I remember when I started this blog, and why. Seven years ago, we had been trying to have a baby for years, then found out we’d need to do IVF, and I realised I needed somewhere to pour out my thoughts and feelings, somewhere to empty my brain without needing to explain or apologise, no expectations from anyone. And it helped.

As we went along, I came and went from here as and when I needed to. Sometimes as my own little therapy, (it works), and others, because I just enjoy it. Other people found me and joined in, reading what I was writing and I found that I got solace from it. Our treatment worked, and my need to outpour changed from the mental rollercoasters of infertility to ones about parenting, as I became a first time mother and tried to figure out all that comes with it. Again, it became a source of support to just write things down, get them out of my head and let them go in a place where I didn’t have to explain or answer anything I didn’t want to.

Over the last few months, life got busier. After I moved from full time to part time work last year, I actually laugh now when I remember thinking I’ll have so much more time; in fact it seems like it’s the opposite. The weeks whizz by in a blur of two energetic boys and activities and commutes and work and back again. I love it! In the busy-ness of it all, the blog got neglected. Not just because I am busy, but maybe also because I felt I didn’t need it as much, I didn’t feel that need to pour out.

But today, and recently, I find myself starting to feel overwhelmed with thoughts, and feelings of sadness and anxiety. Influenced by lots of things in the news and little non-catastrophic yet very inconvenient things happening in our lives, when you put it into perspective. Nothing of note just the regular things that you’d expect – car trouble, unexpected bills, mild sicknesses with the kids…. that sort of thing.

However, in terms of the news, the constant onslaught of doom and gloom is piling up. From constant news about Coronavirus threats, to the awfully tragic death of Caroline Flack, to people struggling with homelessness, and closer to home, the tragic story unfolding in my local area of a fellow mother, whose sons are the same ages as mine, and are in the same class in school and in pre-school, currently fighting on life support machines after contracting meningitis. (There is a very worthy fundraiser page for her and her young family here )

I don’t know her personally, just to see at the school gates, but she always has a friendly word to say followed by a smile. I don’t know her, but I can’t stop thinking about her. A mother, just like me. These things don’t happen, but they do. How can something so tragic happen so quickly and so cruelly? It’s the sheer unfairness and sadness of it all.

Like me, she’s a mother of young children, and this awful thing has happened to her. My heart is breaking for her and for her family. And it just puts everything into a very clear perspective – the pure sadness that comes over me, over any of us, to think that the unthinkable can happen to anyone, anytime.

I think of how it could just as easily be me, that if the proverbial piano falls out of the sky on top of me, and I don’t have all those things I take so easily for granted anymore. Her boys / my boys, still babies. Will they know, how much they are loved?

And so back I come to my safe place, where I can pour out everything to clear my mind, empty it out of all the overwhelming thoughts and the way I feel. I still have that privilege to do so. To tell people. Even typing this now feels like I’m helping myself to lighten the thoughts. But I also realise that there’s more to this blog – I’ve documented so much of my life as a mother here, that I have started to realise that it’s more than just somewhere for me to clear my mind, it’s also a diary, something for people to look back on, and by people, I mean my two boys.

These thoughts will be an insurance in some ways. I write here to clear my mind, all cluttered with sadness and thoughts of, what if it were me?

What if I dropped my kids to school in the mornings, kissed them goodbye and then the piano falls?

A depressing and terrifying thought yes, but with the local tragedy of this poor girl, we are reminded that it could happen to any of us.

What would I want them to know? Am I doing enough with the time I have now, which we all take so easily for granted? Probably not, because that’s just human nature. We can’t go around in a state of imminent doom, but I do really think it’s important that the people we love know they are loved.

Take Caroline Flack or any of the recent celebrity deaths over the last few months. An outpouring of thoughts and tributes, how talented they were, how sad it is, how much they were loved. Why do these tributes and glowing words only ever get told when it’s too late?

These boys of mine, my heart bursts just thinking about them. I need them to know how much they were wanted, and how hard we fought to get them. How they are adored and cherished.

If the piano falls, to think that I’ve done my best for them always, even though I’m not a perfect mother, not by a long shot. I want them to have learned

That above all else,

You will never be wrong,

If you always

Choose kindness.

To know, in your hearts,

That your lives

Are always

My life’s best part.

Posted by:Jen Ryan

I'm Jen, 30-something, married, Mam of two little Munchkins, 2 dogs, Irish, red-haired and actual genius. (May not be true). I love Photography, cheesy stuff (including the music), fond of a cup of tea or two, although since the Munchkins arrived and taught me that sleep is for the weak, coffee is currently in top position.

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