shouldn’t I? And time was ticking. It felt exciting. I was all for it a few months ago, I’d just never really thought about it much before that time. Like ever. I’d always had the gift of youth on my side. I’m 41 now. I’ve got a beautiful partner, a beautiful relationship, so now was the time I should definitely be thinking about having beautiful children. It was something innate in me and all around me. The romanticism of the idea was palpable. But so were the fears, the struggles, the unknowns, and the stress on my body was going to be a very real thing.
Motherhood must surely be a beautiful, profound experience. I was definitely attracted to it for a while. What a tight connection. What a life change. It’s such a big decision and so exhausting from the very first moment. It’s magic. It’s a gift, especially for the women (and men) who have always wanted it so badly. I can imagine how wonderful it is. Children are magic. But along with all the delight, it’s also incredibly hard being a parent. I can’t say this enough. I get it. It’s constant. I feel it. Bringing up children makes you forget about yourself. Bringing up children gives you a sleep deprivation I fear to experience. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Things can get dark for people, when there’s no support and so much burden - where emotions run riot and people can’t cope. For this I honour all parents for their sacrifice and strength.
I now accept I’m a perpetual fairy godmother, a mischievous Tinkerbell and a female version of Peter Pan, never wanting to grow up. I’m good with kids, (I’m an Early Years Teacher) so I’ll love kids and laugh with them when I’m in ‘Miss Honeychurch’ mode, I’ll give parents a break for a few hours, there’ll be lots of singing circles, lots of delightful joyful, rainbow moments but then I’ll say goodbye, go home to my other colourful existence where making harp music and exploring the depths of my creativity run riot. Because that’s my baby. And that’s just the tip of my iceberg.
I feel I’ve gained 20 years of life from this decision and that might be really hard for people to read, that might be a triggering thing to say, but I’d put myself under so much pressure to conform to being a certain type of ‘woman’ that I’d forgotten to follow my natural, innocent instincts. I’d forgotten to look after myself on the quest to grasp something out of reach. I think I could have been a good mother, but the desire to follow a different path was much stronger and I’m finally accepting of that. Without me feeling less of a woman. It makes me happy to do my own thing. I don’t feel I’m missing out anymore. And I’ll always want to be part of a community where I can help others when they need a break.
I want to lose myself in the magic of making things. I want to blossom and bloom like a flower meadow. I want to go absolutely bonkers in my free time. I want to dance the night away and get home at 5am in need of a serious yoga stretch in the early morning light.
As I love to nurture things I’m going to be a cat mama too. One day. Future catto - prepare yourself for some serious cuddling! I’m going to have an adventure cat to explore the world with. I’ve included a photo from my cat sitting travels and I look so happy with catto Spooks don’t I?
Thanks for reading. I wish everyone so much joy and happiness. You’re all fabulous.
It’s great to finally know who I am. Hooray!
May you all have freedom in your life. Whatever path you choose.
Let’s go make magic.