If you like my Facebook page, then you'll know that Phoenix and I had to take a mammoth road trip last weekend, so that I could open the Bredhurst branch for Cats Protection.
When I agreed to do it we had no idea that Ayden would be called in to work on a Saturday to do a night shoot til 3am. He rarely works on a Saturday, so naturally I thought we would all have a lovely trip from Liverpool to Kent and make a weekend of it. We found out 2 weeks ago that wouldn't be the case, as Ayden was told he would be working. Plans ruined and what seemed like a nice family weekend away - became a mission I don't think NASA could pull off.
Not one to let people down, let alone cats, I decided that Phoenix and I would attempt the journey (9 hour round trip in the car, at least) and do the celebrity personal appearance alone.
It's not like we don't do lots of stuff where it's just the two of us together, I took him on the train to London on my own when he was only 6 weeks old and we've repeated that journey many times since then over this year. It's still a headache though and there's lots planning and stress involved with any trip alone. This trip was such a long way too, I would be driving and we would be staying in hotel, on our own together and quite frankly anything on your own with a baby that's a bit out of the norm is exhausting!
The whole journey and experience got me thinking quite a bit about two things that I want to share with you now...
First of all, my hat is off and raised to all you single mums, especially if you don't have family close by. Even going for a wee is a mission when you are alone with a baby. Let alone, cleaning up, working, paying bills, emailing and generally just getting about.
The whole trip was intense enough, as I tried to keep 'upsetting Phoenix' to a minimum - but getting cases, bottles, baby changing bags and my child from the car to the hotel room all by myself, was a bigger operation and required more muscle power than something special forces could produce. I honestly don't know how single parents get out of the town they live in and I really do think you should be given a special award at the end of each day just for surviving it.
It was while I was thinking about single mums, that I realised something about me and I don't know if all parents feel the same or if I'll feel like this forever...
I realised that from the day that Phoenix was born every day I'm thrilled with myself for just getting through it!
I'm thrilled that I've managed to feed him, change his nappies without him having to suffer too much. I'm thrilled every time I manage to bath him. I'm thrilled any time he's not upset. I'm delighted when he's happy and smiling and ecstatic when he's laughing. I'm shocked when I manage to do all the washing and if the house is tidy on top of that I could marry myself. If I manage a trip somewhere and he's still smiling at the end of it, I feel like I've won a golden ticket to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory and if I get him to sleep without tears then, well just give me my super mum award now because I love myself to bits and feel I could take over the god damn world.
It really made me smile in realising this, as I see that since the day he was born I have played a game with myself of keeping Phoenix happy and alive. If I reach the end of the day and I've remembered to feed, water, change, bathe and make him smile with minimum tears then I might as well be president of the United States in my eyes because I have achieved so fucking much.
After driving for 6 hours (with stops for food) to Gillingham, getting all the stuff in the hotel on my own (by now at 11pm at night). Giving Phoenix a bottle, giving Phoenix a bath, playing with Phoenix so he felt settled and finally getting Phoenix to sleep with no fuss and only hearing him cry that day once for 5 minutes, then getting up and getting ready and getting to Cats Protection on time for the press to take pictures of me opening the centre, I actually felt like I deserved an Olympic Gold medal.
I think there's not a parent out there who doesn't feel like this in the first year of their child - but I wonder, will it last forever now? Will my days always end with a secret pat on the back from me, to me, just for making it through the day. For controlling the chaos, without stifling it and losing the creativity it brings.
This is a selfie of Phoenix and me on our #roadtrip, as you can see, he honestly had a ball and because of that, I felt like I had won the lottery.... Now I just need to clean my nasty house because it's like a bomb has gone off since we returned, as I have revelled in my glory of the successfully administered 'road trip' just a bit too long and I'm still exhausted from it. I'm afraid my house cleaning and keeping has turned to shit and so I must address that so I can claim another medal just for maintaining a clean and friendly home for my family.
I don't think we we will ever get a gold medal or golden ticket ever for our parenting services guys but if you get to the end of the day and your child is happy and well then I think that's better than any gold medal or trip round Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Our kids are our prize!
One thing I can feel special for is the 'Mum and Working' Awards this year, as I have been nominated for the Working Parent Blogger Award. I would dearly love to win this as I truly put my heart and soul in to this blog, so if you enjoy my ramblings please do vote for me on the picture link below. Voting closes on 12th September so only a week left to go.