Why making a Christmas wreath is really about my parenting

Now you know I have an ambition to have this blog always reflect something about parenting. But really, how does a Christmas wreath have any bearing here?

Well, here’s the why and the how of it.

I had a very hard time trying to get pregnant and stay that way. By January 2007, after three rounds of fertility treatment and two miscarriages, we had pretty much had enough of the nightmarish fairground that is being ‘helped’ to have a baby. I looked hard at my life and decided what I couldn’t bear anymore was the possibility of hope; I needed closure, even if that was a ‘No’ to being a mum. It was time for a new direction.

I didn’t like my job very much (especially as it brought me into contact with a lot of lovely small children) and so decided to go part-time and pursue another ambition; growing and selling organic flowers. By August 2007 I had a little plot bursting with colour and a farmer’s market stall three times a month. It brought some satisfaction, absorbed a lot of my despair, and gave me a space away from all my sadness. I loved it. That Christmas I sold a fair few wreaths, having taken classes in Christmas floristry, made properly with wire frame and moss, and felt I had found a niche that would go some way to filling the whole that our involuntary childlessness had created.

Two months later, tending the garden, I thought to myself, ‘Today is day 29. I don’t have those…’ Digging out one of the hundred random tests I had left over, I saw the double line that is now my bouncy four-year old.

I don’t have the flower business anymore, as I couldn’t see a way to make it fit around our baby. I am incredibly grateful that I got to fulfil my hope of our being parents, but I do miss the time to garden. So, today, a friend who’s also into this stuff and I made a few wreaths to sell at a friend’s charity table top sale this coming weekend. The logistics of getting childcare cover, finding time to cut and prepare the greenery, and facing the chill of spending a day in an unheated barn, have all been worth it. We’ve put together ten pretty wreaths, and enjoyed a good old uninterrupted natter as we’ve worked.

I wouldn’t have learnt how to make wreaths if I had not endured the agony of infertility, and felt the need for a change of direction. In fact, there’s a lot I wouldn’t have learnt about myself had I not looked childlessness squarely in the eye, and I’m hoping all the self-searching I did then, means I am a better mum than I might otherwise have been, now. And you know what? If nothing else, it’s been fun to step out for the day and get creative…


Why making a Christmas wreath is really about my parenting


7 thoughts on “Why making a Christmas wreath is really about my parenting

  1. I am so pleased that you have found a source of outlet to express your feelings in such an intense way. Times are tough but we struggle through and do come out the other end feeling battered, bruised and a lot wiser for the journey. Please continue to inspire and speak about what many people (myself particularly) struggle with which is opening up to matters of the heart and life. You are an inspiration, a great mum and I love you to bits! From your loving mum and grandmother.

    • I have very few talents but it seems that stringing a reasonable interesting sentence or two together is one of them.

      You know I appreciate the compliments, and you also know I ‘get it’.


  2. Pingback: Greatest Hits from my First Album | Not Different But Interesting

  3. How lovely to have found a creative outlet for your emotions and what a great outcome! I am so pleased that you can look back a realise what you learnt from your difficult journey – often the way isn’t it? Thanks for sharing on oldies but goodies. A great read 🙂

    • Such a loyal commentator Suzanne, thank you. I really like being part of oldies but goodies, and I do try and read some of the others too. I’d go as far as to say that floristry saved me!

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