I have be honest, up until about 4 years ago children never liked me and I didn’t particularly like them either, I also didn’t really think I wanted to have any.
Whenever I’d meet someones children or child, they’d find me boring because I wouldn’t want to play with them or they’d see me hide behind their parents!
Now let me tell you something about that, children have a great sense of people’s characters they can smell it a mile off! I used to find children annoying, too noisy and that they required to much fuss.
This wasn’t because I wasn’t a nice person, but growing up all I knew was that children should be seen and not heard, they should sit still and behave. If I saw anything other than that, they automatically became naughty in my eyes. I viewed all my little cousins that came after me in the same way.
Children just didn’t interest me at all.
Ridiculous I know, but that is all I knew, but in 2012 something changed, well that’s an understatement EVERYTHING CHANGED!
I got my 2nd sister, I already had one which I was struggling to adjust to after being an only child for 20 years, I wasn’t particularly happy about this 2nd one either.
The truth was I was jealous of them.
I was jealous that they were going to have better childhoods than me and they were going to take away the attention I wanted from my parents.
When my 2nd sister came I was slowly on the way to a very messy breakdown and I didn’t see her until she was around 2 months old because I was avoiding her.
Everything was crumbling around me, I’d lost my job, my mental health had severely deteriorated, friendships were dropping like flies, you name it, it was going wrong!
Eventually begrudgingly I went to meet her after my dad came down to London to visit.
I walked through the door to see this tiny baby cradled in my dads wife’s lap sleeping and as I got closer, she opened her eyes and looked at me square on to say ‘where on earth have you been for so long’
From that moment something in me slowly changed, her birth was like a new birth for me, as I went through my breakdown I sought solace in the peace she gave me. She never judged me, she never told me I was a let down or a bad person. She just gave me love and filled me with peace, she accepted me.
Every chance I got, I spent time with her and we bonded to a point where she was only comfortable with me, her mother, or my dad. There were times I would feel sad and I’d look into her eyes and think ‘how can I ever be sad when you give me so much unconditional love’. She’s didn’t realise it, but I was empty and her loved and acceptance filled me back up again.
I remember a moment when my breakdown had hit its most intense moment, I was suicidal, I wanted out, I was inconsolable.
That day, my sister took her very first steps, and my dads wife had called my mom to tell her (yes we’re all pretty close lol)
My mom who I was staying with at the time came to me and said ‘Tasha you can’t let people and situations continue to bring you down anymore. You’re little sister has taken her first steps today its time you took your first steps to a new life too.’
This was a very significant moment for me and to this day I still have the video I was sent of her taking her first steps in my phone.
My sisters have both taught me so much, hard times I’ve turned to my at the time, 11 year old sister and asked her what she would do and her advice has been so simple but helpful.
Before my breakdown that particular sister and I used to be a logger heads quite often, now she calls me her best friend and I am incredibly protective of them both.
The thing about children is, they see things in a no nonsense way whilst we adults complicate everything.
My sisters have taught me exactly how to find and have fun with my inner child, to get on their level and enjoy it to the point where they want me to shut up and sit down!
I adore children, I feel fiercely protective of them and can’t wait to have my own.
I also have a god daughter now, who I adore and was honoured when my best friend asked me.
There’s nothing I love and encourage more than seeing a child to get up enjoy themselves and play, and to watch the occasional episode of Peppa pig!
I now work with children who grew up like I did that are affected by Domestic violence, the ages can vary from 7 to young adults in their early 20s.
I feel honoured to be able to use my experiences to help these children to recover, so the effects of the trauma they’ve experience is lessened and so they don’t carry the issues I did into my adulthood.
Just the other day, a 9 year old girl and I fell about laughing in one of our sessions playing kerplunk, when the game just fell apart on its own sending marbles allover the floor!
One of the managers at the refuge I work in told me of the smile that beamed on a child’s face, when she saw through a window that I was there to see her. I didn’t see it, but knowing filled me with joy and on the inside made me think of irony of how things change. Never think a child is unaware of anything, even the energy we bring, they know it, they see it and they feel it.
I thank my sisters for being a massive part in helping me to change my energy and my heart.
The reward in everything I do, is seeing the difference I make to these children’s lives.
All of the moments had and to come will be priceless for us all.