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Then and now

I miss her some days.

The old Her.

The her of long conversations, heels and hot coffee.

The her who came before the her now.

The her before them.

The her who wasn’t always late, or messy, or forever having to restart sentences.

The her who paved the way.

And it can be all too easy to forget that the older Her still matters.

That she is more than just memories on a phone, or timeline reminders or now dusty qualification photos or framed certificates hanging crooked under those of them.

That was the before in her life.

And there always needs to be a before.

Just like there needs to be a now, and an after.

Just like there is a start, a middle and an end.

And it’s ok to think about that her sometimes, or often, or however many times you like.

It’s also ok to celebrate her, too.

And to mourn her when needed.

Because these are normal reactions.

Because the now Her is thankful for the Her that came first.

Because the now Her is so different to what she once was.

The now Her can cast a much different reflection.

One of heavy eyes, and tired arms.

One of a full heart, and an empty tank.

One of everything like she used to be but hidden under nothing like she used to be.

And she’s more than one now.

She’s not the only one.

There’s others to care for, and focus on, and love.

And boy does she love them.

More than anything in the world.

More than her life before them.

And she would never go back.

Or change a thing.

Never.

Not a chance.

Because her now is what she lives and breathes,

And it’s perfect to her.

But when she’s in the thick of nappies, and tantrums, and crumbs deep in the creases of back seats.

When she’s seeing others walk around town without a huge baby bag weighing them down.

When she’s privy to an old photo memory of her enjoying too many drinks past 7pm while on holiday.

She travels back there.

Momentarily.

She walks in those shoes again.

She feels as she once did again.

She removes the dust and reclaims her past.

For as long as she can.

Before another meltdown, or request, or “mom”, “mum”, “mama”.

And for a moment she remembers she’s someone other than someone’s everything.

She always has been.

She always will be.

She may just be a little lost in them right now.

And this is all part of it,

This thing called life.

There will always be then and now, now and then, now after them.

Because right now won’t last.

Eventually the future Her will look back at the Her now.

And the reflection again will have changed.

She will have less to carry, but more to worry over.

She will have an empty home and a heavy heart.

She will have only photos of them on the walls to see every day, and dust, and straighten.

And she will miss her of now.

She will want to come back here more than momentarily.

She will want to stay in her memory of them and her, of now.

She will.

Of course she will.

Because this too is normal.

We will always miss parts of life that go before us, because they help form the new parts that we grow into.

It doesn’t make us any less grateful for what we have now, just appreciative of what we had then.

So yes, I miss the old Her sometimes.

But I know that I will miss the Her now even more one day.

So I choose to continue to honour her memories of then and eventually of now.

Because while we are all more than memories, memories are all that we’ll have left one day.

Motherhood is really hard, Mumli isn’t.

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