womens’ page

Helen Wreford


iBelieve’s mother-in chief, Helen Wreford, reflects on the differences between boys and girls this Mother’s Day
Gather round and let me tell you a story. Once, there was a beautiful young lady, and she married her prince. They went off to live happily ever after, but then they remembered that the story doesn’t end there…
Five years later, enter son one. I don’t do pregnancy well: my body just doesn’t like it. l felt so sick for so long, but at the end of that whole process l met Mark.
That’s a moment I’ll never forget, nor be able to describe. A little bundle of flesh and blood that I cared about more than l imagined possible.

It’s impossible to plumb the depths of a mother’s love —just like it’s impossible to plumb the depths of the exhaustion you can feel late at night, when you’re feeding again and the hours stretch out. But here I was, and I was all he needed. He depended on me and l was there.

I don’t think that ever really goes away. I’ve always wanted to make everything OK for my children. Mark was followed by Jamie and then Sophie. When we had the first two, l thought l had found out how different children could be, but oh my I giddy aunt was l wrong!

Boys are simple creatures, it seems to me. Enough food and enough football and they’re happy. They don’t tidy their rooms, no matter how hard you try, and they might start washing a bit more once there’s a girlfriend in the picture. Until then, it’s damage limitation. Especially, when it comes to clothing! On one priceless occasion, we spent an afternoon picking out an outfit for Jamie. He needed to dress to impress at a school disco, if l remember correctly. When it came to it, he decided he’d rather wear a scruffy old hoodie. Not so Sophie. Now here’s a girl after my own heart. Fluff, sparkles and finally some fashion-consciousness came back into my world.

Sophie was also responsible for the rediscovery of funny things called emotions in our house. While she was blissfully inhabiting a world of princes, ponies and pink, her brothers had graduated to the grunting monotone of teenage-dom. We still spoke — well, l did — but they didn’t have a lot to say for themselves. Sophie, though, has a more eclectic approach to feelings: she wants to sample them all! At least, that’s how it appears from a mother’s vantage point, as exam stress gives way to elation on completion; tearful depression one minute, hyper excitement the next. Oddly, we’ve not tried calm consistency recently…

l think the one thing that stays the same through all of these differences is love. My kids love-their food. But actually, I love them.

Cooking for them is one way of showing it — and I’m infamous for my massive portion sizes – but it’s an expression of my passionate love for them. Now, boys and girls, remember that and live happily ever after — and tidy your room!



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