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Letter to Lacey: Ten Years Old

Fat Mum Slim /

Dear Lacey,

Ten years ago, early on a Saturday morning, you came into my life. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was beautiful.

And already, I’m crying as I type this.

The moment the midwife placed you into my arms, I felt a huge shift. I cried then, just like I am now. I looked at your dad, and he cried too. That shift was momentous, we were parents. I wonder if all parents feel that shift. It was almost physical for me, our lives changed in an instant. Our lives were never the same.

I thought I knew what I was getting myself into with parenthood. I mean, I was a kid, and I had parents, surely that was experience enough? The truth is, I had no idea. In my head I thought I knew what it looked like, but my version was completely different. Even that first night of your life, I imagined I’d be perched up in my hospital bed, with your wrapped quietly in your hospital blanket beside me, and I’d just spend hours gazing at your perfect little newborn body, proud as punch. Instead I was tied up to a bunch of machines in ICU while I listened to your screaming down the hall. It was from that moment that I realised not everything was going to be as I expected it to be.

I can’t quite believe it’s been 10 years. The days were long, and the nights were longer, but the years have flown by.

You’ve grown into an amazing person. You’re kindhearted, sensitive yet strong, and you will fight for whatever you want, and at the moment, that would be slime. You’re empathetic and compassionate, and love a good temper tantrum {something I’ll never quite get used to}.

Over the weekend, we had lunch with my cousin, and he said to me that he loved how much I’ve grown as a person in the last ten years. I used to be very meek, and let people walk all over me, but being a mother, especially to you, has changed that. I’m strong-minded and fiercely protective, and I stand-up for what I think is right.

You have changed me, Lacey.

There are times over the years, when I’ve locked myself in my room, crying on my bed because I simply didn’t know how to parent you. You have challenged me, week after week, in ways that no one outside our home will probably understand. I’ve called my own mum and asked, “how do I do it?” and she didn’t have the answers either, but sympathised with the challenges we faced. I’m sure we’ll look back when in you’re in your 20s or having your own children, and talk about life back then, and I hope you’ll say what you say now, “you’re the best mum in the whole wide world” because some days I feel like I’m not doing it right.

But that’s the one thing I’ve learned in these past ten years of being a mum. It’s not as it seems in magazines and on Instagram. It’s not perfect flat-lays, or stylish colour-co-ordinated outfits and carefully put together captions. Real life is challenging, emotional, exhausting and more real than anyone can convey. Inside each home, and each family, are different dynamics that parents and kids are trying to navigate. There is no perfect family, or parent or child for that matter. But there is perfect love, and despite that rollercoaster of emotions, and amid all the exhaustion, at the end of the day… that’s what lasts and that what matters, it’s love.

I will never ‘nail’ parenting. I’m not the perfect mum. I have faced challenges in the past and grown with them, and I have no doubt that we have plenty more challenges ahead of us too {hello teen years, I’m not ready for you!}… but love will get us through.

I love being your mum, and I’m proud of the person you are.

Thank you for making me a mum. It’s the greatest gift I’ve ever been given.

Happy birthday,
Mama x

@Fatmumslim