A Love Letter to a Home

Dearest Home,

It’s a new moon today. Do you know what that means? New beginnings.

It’s time for us to part ways, to say our goodbyes and move on to new adventures.

It’s sad. And I’m trying not to cry writing this to you. At the same time though, I am, and forever will be, grateful to you and everything that living inside your walls has meant to our family. It’s completely bittersweet.

All Rights Reserved
I remember when we first met, do you?

It was 1995 and my parents were looking for a new house – they were ready to buy their first home in Australia. You were just a shell of a home, your carpets weren’t laid and your potential was untapped. My parents chose the house across the road instead. I visited you a few times over the coming years, playing with the children who eventually moved in.

Then one day, the most amazing thing happened. I watched from my house as a new family arrived with their trailer full of boxes and carried them through your door and I knew intuitively something special was about to begin. We watched each other for weeks, and finally, Brian and I spoke to each other for the first time in the middle of this street that was at once not his, nor mine, but ours.

Our first trembling kiss occurred in your doorway, not knowing what the future and that doorway had in store. Time marched on and eventually Brian and I decided to marry at the same time as his parents decided to sell you and move closer to Brian’s aging grandparents.  We took the opportunity and grabbed you with both hands.

That was 2007. Since then we’ve stripped you bare, removed your carpet and painted your walls, we’ve reassembled your kitchen and bathroom and landscaped your gardens. It has been a labour of love. There is not one part of you – inside our outside – that we didn’t touch and re-invent. We’ve rented you out in order to move closer to work and the city and we’ve moved back in, over and again, many times. You were ours, and owning you gave us the freedom to enjoy you however we chose.

All Rights Reserved
You’ve seen us at our happiest – enjoying endless birthday celebrations, days of laughter in the pool, and the smallest moments of simple household delight. You’ve reveled in the Friday night pizza and movie nights, and entertaining friends and family for dinner. You’ve delighted in the pitter-patter of little feet on your floors and photos of smiling faces have graced your walls.

But you’ve also seen us at our most raw, most vulnerable and most hurt. You’ve listened to our cries of despair as we lost our first pregnancy and later the months of difficulty as we adjusted to having two small children under one roof. You’ve witnessed our most passionate arguments and our most passionate love. Moments that became memories all because you were here to hold the space for us, and our evolution.

In the time that we lived away from you, we decided on new dreams for our family and you gave us your final gift… in letting you go, we are able to grab hold of our new journey of adventure. And that’s where we are today, dear home. Your new owners will move in, in a few days and you will be ours no longer. The physical presence that has held us on this street for over 20 years will officially be over, but the memories will always remain.

I couldn’t stop the tears dear home, you’ve been so good to us. We are so grateful for the opportunity to grow within your walls and you have embraced us with an acceptance I know will be hard to replace.

All Rights Reserved
I hope your new beginning is wonderful. I hope you are looked after the way you deserve to be. I hope your new family enjoys long lunches on the patio watching the children splashing in the pool like we did on so many occasions. I hope your floors once again know the pitter-patter of little feet and that you witness great love and great moments. We wish you only the best.

Thank you.

Good bye.

Here’s to NEW adventures.

xx

9 Top Tips for Mama Self-Love

Need some pointers on how to look after yourself now that you’re a mama?
It all starts with making yourself your top priority. These 9 tips can help.

#1 – Nurture yourself
Make time for you. I learned almost too late just how important VITAL this is. I had this strange idea that the people around me needed to nurture me. That I needed to be nurtured by my husband, by my parents and by my friendships and of-course this was only causing resentment and dissatisfaction on my part when they weren’t meeting my expectations. The nurturing had to come from inside me. Start small. Take baby steps. Make little goals. Mine were really simple at first – take my vitamin every morning, drink more water, journal more.

#2 – Value yourself
As above, if you don’t value yourself then who will? Value your time, your effort, your energy. Value your body, your mind, your spirit. Value the beautiful talents and gifts you bring to the world. Value your originality and unique features – there are 7 billion people in the world and there is no one else quite like you! That is a pretty amazing thought and you’re obviously something special. Feel it. Know it. And let yourself shine!

All Rights Reserved
#3 – Support yourself
Be that person for yourself. Start a project and encourage and motivate yourself. Bask in the joy of completion and internal satisfaction instead of external praise. Surrounding yourself with people who believe in you is so valuable, and I believe it’s been quoted that we are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. That is a very powerful thought. But often we need to be our own cheerleader too and that is even more powerful.

#4 – Comfort yourself
Take time to rest and check in with yourself as often as possible. Look after yourself in the way that you would have wanted to be cared for when you were a child. Especially if you are battling illness – mental or physical – take lots of time to care for yourself, to feel that comfort that comes from meeting your needs. And if your stress is emotional then soothe yourself, hold yourself tight, be your own friend instead of criticising, judging or worrying. If there is no one who will listen, then turn to what makes you feel good – write in a journal, sketch or draw or paint, do some exercise, get plenty of sunshine, indulge in comforting drinks and maybe bake a treat, turn on some beautiful music and dance your worries away or let the music inspire a restful sleep. Simple Lavender essential oil is brilliant for times of stress and anxiety. I desperately sniffed a handkerchief soaked with lavender oil in the late stages of my third pregnancy to help me sleep peacefully at night.

All Rights Reserved
#5 – Inspire yourself
Go to the art gallery. Take a walk in a forest. Sit at the beach and draw in the sand while the sound of the crashing waves hypnotizes your mind and lets your worries slip away. That’s when magic happens. Inspire yourself with everything that brings out your passions and reach deep down within yourself to recognise your true desires. From here, everything will flow.

#6 – Love yourself
Self-love. It’s something you know about and although I know there are mamas out there who are pretty good at continuing this throughout motherhood, it is something a lot of us leave by the wayside with our pre-pregnancy bodies, desires and interests. Becoming a mama changes you… there is no way around that. But under all those new layers are still parts of the ‘old’ you which is just another way of saying the ‘authentic’ you. The you who you truly are. Self-love is all about re-connecting with that part of yourself. If you take the time to re-discover your authentic self I promise you, amazing things will happen. You really will begin to love yourself in that pure, conscious way. The way we all deserve to be loved. And it all starts inside of you.

All Rights Reserved
#7 – Be kind to yourself
Show yourself compassion. Listen to yourself. Listen to your needs and try to communicate them to those around you as easily as you can. Realise that high expectations can put a lot of unnecessary stress and pressure on our lives, and you’re worth more than stress and pressure. Life is for living and yes, life does come with regrets and mistakes. That’s part of how we learn and as long as we keep living, we’ll keep learning and we need to be gentle with ourselves throughout that process. Use kind words when you see yourself in the mirror. Say, I love you. Say, I see you. Think kind thoughts about what is going on in your life – remember every day when you get up, you get the opportunity to start again. So do that. As often as you need to. Some parts of life are just plain hard. There’s no need to feel guilt about that. It is what it is. Treating yourself with the empathy and compassion you show others, is what you really need from yourself during the intense phases of motherhood.

#8 – Enjoy yourself 
Be a friend to yourself. Remember how FUN you are! I can be quite a serious person so this is something I need to remind myself of often. Life is so much more enjoyable when you can smile through it. Play your favourite music. Take yourself to the movies. Book that holiday. Buy yourself flowers. Dance in the rain. Bask in the sunshine. It’s all there for you.

#9 – Perfection doesn’t exist
I only wrote 9 tips because it’s not a perfect list, and being a mama is NOT about being perfect or having a perfect life. Perfection is impossible and unattainable. I encourage  you to take the word perfection completely out of your vocabulary. Stop apologising for your seeming ‘imperfections’ – actually stop saying “I’m so sorry the house isn’t perfectly clean!” or “I’m sorry I’m not the perfect mother.” – because you are not perfect. And neither am I. Or any other human on earth! We’re all just that… human. You are divinely human. And you are uniquely, womanly human, nurturing, valuing, supporting, comforting, inspiring, loving, kind and joyful. A mama – born from woman and as real as every other mama on this planet.

All Rights Reserved
Fall in love with yourself again. Try to see yourself as a child, the way that your mama looked at you when she was holding you as a newborn in her arms. Or the way that you stared at your new baby endlessly when you knew you should be sleeping instead. Find that love and peace inside yourself and feel that about yourself. I promise. You’re worth it.