9 Feb

BEING A #BOYMUM & THE MEN WHO HAVE SHAPED ME

“So there’s this boy. He kinda’ stole my heart and he calls me mummy”…

@nicolepasphotography

I’m not sure whether to write a self-help book (on what NOT to do!), or pitch a TV network my dating history as the #inspo for a hit new comedy/drama series! Ahhh, we’ve all had a few doozies though, right? Hmmm. I digress. I’m using humour to deflect from my pain and the emotional #boybaggage I’ve carried for many years – starting from my childhood. I won’t lie… I didn’t particularly want a boy, nor did I think I was even capable of being a #BOYMUM. These feelings were complex, deep and very dark. But three months into this gig, I couldn’t imagine or wish for my life to be any other way. Max is my kryptonite – in the BEST possible way. He is an old soul and the HAPPIEST little guy, I am one ridiculously LUCKY mamma. It’s taken me 32 years to sift through a lot of this shit, and while some of it is still a W.I.P, I’ve learnt a person’s gender is actually totally irrelevant – it’s 100% about the PERSON THEY ARE. Today’s post is pretty heavy/TMI, but I would love you to hang around and have a read. At the end of the day, we’re all just doing our best and navigating our way through this thing called LIFE…

In 2016 my dad passed away. I hadn’t seen him in about 15 years and until that moment, I obviously hadn’t fully comprehended all the unresolved it-sues I had with him. It totally threw me and I was a mess. My dad was not a nice man (violent, controlling, abusive, alcoholic – just to name a few), but over the years I learnt he was a very mentally unwell man. I didn’t so much grieve for him, my ‘dad’, as we had never been close or loving. I grieved for the ‘daddy-daughter’ relationship I would never have and HIS LOVE… In reality though, I was never actually going to have it. I guess our emotions have a not-so-funny way of tormenting us sometimes, hey?! As a 32 year old woman and a mother to a three year old girl, I know just how important a stable and loving father figure is – and for all children. Particularly as a female though, I believe our relationship with our father (good/bad) can impact our ongoing relationships with men – it did for me anyway. Although I cared for and had relationships with men in my late teens and early twenties, there were definitely some underlying issues of trust, and almost a hatred of men. On some unconscious level, I thought all men were assholes and that I would never find or be truly happy with ‘the one’, or anyone. I strongly believed if I didn’t hurt them, they would eventually hurt me. This led to some destructive behaviour on my part, but all things I had to experience in order to grow and heal. Fast forward 23 years, I did finally meet ‘the one’. The first man who loved me, FOR ME – warts and all. It took a while, but I slowly let my walls down and let him in. I felt safe, understood and totally supported for the first time. I had met my equal. Some people who know me would actually describe me as a quiet/introverted person, others would say the complete opposite (he definitely would!). I’m fiery and loud, but I am also very shy, I wear my heart on my sleeve (and blog! my outlet!) and 97.8% of the time, I will tell you EXACTLY how it is. While some of these things about me annoy him, they are also the things he tells me he loves about me. So much of my healing and the #daddyissues I carried, began to heal when I met my husband. However, all the rejection and the hurt from my father still manifested into a fear of having a son. A fear that he would be just like him…

What I know now though, is that my father was a shitty/sick person because that’s just who he was – NOT because he was male. IN many ways, my dad was the first person who broke my heart. He rejected me, I was in fear of him, but I also longed for his approval and his love – as ALL children do of their parents. I have made peace with so much of my childhood and the pain he caused me, and I’ve forgiven him in order to move forward. I had to grow-up and mature at a very young age, seeing things no child should ever have to. In some ways, this has made me a better mother – so I guess, it is what it is now.

My dad and I in Noosa (I must have been about 3 or 4 yrs old)

THE EX BOYFRIENDS.

Good grief, buckle-up for this one, it’s about to get messy! Talk about LIFE being a box of chocolates, hello, MEN! UGH. I would never use my blog as a platform to slag off an ex (naming & shaming), but imagine how fun that would/could be?! All jokes and revenge fantasies aside… To be completely honest, MOST of my ex-boyfriends/guys I dated, had little or no effect on me. However, there were a few who further impacted my unhealthy relationship with men and my fear of having a son one day. These particular relationships occurred in my late teens and early twenties. As I reflect even now just writing this, there were red flags with all of them I should never have ignored. I have no doubt that my lack of confidence, fear of male rejection, desperation to be loved (but totally looking in the WRONG places!) and not being ‘good enough’ for these men, played a huge part in my inability to stand my ground and remove myself from unhealthy, and dangerous situations. I had THE CHEATER, THE EMOTIONAL ABUSER AND THE UNHAPPY MEAN GUY see, tell me this isn’t an episode of SATC?! BTW, this is me putting it VERY politely! Ahhh well, I could write a post on each of them, but I won’t. I don’t regret much and I was lucky enough to come out the other end fairly unscathed (??!!), so I guess it is what it is. I learnt, I loved… What I have learnt is that I would/will NEVER find inner happiness, while I look for external sources to ‘fix me’. THIS MUST COME FROM WITHIN, and it takes great insight and hard work – and maybe a few blog posts!

LUCKIEST MAMMA IN THE WORLD // MG & Max
MY PRECIOUS BOY // our family holiday over Christmas 2018
MAXIBON // lovin’ life! #RIG

MY SON. MY MAX…

“THE LONGER YOU HAVE TO WAIT FOR SOMETHING, THE MORE YOU WILL APPRECIATE IT WHEN IT FINALLY ARRIVES. THE HARDER YOU HAVE TO FIGHT FOR SOMETHING, THE MORE PRICESLESS IT WILL BECOME ONE YOU ACHIEVE IT. AND THE MORE PAIN YOU HAVE TO ENDURE ON YOUR JOURNEY, THE SWEETER THE ARRIVAL AT YOUR DESTINATION. ALL GOOD THINGS ARE WORTH WAITING FOR AND WORTH FIGHTNG FOR”…

16 weeks ago, another piece of my ‘LIFE PUZZLE’ fell into place – Max arrived safely. The son we went to hell and back to find. The little boy who was sent by his big sister, and the little dude who came a week early on International Pregnancy & Infant Loss Day, of all days! Another bittersweet sign from my little petal above, I have no doubt. Over the last two years many, many strange things have occured (like shit that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand-up!), but this was my last. For now, anyway. It’s as though this was Charlotte’s parting gift, if you will. Max was here and he was safe. A part of me had to let go, and once again, adapt to a ‘new normal’. It’s as though she took control, because I didn’t have the strength left to do so. I wonder every single day who she would be, the many memories we would have created by now, but here we are. Life can be so shit and so amazing, ALL AT ONCE.

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THAT MOMENT – the moment I met my son, the moment I came back to life… he was REAL! Charlotte had sent us the most beautiful little boy… and all the SHIT was finally worth it.

I am BEYOND besotted with our little Maxibon and I don’t even remember life without him now. How lucky are we?! When I fell pregnant with Charlotte, I really wasn’t fussed about whether I had another little girl or boy (interestingly enough – given what I’ve said above). At 11 weeks we learnt it was another girl and we were overjoyed. At 21 weeks, we lost her. Our second daughter was so cruelly ripped from our arms and we were left to pick-up the pieces. The world goes on, but you are broken. In many ways (after we lost her), I felt as though she and MG symbolised my sister and I, and that they/we would finally have a daddy who LOVED US. Yep, all those #daddyissues reared their ugly head – AGAIN. It’s not entirely logical, in fact it’s not at all, I know… but it was the narrative I told (and convinced) myself was the truth. I needed to have another girl. Was it to try and ‘replace’ her? No. But it WAS this fear of having a son who could be just like any one of the men who hurt me. A destructive/illogical combination of emotions – feelings of grief, pain, anger, rejection, losing a daughter, already being/knowing life as a #GIRLMUM… I don’t expect anyone to understand it, because even I do/don’t two years down the track. All I can say is – I LOVE BEING A BOY MUM! What I know now, and it’s taken me almost 33 years to figure out, they are their own little people – their gender means nothing (except boy’s nappies are totes easier to change!). Sure, there are some differences in how we parent girls Vs boys, and as adults – there are undeniably differences. But, Max is just Max. He is not my dad, nor is he or will he be like the men who hurt me (consciously and unconsciously). HE IS MY SON, HIS OWN PERSON AND ONE OF THE LOVES OF MY LIFE.

For those who too struggled/struggle with gender disappointment or anxiety, I get it. We all have our reasons and this DOES NOT make us ungrateful. A healthy and happy baby has ALWAYS been my priority, that’s a given and goes without saying. So many of us are fighting battles most know nothing about, I’m just lucky/unlucky (??!!) to have a slightly louder voice to verbalise mine, and hopefully shed some light on this issue.

Mia, Charlotte, Max… Your mummy loves you so, so much. Sometimes I think I’ve probably been dealt more shit in my short-ish lifetime than one deserves, but hey? It is what it is. Only I can control where we go from here, and that is a place of absolute HAPPINESS, SELF-ACEPTANCE & HEALING. To my angel, my soul will ache for you until the day I die. Thank you for sending me the most precious little rainbow! I will live a full life, no matter how dark some days are. That is my promise to you. I will continue to be a voice for families like ours, whether people want to hear it or not.

Perspective is a wonderful thing, and I love even harder and deeper because of ALL the men who shaped me.

THE BIRTHING SUITE // The way he looks at me… UGH… Max, you melt me!
8 days old here // MAMMA & MAXI – forever x
15.10.18 // I didn’t enjoy Max’s labour, but LOVED it with MG – I guess I was a very different person after Charlotte. Birthing a sleeping baby fucks you up in ways I can’t even begin to describe… Until Max was out safely and screaming in my arms, it’s almost as though he/it wasn’t real. But, then it was – HE WAS!
QLD // Sunsets with my son – our first holiday with MG & Maxi over Christmas 2018
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