This week’s blog is dedicated to my sister, Charlotte. If I had to pick a colour for her, I would choose orange. She is optimistic, independent, adventurous and fun. She is 14 months younger than me but has towered over me since as long as I can remember.
We were born in Lancashire, where we lived for the first 10 years of our lives. We made some of our best friends, some of whom we are still very close to today. We moved to Norfolk as Dad worked in the shoe trade. Norwich is famous for a shoemaker called James Smith. The company he founded was called Start-rite Shoes and are still successfully trading today. Dad joined them in 1997 as Export Manager and I worked there briefly in the sales office whilst studying and Charl worked in the factory shop. Inevitably Dad travelled the world with his job, leaving Mum to bring us both up on her own.
Charl is the complete opposite to me. Not only does she look a lot different, she is an extravert. She is incredibly strong physically and emotionally. She is adventurous and independent, often not having a care in the world. Some would say, we are different flowers from the same garden!
I will never forget the day she told me she was pregnant! I don’t think I can recall being so shocked in my life. I mean, there is no reason why she shouldn’t be pregnant, aged 31, she lives with her husband at ‘The Manor’ in a modest village outside of Norwich. Having been the older sister, I have experienced most life events before she has, including motherhood. I just could never imagine her settling down and compromising her lavish lifestyle! This consists of eating out multiple times a week, going abroad several times a year and continuing with her gym routine and HD Brows. She has always had her #ownagenda
On Thursday 13th September, she gave birth naturally to a beautiful baby boy called Hugo! I am an Auntie! He weighed a healthy 8lb 7oz and perfect in everyway. That evening, we drove to the hospital waiting for her to be discharged from the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit. I felt like I was waiting for royalty outside the Lindo Wing at St Marys Hospital in London! Hugo appeared in a tangerine coloured car seat, carried by a very proud Daddy. Hugo was peacefully sleeping, undoubtedly exhausted from birth. Flo & Ted were over the moon by the first sight of their baby cousin.
During Charl’s pregnancy, she never had any strong opinions on birth or parenting a newborn. She has obviously watched me bring up Flo & Ted and managed hundreds of children within a nursery setting so must understand the routine? She will agree with me in saying, I don’t think anything can prepare you for life with a newborn! It is a game changer! Sleep is definitely over rated!
Charl is doing amazingly, breastfeeding on demand, baby wearing, lots of skin to skin contact and co-sleeping;- all contributing factors of a strong attachment. I couldn’t feel more proud of her. Breastfeeding is a subject very close to my heart, as I fed my babies for 10 and 14 months respectively. It was possibly a bigger achievement than my BSc Hons Degree in Business Management!
I love the fact Charl can call me for advice. Mum is a Health Visitor so I am hopeful that between us we can give her all the love and support she needs to flourish into motherhood – something I never thought she would even consider! There was once a saying that …‘Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite their struggles.’
Super Proud of you Charl x