The Woman You Are…

The Woman you are…

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During all our lives we wear a multitude of different hats depicting our role at any given time. Most of the time we seamlessly switch hats without noticing. It becomes the norm. Sometimes we wear more than one hat at a time, balancing them all precariously on top of one another whilst spinning plates with all the jobs each hat’s responsibilities entail.

 

But, occasionally we have a moment of realisation of the hat we are currently wearing. Occasionally life seems to go in slow motion. You are consciously aware of your role; how it must be carried out; who is benefiting from it; what you need to do within it. Moments like this are odd. They are profound and in a way they are like an outer body experience; looking at yourself from the outside, seeing yourself for the woman you are in that moment.

 

From what I can make out my hats are the following:

Mother

Wife

Daughter

Friend

Colleague

Employee

Pet carer

Grand-daughter

Cousin

Niece

Daughter-in-Law

Sister-in-Law

And I am sure that this list is not exhaustive.

 

Recently we had a bereavement and during the final week of our loved one’s illness I was so intrinsically aware of which hat I was wearing at each given moment in time.

From the time I took phone calls as Daughter-in-Law, to waking Hubs after his night shift and driving him to the hospice as Wife, speaking with the Twins as Mother, crying to my parents as Daughter, venting to my best friend as Friend, hugging members of the family as Sister-in-Law, Niece.

 

And through all of this most raw and recent of experience, I realised that there is a hat which hasn’t surfaced in a while. It’s been buried at the bottom of the hat box; dropped down the back of the sofa; forgotten about and left in the boot of the car; left on a park bench somewhere waiting for the right breeze to gently blow it back to me once more.

Which hat is this? The one labelled Me. The one where I can for a few moments amalgamate all other hats into the same. The one where I can take comfort and peace of mind in knowing what I like to do, for me. This hat is the sunroof of my soul. Once I have it on I can open up that sunroof and breathe in the air of what makes me, me.

 

My love of dance and the primitive beat of the music, my dreamer qualities, my desire to create art, to write, to paint. And yet at times, my need for stillness and mindfulness; to indulge in some self Reiki; to live in that very moment and soak up all it has to offer. To watch that cloud slowly travel the sky or wait for the Robin to come back to my garden fence. He always does. And to sit there and wait for him is a blessing. To watch that old lady cross the road whilst I sit at the traffic lights and wonder what is her history? Was she a spy in the War? Was she an international journalist writing articles on iconic Hollywood screen legends or was she a Mother to 5 children who has felt that unconditional love and nursed each of her babies through illness?

I don’t get to wear my Me hat much but when I do it sure feels good. I don’t feel selfish when I do wear it. I feel honoured. I feel that I am the luckiest person to have this abundance of different interests to fulfil me.

If you were to ask me which is my favourite hat then it would be impossible for me to pick one but my top choices would be Mother, Wife, Daughter and Friend.

Whilst I relish my Me hat, I also genuinely feel equally happy when they are all teetering away up there, jostling for position!

I feel it is vitally important to acknowledge all my different guises but equally so it is important to locate that missing one when you can and tell yourself this is me and I like being me.

 

Maybe by taking a step back from your busy lives and taking stock of your hats you may notice that you too have a hat that has been missing for a time. And you may like to try to relocate that hat and reunite it with it’s owner.

Which hats have you worn today?

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The Aloha Mummy 🌺

 

 

Diary of an imperfect mum

 

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Mum… aka Costume Designer & Wardrobe Mistress!

 

As a Mum who has spent an. awful. lot. of. time. working on stage and off in various theatre productions over the years and having a bit of a thing for good costumes, plus who’s Hubs and Twins all have great fun when it comes to fancy dress, I feel it only right and proper that I rise to the occasion for the school production!

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This year Twin 1 and Twin 2 are both guards in a somewhat alternative production of Robin Hood. Sounds fairly simple…I stupidly thought!  I had envisaged raiding the fancy dress box and extracting a selection of swords, shields and plastic helmets along with a mixture of random chain mail vests.

Oh-hoho-No! Twin 1 and 2 were playing the parts of 2 guards. Guards who worked for the Sheriff of Nottingham and also Guards who were to be in the castle of Prince John. The Sheriffs guards the Twins told me (and the script costume backed up) would need to be simple and that they would need a stick or a sword. The Prince’s Guards would need a more ‘elaborate’ costume due to the fact that they had no lines (Sheriff Guards did have lines. So, drab costume with speaking part v. flashy costume but don’t expect to hear your little one’s voice!)

Now, I will admit that I do like a challenge and I do love my sewing machine and Hobbycraft! (Our fancy dress escapades are always very thorough and to date I have made 2 sets of original Willy Wonka vests, a Captain Jack waistcoat, Jedi master and Jedi apprentice costumes and back in the early days, a ‘The Sun Has Got His Hat’ on Costume, ‘Chick Chick, Chick Chick, Chicken lay a little egg for me’ costume, shepherds, spacemen and camels!

I set to, designing a costume which would be suitable for the necessary quick change, but was very aware that there would not be space for an entirely separate costume to be stored during the performance (school hall jobby – no wings, no costume rail! Just the Morrisons carrier bag on the floor which if rustled too loudly would detract from the main performance!)

Just like Baldrick, I had a cunning plan! It mainly involved cardboard, spray paint, stencils, Velcro and material. Make the armour with different sides so that the costume can just be swung around 180 degrees to reveal the other side. Genius! The boys loved the idea! They decided that the Sheriff side should be silver with a black stencil of a guards helmet and that the Prince John Guard side would be gold with a red stencil of a shield sporting (wait for it!)  a star, a crown and a sword! Owwww-kay.

We had plenty of spray paint lying about following previous fancy dress creations – plenty of red in fact as we had not that long before made a post box for Twin 2. Yes, you read that correctly – a post box! They had to go incognito for the day and the child who could not be identified by the head teacher would win a prize. Twin 2 came up with the idea of being a post box. We made a giant box into his disguise and bless him he did actually walk to school inside it!  Every now and then he would duck down when he heard people coming closer, just on the off-chance that they might believe this was a real letter box and post a letter! Anyhooo, back to the Guards armour situation!

The Twins each designed a stencil and together (having sprayed the card either silver or gold) we cut them out and lay them onto the breast plates. We then sprayed the chosen colours and actually they looked pretty good!

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The final part they both insisted on having was capes…..Sheriff guards to have a black cape, Prince John guards to have a red cape. This is where the sewing machine came into play!  After a dash around Hobbycraft to purchase the cheapest material they had I managed to whip up 2 double-sided capes. These would need to be flipped over (with the use of Velcro!) when the armour was spun around.

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Finished off with some dressing up chain mail vests and hoods (plus my 2 long sleeved black tops!) the Twins look pretty darn good! What could have been something quite complicated turned out to be a great simple idea!

The play went well, the costume changes were succesful – the correct guards turned up in the correct scenes phew! – and they both remembered all their lines!  Huzzar!!

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Well done kiddos, love you oodles!

The Aloha Mummy

Diary of an imperfect mum