#IHeartMusic

Music is the pulse of life! For me anyway. Beats echo in my house, my office (Poor Danielle, marketing assistant is subjected to every decade and even MJ “I’M Bad I’M Bad – no apologies here!) and when all else fails … music fills the silence in my head. From jazz to heavy metal every beat inspires a dream and locking into my pulse reveals the rhythm of how I want to live. Music… I believe is the closest thing to religion, it moves us.

In Episode #6 Link Telegraph Contributor and mother of two, Sally Peck shares with us how before bedtime her entire family have a dance before lights off. What a wonderful way to end the day and a little tradition I am borrowing.

My daughter, Ariella has been dosing off to Jazz extraordinaire Stan Getz since she was 6 months young and if its not foot tapping, head nodding house during bath time it’s nursery rock anthems on route to nursery. There isn’t a day we go without music. Music can bond the coolest of strangers, imagine what it can do for our little humans.

You will see on my blog there is a Hotmilk Podcast playlist, link ( thank you to whoever created spotify…and Jeans… and pumps… I Digress). While I write or work or even prepare for the next podcast I love a little “music downtime” after a long day. So I thought I would share the #Iheartmusic love. So while you browse the blog or spy on all our guests, do me a favor and grab a cuppa, stiff glass of something frosty and enjoy the tunes and assault your senses.

While I am writing this in my head, Ariella is holding my hands, feet on mine and we pretending to Waltz …insert unforgettable” Nat King Cole. Be still my beating mommy heart, … it is these moments when motherhood plays out in slow motion and with every swish and sway another magical memory is etched in my heart.

Find your pulse…. and enjoy your rhythm of mommyhood, they come in waves

And on that soft and fuzzy note, before I sign off and post this – I cant help but say R.E.S.P.E.C.T – to the woman who danced her way through labor pains https://youtu.be/Wvt_H3xyERs

Personally, I screamed the F*!@K*G roof down … I tried a back rub, walking the isle of the hospital until 55 hours later left me with only but a voice box strong enough to contract harder and longer than my contractions #alldignitylost

Till next time….

Dom xxx

No Kids Allowed

 

Ummm…Yes,I go on holiday without my daughter *hand on mouth gasp*

Why does that sentence paralyse me each time it rolls off my lips to answer the eyebrow lifting judgemental question “are you going on holiday alone?”

When my daughter was 6 months old, I went to Paris for my birthday weekend with a friend. I left Ariella Petra with her father armed with only a feeding schedule, bedtime routine reminder and a good luck note. Let me say that again, I left her with her f.a.t.h.e.r, not a stranger or pack of wolves for weekend rearing. Her loving, doting and fast learner,capable parent. And for the rest, well I was confident he would figure it out just like I did and try whatever worked for him and when all else failed, to do what any good man would do …. call his mother.

What could possibly go wrong? … Well, I am happy to report that NOTHING went wrong. Instead, dad got to enjoy some one to one bonding time with his daughter without my interfering or telling him what not to do. Since then, fast forward 4 years and I have booked a round trip for ONE every year. Yup, I checked out for some me time. Conscious soul sifting is what I like to call it …without hubby and without my daughter.

I returned from my first solo holiday well rested, light on my feet and energised like the ever ready bunny. I was a 33+ working mum that had a bit of me time. Throw in the mix a BFF, retail therapy and couple glasses of bubbly minus the breast pump and you can only imagine how I bounced through the door. Secret: The hardest part was not leaving…but coming home and realising Ariella Petra had not even noticed or remembered that I was gone knocked the breath out of me. Talk about heart wrenching moment. Now I ask you, who is acting like the baby?

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 09.50.26From then on between running businesses, broadcasting, podcasts and gunning for a mother of the year award – I take a holiday, by myself. A gift from myself to myself -with love.

The almost dreaded part of this, is announcing I wont be making a play date or birthday party “Because I am going on vacation” and then the dreaded question “alone?” … The nerves kick in – you would think I was in first grade giving a dissertation on the worlds presidents – palms sweating, tummy churning…bottom lip quiver …I swallow and politely whimper “yes, alone “ quickly followed with “ she will be with her daddy and friends having so much fun “in case they thought I was leaving her locked in the courtyard with only fresh water.I spend my days presenting to a plethora of dragons den-esque businessmen and woman, but one judgemental parent (agreed this is total projection on my part) and I am unravelling as fast as my kid unwrapping a present.

From the moment I walk out the door and wipe away my guilty tears – yes that’s right – I never said I did this without feeling guilty, I put aside (still work in progress) all the pressures and challenges of business, family, friends and motherhood.

So why do I continue to go on holiday without my daughter? Because I can… and because I return with enough bounce that would put Tigger to shame, overwhelming appreciation and awe of my little girl and her father and patience of a saint (for a couple of weeks at least). Conscious soul sifting is one step closer to a better version of myself, which means I’m a stronger, happier mom.

Just a foot note – in case you wondering – yes of course we go on family holidays together. (There I go again – What is it with us mums justifying our parenting styles?)

So would you go on holiday alone ?

 

 

Birth After Loss

Birth after Loss ….

I took me four years to realise that I had not grieved my father’s death. “Don’t make big life decisions after trauma” is what the famous “THEY” say… I clearly didn’t get the memo. Soon after my father was taken (yes often than not I blame the big man upstairs), I got married and had a baby, a beautiful little girl. Ariella Petra

What I didn’t see coming was the harsh reality of emotional turmoil between mourning a death and celebrating a life. My heart string reduced to brittle ashes and with the slightest shift from happy tears to gut wrenching sobs, either one would feel like the final take.

Of all the rush of emotions I was told I was going to experience when I had my baby, the one they forgot to mention, is the jolt of immortality. This sucker comes rushing at you like a derailed train and to fuel my fear, I had no family here in the UK, no childhood friends or siblings with babies close by. Instead I had what felt like endless hours of midnight breastfeeding and sleep deprivation that only MI5 assassins are equipped to beat… Until, of course, she smiled and my brittle heart strings melted in an abyss of love and warmth. I’m so grateful for those moments, for every smile and gurgle I got better at dealing with death and breastfeeding. It was in those darkest moments when Hotmilk was born. No more endless rabbit holes of “how to” Googleing. I wanted to talk about it with real parents – preferably with alive and kicking ones. And since my father was no longer answering me, it was time to chat about the naked truths of parenting with other moms and dads.

While I have you here chatting about parenting truths and death…lets talk about death. Memento Mori – literal meaning: never forget death.

I have thought about tattooing this on my hand. Not because I want to indulge in the constant drone of sadness but in fact the opposite. I often find myself scrambling to find heartfelt but real and raw ways to explain death to my now 4 year old who wants to know who her Grand dad is. I do know this, we don’t talk enough about death. I plan to open the dialogue with her; it’s a conversation that will be constant and ever evolving as we age together. Death influences how we live and how we live can influence how we die, yet I don’t feel like I talk about it enough, not with my loved ones or my friends.

I know my father and I only chatted once before he passed. He mentioned in passing that he wanted to be cremated. That moment while sitting in the funeral parlour and being asked how I would like to put my father to rest (well quite frankly I don’t WANT to you idiot), the weight of having to make the decision on my own without really knowing what he wanted, was devastatingly overwhelming. A decision I still question today and have no option but to live with.

I never want my daughter to experience the same dread and wonder. So let me be clear. I want to be cremated and with the gentle breeze of the Greek Mediterranean ocean, let me loose. Plant an olive tree, lemon tree or Jasmine tree anywhere close to Ariella, so she can sit, soak up the perfumes that surround her …and talk to me. I’m listening, I’m right here baby girl.

Shall we talk about death?