Eight years ago, my husband was on patrol in Afghanistan on his forth operational tour. His Sergeant was trying to set us up on a blind date. Chris asked – “So what is she like?” He replied: “Loves the booze mate. Loves the booze!” “Is she pretty? Is she funny?” "Loves the booze mate. Loves the booze!” Surprisingly, he still wanted to meet me and the week he got back we met with some friends and before we'd even said hello I knocked back a tequila. (God, I used to be fun.) I remember my mum texting to ask how it was going and I replied something corny and she said ‘best buy a hat!’ Never would have thought years down the line she would. 8 years together. 3 years married. 4 house moves all across he country. 2 gorgeous boys – and not forgetting Yankee. It will be our official ‘changed our relationship status on Facebook’ anniversary on Tuesday (we pretty much got drunk together for first few weeks!)
You meet someone in the military and you don’t imagine how hard it will be. You open up your life to them but then you also have to learn to get on with your life without them whether that be days, weeks or months and months. Some weeks without any contact and every day, even if they are in the country you never know when they will ring. Or whether you can get a hold of them. Or when you do speak to them, sometimes it’s just a conversation of “I can’t hear you. What? What? Fucking signal!" And it can be lonely. I’ve lived miles away from family, lived round the corner from family – either way, it’s lonely. Throw in kids, a dog, a mortgage, him still not knowing where to put his dirty washing (NOT ON THE FLOOR) and some lows – and some amazing highs – we are still here. Like all relationships it's hard but I’m lucky that I get to miss someone everyday. And it can be romantic. Writing letters and the excitement of that blue envelope coming through the door. It also makes you appreciate the small things. The things you don’t think you’ll miss but you do. It’s been quite the adventure these past eight years – but wouldn’t want to go through life without anyone else. How did you meet your partner? Love hearing other people’s stories! Please tell me I’m not the only one whose involved tequila!
I was nailing being a mum on Friday. All fed and dressed by 7.30. I'd epilated my moustache the night before so felt like a new woman. We made some cookies (instant packet for the win) which Rafe loved doing, despite 'him' leaving them in the oven for too long so you lost a tooth eating them. Rafe counted to ten and I wanted to cry with pride. Took Yankee out in the stotting rain, Elijah napped, while Rafe kept throwing his socks on the floor. But it was ok. Cos I was NAILING IT. Then all Rafe wanted to eat was his biscuits. But went to Hartbeeps and they were a dream. Got home and needed the loo and two minutes peace but Rafe kept banging on the door screaming IGGLE PIGGLE. He refused to eat his tea despite me shouting EAT THE PASTA. Then I felt bad for shouting. Both crying as tired and refused to nap earlier. Then Elijah wanted boob but needed to clean the pasta off the floor and tell Rafe he couldn’t have another flipping biscuit. Then he took his nappy off and I had to chase him round the room. Elijah did a massive poo. Husband FaceTimed from overseas and I’d been looking forward to his call all day but I went into a massive mood when he said he hadn’t been busy all day. Then cried after because I miss him and was a cow bag. Both kids bathed. Elijah fell asleep on boob so got to read Rafe a story in peace and he hugged and gave me a kiss on the cheek without asking and my heart exploded. Both unsettled for a while. Finally came downstairs to a bomb site of toys to tidy up. Had a bag of ‘more to share' maltesers for tea. On Instagram saw Joe Wicks had made his daughter a super healthy meal and Rafe had pretty much had biscuits and a yogurt all day. And I felt like I was a bad mum. Then remembered how lucky I was and felt guilty for wanting to have a poo in peace. Guess that’s what being a mum is all about, moments of pure happiness, to just needing a break, to joy and overwhelming feelings of pride, to feelings of absolute exhaustion and self doubt. It’s an absolute rollercoaster but must be doing something right when they both just look at me and smile for no reason. Just because they wanted to. We’ve got this mamas.
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.