There are many things in life that I strive to be – a loving Mother, a good wife and daughter, a true friend. Yet of all the things that we can be, I think one of the greatest things in life is to be an inspiration.
As a Mummy of five, I try very hard, not only to be a good role model to my children but, to inspire them daily. Two years ago when I started writing my blog I did it with the aim that one day, in many, many, years to come, my children may look back on our memories and find inspiration, not only in my successes but also in my failings.
It took me a long time to realise that you can be an inspiration without the need for perfection. Sitting here at 37 with a failed marriage behind me, a lengthy record of mental illness, a thousand different mistakes and many more regrets, I am far from perfect.
I have never denied the fact that during the darkest moments of my life, when we lost fifteen much wanted babies to miscarriage or our precious son Joseph to stillbirth, when I battled it out in an eating disorders unit and struggled to cope with post natal depression, I couldn’t see a way forward. I reached a point where I was completely lost and uninspired.
Even now, having survived the worst of times, I am surprised when others commend me on my positive attitude to life, especially when I am still so often blinded by my own sadness and grief. I am stunned when I am told that my story has helped others, despite my struggles with anxiety and self doubt. And I am speechless to learn that friends, family, and complete and utter strangers, consider me an inspiration, tell me that my story has inspired them, and that during the darkest moments of their lives, they have been comforted by the story of mine.
Yesterday I received the news that I have been named as a finalist for the BiBs 2017 blogging awards in the category of “Inspire”, and never for one moment did I assume that I would receive a nomination, let alone make it as a finalist! I have been so touched by the reactions from other bloggers, those whom I love and admire, who tell me, “I nominated you!”, “You deserve this!”, and the most wonderful message from a blogging friend of mine who wrote, “You are an ordinary person who has done extraordinary things.”
Although I will always struggle to believe that others see me in this way, what I do believe is that there is so much of the extraordinary in the ordinary moments.
And these days, when I look into the eyes of my children, the four rainbows in my arms and precious little Joseph in my heart, I am filled with inspiration. If I do nothing else in this life, I have already achieved so much. I have my family, I have hope and I have happiness, and that is something that I will continue to share so readily.
I find it extremely difficult to ask for votes in situations like this. I am of the belief that if you win something you should do that through hard work, not popularity; and if somebody votes for you it should be because they believe you deserve it, not because you have asked them to. So in that way I won’t solicit your votes, nor will I fool you into thinking that I deserve to win any more than the wonderful and inspirational bloggers in my category, but I will leave the link here and, should you wish to, I would be very grateful of your support.
Regardless of who takes home the prize at the end of the Summer, regardless of whether I am hailed the most inspirational blogger of 2017 or not, it doesn’t matter. The fact that somebody, even if just one of you, finds inspiration in my posts, I’m happy with that. If someone who is struggling with mental illness reaches out and asks for help, that’s the most I could ask for. If a grieving Mother or Father finds hope in my story, then I’ll take that and I’ll run with it.
Because for me, being inspirational isn’t about winning; it’s about sharing the highs and the lows, sharing a little happiness and hope, sharing the moments that have restored my faith in miracles, the fact that despite so much tragedy and heartache, I am exactly where I am meant to be.
Being a finalist is a huge honour but I can’t take the credit for this personally. This one is for the biggest inspiration in my life – my beautiful children Lewis, Eva, Megan and Harry, and the most perfect little boy who inspires me every single day.
For Joseph, you have made me every piece of who I am.