One of my favourite things is getting to chat to other mothers, both in real life and online. Today is a chance to have a virtual sit down and chat with April and get to know her and her motherhood journey a little better.
Hi April! It’s so fun to chat. Can you tell everyone a bit about you?
I’m April. I’m not born in April (you wouldn’t believe how many people ask me that!) I am a November baby and love fireworks and all things Autumn/Winter. I’m married to Gareth. We met at aged 16/17 (respectively) at a Christian Youth Camp and married in 2011 during our time at University. We are currently living in Cambridge for Gareth’s training for priesthood in the Church of England. Although we are only here for 11 more days before we move back up North (Liverpool way!) to serve out Gareth’s curacy. We have two red headed boys : Samuel (3years) Jonathan (10months)
What are you loving about life at the moment (big or small?)
I love Samuel’s toddlerness right now. He runs up to me and hugs me saying “I love you Mummy, you are such a strong and nice lady” he is the best encourager. He is always finding little gifts for me or singing me a song to cheer me up. I love Jonathan’s smiling and babbling right now. He says “mama” and it just melts my heart!! Basically what they say and their facial expressions are definitely my favourite little parts right now.
The bigger stuff is definitely just being able to get out of the house and create memories that are now lasting for them and for us as a family. The day to day stuff is beautiful and hard but it’s great that we can do some special things that Samuel can actually engage with. I’ve just finished a family felt calendar for the boys to interact with each day and that’s been really fun for both me to create and the boys (well mainly Samuel!) to engage with.
That is the sweetest. Motherhood continues to teach me new things every day- is there something that motherhood has taught you about yourself?
It’s taught me that I’m simply human – it’s okay to show your vulnerabilities and brokenness as children are incredibly forgiving and gracious. It also means that when I have a super day it’s celebrated rather than expected to be the normal standard.
That is such good truth. How have you seen the harder parts of motherhood impact you?
Mental health – that’s a bit of a big one to unpack – past pain – anxiety – stressors. The lack of personal time. Feeling forgotten as “April”. There are different challenges for everyone. I’ve realised since having the boys that I never pictured being pregnant or having babies whenever I pictured being a Mum. I just always pictured school aged children going camping, movie nights, nature walks, playing board games etc. These early years have hit me like a ton of bricks. But I have learnt so much from it. I think the most valuable lesson has been that time is a gift. Giving my husband and my children my time is an incredible gift in and of itself. But also giving time to my own dreams and passions is not at all selfish. It is simply a gift and a way to care and love myself.
What advice would you love to give your young mama self?
It’s gets better. You won’t be feeding/changing/wiping/tidying up forever! And also don’t give up on your own dreams or passions. They still matter! You are still worth investing in and spending time on!
What fills you up ready for another day (or hour!) of motherhood?
Their smiles, funny sayings, laughter and affection. In all honesty that 2 hour afternoon nap helps quite a bit too! Haha!
Finally, how do you find breathing room in motherhood?
Every morning I put Jonathan down for his morning nap, I make my second cup of tea and I cuddle up with Samuel on the sofa and we watch CBeebies together for a bit. Well just while I have my tea. But it’s a beautiful 15min space to start each day.
I pursue a lot of creative activities – painting, journaling, sewing, reading, crochet, papercraft, general making – in the afternoon nap time slot and in the evening. Though I’ve been brave and have headed out for some evenings to hang out with my friends. And go see the new Avengers film! Woo date night!
You can see April’s beautiful work here and follow her on instagram too. Thanks so much for sharing, April!