Awaiting the arrival of our little one has been met with so many different emotions over the past few months, pregnancy after loss is a tough journey but one I knew I needed to take, to be a mother and to nurture my growing children is rooted at my very core. I’m so grateful to have transitioned from what was a very anxious beginning, to one that has seen my heart blossom with excitement and sweet anticipation of what’s to come for us as our little family expands. Each and every day I feel blessed and I have found myself embracing the present, allowing a slower pace in which to enjoy each moment for what it is. Growing a human is an awesome thing, scary, but awesome and I am hugely thankful for this experience.
My faith has helped me immensely this time around, I have learnt to pass my worries to God and accept that this is all part of His plan whatever that might be, my prayers have been answered and where the fear of loss took hold of my every thought, I have found a way to let joy fill me right up. After all, happiness is found in the present moment, right? It’s in the here and now, it’s feeling each little kick and sweet movement and it’s seeing my tummy stretch out before me, hoping and praying that soon my arms will be as full as my heart.
I have also found myself relishing in the sweet days that I get to spend with Arthur, just the two of us doing as we please, close and content without wanting to rush this time away, I know this is a really special time for me as a mother before bringing a new life into the world. In my quiet moments, I reflect on how poignant this season of motherhood is, especially when I feel the weight of my toddler nestled in my arms whilst he takes his afternoon nap. His breath hot on the nape of my neck reminds me of just how far we have come. Out of our darkness, he brought a light and life richer than I could have ever anticipated, in recent weeks I’ve seen the roots of empathy begin to emerge in his play, and I know he is going to make such a good big brother.
And so we wait and see. And we hope and pray for our little rainbow.
With just a few days before my boy turns two I can’t help but think about how much my life has changed since he has been in it! He is such a blessing, not only has he shown me what it’s like to love unconditionally with my whole heart, but he has given me a whole new perspective on life, creativity and all that surrounds us, being a mother really is the most wonderful job.
Two is by far my favourite age, although, I am quite sure I have said that about every phase and milestone we have reached so far. But, oh my goodness being two is just magic! New words are being learnt every day and his imagination is alive. He seems to have grown all of a sudden, his legs are longer and those chubby thighs Iv kissed a million times are fading fast (thank goodness his little hands are still as chubby as they alway have been). It is a joy and a reward to see him grow, especially when the day leaves me feeling exhausted and wanting nothing but my own bed and a good night sleep. Each night when I tuck him into bed we talk about all the lovely things we have done – a gentle reminder to myself that we are both growing together.
I left my job as a designer in favour of being a stay at home mum. Before Arthur was born I knew I didn’t want to miss a minute of all of this and although I do often miss my old job and the creativity that came with it, I’m so glad I made this decision. For me, as a mother, I often try to find play ideas which satisfies my creative needs as much as it does Arthurs – things that will keep us both happy and content. After all, a happy mama makes for a happy baby, right? Something I have always tried to foster in him is a love of creativity and allowing the freedom to explore without putting boundaries around him (off cause I’m not talking about boundaries of safety or discipline here purely the ones that allow him to grow). Recently we played with flowers and our cameras, it is my guilty pleasure and it’s so lovely to see that it has also captured his imagination too. We laid out some blooms on a sheet of paper and took some pictures together – the poor petals got a little bruised as Arthur played with them, but, hey! Nevermind we both had a lovely time playing together. It fills me with such pride to see his curiosity grow, I feel like the luckiest mama.
Do you find your creativity needs to be nourished alongside the needs of your child too?
Nature provides some excellent, simplistic play material for young children with big imaginations, from crinkling leaves between small fingers to painting with soft feathers and sorting pine cones in and out of a basket. Even when Arthur was tiny, we would collect things we had found whilst out on our walks for him to touch and to grasp in his little hands.
As Arthur grows, I feel it is really important for him to learn about the seasons and about the nature that surrounds us and our little home. For me, simplicity is key when it comes to imaginative play and I really value the idea that natural and simplistic toys and found objects have a great and positive effect on a child’s development and exploration of self.
After a little walk at the weekend, where we gathered a few leaves, pinecones and seed heads, I decided to set up a little woodland inspired corner in Arthurs room where we played and explored together, talking about the way they felt in our hands and burying little woodland animals under a pile of leaves, sorting them into different containers and reading stories which hopefully made a few connections for him. If nothing else it was a fun little afternoon spent together.
Here are some of the things I have included in our nature corner:
- Treasures found whilst out and about, such as leaves, pinecones and seed heads
- Baskets and containers for sorting
- Simple wooden woodland animals
- Tactile pompons in various shades of green and blue to make a garland
- Leaves threaded onto string for bunting, hung above the changing mat
- Nature inspired prints. These are from Sarah and Bendrix and are so beautifully illustrated.
- Books about nature. Our current favourites are, How to be a Wildflower by Katie Daisy, Natures Day, Slow Snail by Mary Murphy, Owls and Our Garden Birds by Matt Sewell