Tigerlilly Quinn: Feature - What I have learnt since becoming a mum

Monday, 12 December 2011

Feature - What I have learnt since becoming a mum

The final 'What I have learnt' comes from my friend Gemma. After graduation in 2007 I went back to my hometown of Aberystwyth for a year and rather than move back into my family home chose to live in a shared house. The house consisted of Gemma, her partner Rob and daughter Lauren, also another family and their sweet little boy and myself and then partner. The second family only lived with us for a few months but I lived with Gemma and her family for the entire year. It was lovely to see Lauren grow over that year and to spend time with her, I actually really miss her (and her parents of course but Lauren is so dam cute). Thank you to Gemma for this lovely piece and all the help and advise over the course of my pregnancy! xoxo


If only I had a DeLorean….


Seven and a half years ago I met the most amazing person in the world. From the get go she completely took my breath away and over the time we’ve been getting to know each other she has taught me so much, about myself and about other people. Of course I am talking about my daughter…The only trouble is that she keeps growing up and ever since she was about two she has always been one step ahead of me…


At first it seemed as if I knew her every wish, the meaning behind each core-shaking stare and each stomach-churning cry. And as much as she was teaching me she was learning, thinking and forming her own ideas and opinions.


I like to think that at that time the inner workings of her mind were an open book and that I knew everything that was going on in that brilliant little head of hers. Now I know that with each passing day she saves more of her thoughts, more of her notions and inventions and observations purely for herself. She squirrels them away in her delicious little mind and spends some time with them before sharing with friends or family.




As she grows she makes more of her own decisions, and she does more things by and for herself. She deals with the consequences of these decisions and actions in her own way and now that I have to share her with school I miss the majority of her little victories, discoveries and failures. I cherish every little nugget of information I am lucky enough to find offered up but have long since learned that it does me no good to try and pry. I must wait patiently until needed.


We have come so far the two of us. I could talk about so many things that we have done, so many battles fought and won. But I think that the most important lesson that I can pass on to other mums is to cherish every single tiny moment.

I often look back at photos of my darling little girl. Running on stout little squeezable legs through Castle Park all wispy hair and banana streaked cheeks. I often think…If only I had a DeLorean I could go back and steal her up into my arms again (without having to think about my back or about bumping her head on the doorframe) and re-live each moment of baby babble and funny talk.

But even if I did have a DeLorean the reality of the situation is that it would stay parked outside the house until we both decided to go off on an adventure together.

The beauty of Lauren growing up is that every day we get closer in other ways. We dress up together and she is the best stylist I will ever have. We spur each other on to be braver and kinder than each day that went before. We learn the art of patience and test it to the very limits.

She may be more able to keep her own little secrets but she is also better at understanding the needs and the feelings of other people. And we learn together how to keep each other strong and how to find an open and honest dialogue that is appropriate to our relationship.
Each passing day she becomes more fully formed, more of the person she will grow up to be. I cannot pretend that this doesn’t terrify me. I cannot pretend that this process of having to let go a little each day is not excruciating. But it is also sublime.

In those first few hours when there was nothing but Rob and I and our girl I thought my heart would burst with joy and that it would be impossible to love more than I did in those moments. But the truth is that love only grows. It deepens and many things that you would never expect and that I could never hope to explain get tangled up in the warp and weft of it.

In the first few hours of the morning when I am still sometimes lucky enough to have her cuddled up to me I often think ‘this will never last, this could be the last time we spend like this’ And I am right. But what comes next is so laden with excitement and possibility. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. And I cannot wait to see what she will teach me tomorrow.

Thank you Gemma for this beautiful piece, a lovely way to finish the feature! (P.S you should check out her pretty boutique also) I hope you have all enjoyed reading them as much as I have xoxo

5 comments:

Louise Ritchie said...

Just lovely! So nice to hear your words Gemma, Lauren is so precious you're such a wonderful family. I love reading your news Fritha and can't wait to hear all about Wilfryd best of luck for the birth much love, Lou x

Tigerlilly Quinn said...

aww thanks Lou, was lovely to live with you too btw!! x

Kayleigh said...

Love this so much!! Got choked up reading it :') so beautifully written x

abigailemily said...

This is so beautiful! Made me feel all blubbery. I can only hope I view the rest of Theo's childhood like this, and it makes me so excited for the future! It really is a lovely piece and yeh such a great way to end the feature! X

CARRIE said...

What a beautiful sentiment!

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