Some time back I attended a Child Safety training. As they played a video showing a depressed mum unable to get out of bed to care for her kid, someone said to me, “Given your mental health challenges you should seriously consider if you should have any children.”

3 different people told me that, and I really doubted & worried about my ability to be a mum. Looking back now, I don’t know why no one gave me more positive input. I don’t know why I heard “You can’t do this, you can’t do that. Your future family will collapse.”

Because I’ve known for awhile now that’s the biggest thing I want to do. And turns out I am a great stepmum — I can see a year later now that I really am! Yes, I have my ups and downs and there have been tough elements on the learning journey, but there isn’t much to worry about. My love for the child always energises me to give. I can get up at 6am to play with Lego (or whatever it may be), and I have reserves of patience for nurturing a child…it is my joy to give to my child. It is what I want to do, and it has been great.

Well, perhaps I wouldn’t have been able to say that 3 years ago. Perhaps growth changes your self-perspective. But it made me think today – you should never let others put a cap on what you can achieve. They only have partial insight, they don’t always have the whole picture on YOU.

Coincidentally, I got reconnected with an old work connection today – a business/marketing coach. He said it was a “lovely surprise” to hear from me and reminded me to not to forget my “creativity”! (I drew him a funny portrait of himself back then.)

Isn’t it lovely when people can see inside you and remember years later what you had to offer? This kindled my reflections on the things that bubble up with life inside me.

The things that switch a light on, they have a lot to do with creating beauty. I love flowers and dancing because they can portray and communicate something special, touching the soul. They bless the world.

Raising children sounds completely different, but I actually think they have the same essence.

Perhaps it is the delightful exchange of loving and being loved, perhaps it is about creating possibilities, perhaps it is shaping a young soul.

I enjoy giving and it makes me come alive.