Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Young Love

I've been very nostalgic lately, today is mine and Oliver's second wedding anniversary so naturally I've been thinking about when we first got together and how far we've come. We've been together for 6 years now and I think we're pretty solid in our relationship, though some people tend to disagree. Some people believe that because we're only 21 our relationship doesn't have roots that run deep like that of a 6 year relationship between two 30 year olds. Those people think that because we're young we don't really know what we're talking about when it comes to love, let alone marriage. But in all honesty I don't know if those people actually understand what it takes to have real love. I don't think your ability to love someone depends upon how much experience you've had before them. I truly believe that no matter if you're 15 or 50, you can love someone whole heartedly and your relationship can grow strong like an oak tree. 

Let me share a little something with you from what I've learned about young love. 
When I was 14 and Oliver 15, we really liked each other but before he asked me out he said he had weighed up the pros and cons of dating me (Yeah, he's a lists guy) and that the only con was having to go through a breakup. I said to him, without realizing just how true it'd be, "who says we have to break up?". That triggered something with him and from that day forward we've been all in with no intention of ever stopping. 
People said a lot of things about our relationship; that we were gonna break up or get sick of each other after a year, that we needed to date more people to be sure, that we were just obsessed, that we didn't even understand what real love was...
But we didn't care, we knew what we had and we knew we weren't gonna give it up just because other people couldn't understand it. 
We had that young, bright eyed faith that we really could be together forever. 
We felt that way then, and now six years down the track we are even more sure. We've had hard times but our love has been able to withstand many a storm and come out the other side better for it. 

Some will say young love is puppy love, just infatuation or teenage hormones in overdrive. That kind of thinking doesn't help a generation of people who already give up on a thing as soon as it doesn't hold their attention. It makes fighting for someone you really love hard when you're in your teens and someone says "there'll be plenty of others, you've got years to find the one". Which is true mostly, but do we really want young people's look on love to be that you have to go through heartache after heartache till you're old enough to finally find the one?
I am still young so some of those who are older than me might think my opinion doesn't count but I believe that young love is sweet love, untainted and innocent love. A love full of hope not fear. 
I know the love I had for Oliver when I was 16 was as genuine as it is now and I've seen the same kind of fire in other people's eyes when they were the same age. There's really no reason to believe that young love for others is anything but the same amazing, life changing kind that I've had.
If I had believed what those other people said about young love, I wouldn't be blissfully married now, I wouldn't have a perfect little boy and I wouldn't be able to say, in 10 years time, that I'd been in love for most of my life. I wouldn't have grown up with the person I'm going to grow old with. 
When people fall in love, one really common wish they have is that they could've known their lover sooner, so that they could have loved them longer. If you're blessed enough to've found love early in life, cherish it. Hold on to it and nurture it, because it can be strong and everlasting.
I know things don't always work out for everybody when they're young but I want people to know that it can work out. 
I'm one of many examples that it can work out, it does last.

Whether you're 17 and reading this or 26, I hope that I've in some way encouraged you.
Anyway, that's enough of my notions for now! Till next time, hopefully very soon.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, it means a lot xx

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

I'm A Young Mother Not Frankenstein's Monster

Ever since I gave birth to Jonah my life has changed dramatically. I spend most of my days at home, I get barely any sleep, I consider a 10 minute shower a luxury and I RARELY see my friends. I work hard every single day to the best of my ability to care for my son and still wouldn't trade it in for a private villa in bora bora where I never have to work again. I, like most mothers, love being a parent and count all the work worth it, and yet... I get glares from older women at the store, am the brunt of people's jokes on the Internet and have rude remarks made about me anywhere I go. 
At first I thought that maybe because I look like I'm about 15, that's why people would judge, and I'd awkwardly laugh and shrug it off. But after talking to other moms who are also in their early 20s but actually look it, I realized that it's a widespread judgement that young mothers are bad mothers. And not just 13yr old hill billy mothers but pretty much any mother under 25. 
Now I could just say "oh well people are ignorant", but I think that it's important that every now and again, someone can share how they're feeling so that those who want to know can understand and so that others in the same situation don't feel so alone. 
The thing that has me so riled up about this misconception that young moms are automatically not good enough (mature enough, financially secure enough, smart enough, emotionally capable enough blah blah blah) is that, all the while this is being said, people are saying "young people can do anything". Obviously that's not a bad thing to say, because it's true. Young people can do anything! They can learn and achieve great things, but why isn't parenting one of them?
I mean, it takes good understanding and maturity to get a home loan and buy a house, but of course we believe young people are capable of and should do that!
It takes planning, hard work and some wisdom to go out and travel the world, but that's what nearly every teenager is told they should do once they're out of school. 
We want young people to foster their passions and skills so they can head up businesses and invent new things, yet we condemn those who choose to start a family. Where is the logic in that? 
If a 17 year old can start his own million dollar company, then why can't an 18 year old raise a child healthily and happily?
I mean c'mon, there are 30-something year olds out there raising their kids to be bullies and racists and tax auditors! (Just kidding, I have nothing against people working for The Man)

Now I know the responsibility of raising a child is a great one, but that doesn't mean you have to wait till you've tackled ever other responsibility to do it. Sure having plenty of money would make life easier when you have a child but you don't need to be rich to provide everything they need. 
Owning your own home is a great way to start out having a family but it definitely isn't a defining factor in a stress free life or happy childhood. 
Having all the knowledge and wisdom in the world would be the best thing when you have a child but you know what...Wisdom isn't gained by waiting till everything is perfect to actually start living your life. Wisdom is gained by learning from your success and your failure.
You can't have experience until after the fact.

Parenting is something that most of the time, matures you. It forces you to grow up, and why not do that while you're young? You don't have to forsake your youth but you should always mature.
Let me just point this out now before anyone gets the wrong idea - I'm not saying everyone should have kids young but what I am saying is that there is nothing wrong with having kids young. Not everyone is cut out to be a young parent but at the same time people have been doing it since the beginning, and look how far we've come! 

I love being a mom, Oliver loves being a dad and Jonah is a happy and healthy baby. We have hard times but overall we're doing well, so why should we have waited? 
-We have enough money to provide all the things Jonah needs (and sometimes a little extra)
-We're still totally in love with each other (even more so now actually), 
-We still have fun and find time to see friends (but let's be real, we never went "out" a lot before anyway)
-We're still going to travel the world (but this time with a little buddy to help us see it in a new light)
Having a child hasn't stopped us from doing anything we want to do, it's just added another person to the party. So what reason is there to say we are too young to be parents? I know that we and 99% of the young parents I've met, will raise our children with love and kindness and as much care as any good parents can.

At the end of the day, your parenting ability isn't dependent upon how much life you've lived but how much you're willing to give to your children. 
And I would lay down every minute of life I have for mine...

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Sorry 1D, what's wrong with knowing you're beautiful?

Yeah I know it's an old song but I'm not great with titles and it totally relates to this post!

I was tagged on Instagram to post a selfie for the #20beautifulwomen challenge and while I don't usually like hashtags I absolutely love this one. I think it's so important that we encourage each other to be proud of who we are and how we look. 

I wanted to share with you guys a little bit (though I'm sure I'll share more in the future) about why body image positivity is so important to me.
Over the course of my life, I have had body dysmorphia, been bulimic, anorexic and a binge eater. I have gone from loathing myself to liking myself to where I am now, accepting myself. You'd think that accepting yourself and liking yourself were pretty much the same thing, but I've learned after having a child, being okay with and actually enjoying your body are very different things.

One day, I stand in front of the mirror half naked and start to pick out all the things I don't like about myself; my nose, my teeth, my skin, my hairline, my stretch marks, my cellulite etcetera etcetera. I'm desperately wishing I could change it all but as you're all probably aware, you just can't change your hairline! I'm thinking, "ah why did I get all the bad features lumped into one? Oh well I guess that's just me" And then my husband walks behind me, wraps his arms around me and says "you're so beautiful", to which I naturally respond with "no I'm not, but thanks for trying". I'd accepted that I was okay but could not possibly agree that I was beautiful. That's the way it went at least once a month. 
Another day, I'm helping my mom get ready for some event and she stands in front of the mirror and says something about wishing she didn't look the way she did, and I'm furious, my blood boils with the idea that my mom could think she is anything less than beautiful, bright and blessed in her appearance! I start up, "how could you say that? you're stunning! You're an amazing woman and your outfit is too cute!" then list all of her most lovely features. She hangs her head and says "no I'm not, but thank you for saying that." The woman who raised me, who loved me and so many others, who's joy and kindness shines out of her like the sun, refuses to accept my compliment. I was speaking the truth, every thing I had said to her was completely genuine and yet she wouldn't believe me. I took it as an insult, she thinks I'm lying and I can't do anything to change her mind. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks that it's exactly what I'd been doing.
We beat ourselves up all the time, how can we not expect it to rub off on those around us?
I'd been so unfair with myself, I made my husband into a liar and I'd set a bad example for all those around me. 
Now of course it's not my mothers fault that I had eating disorders or anything like that, it wasn't till I was well into hiding my eating habits that I ever got the idea that my mom couldn't see how beautiful she was. But everything around me, tv, movies, magazines and all the rest, had me believing that it was wrong to love yourself. That you must be a bad person if you can't say you hate something about yourself. People will say you're beautiful, amazing, sexy, whatever but as soon as you agree with them they'll say you're conceited, stuck up or narcissistic. 
This was a major problem I could finally understand and I decided I wouldn't tolerate it anymore. But if I was going to make a real change so that those I love could happily welcome a compliment from me I'd have to start with myself. 

So now I've started, instead of just accepting myself I'm going to try my best to believe my husband when he tells me I'm gorgeous, I'm going to always say thank you instead of "no I'm not" when I get a compliment. I'm going to revel in the moments when I'm actually really feeling myself. I'm going to take more selfies and strut when I know I look good. I'm going to make a concerted effort to learn to like myself and I think it's an absolute necessity that other women/girls do the same. 

So ladies, I'm tagging you all! Treat yourself! post more selfies! Take care of yourself and build other people up!
Be like Beyoncé on The View...

Be proud of yourself, who you are and how you look. Loving yourself is a good thing.

Thank you so much for reading this post and listening to all of my thoughts!
Truly xx

P.s for all the males reading this, you should treat yourselves and take more selfies too! Not just shirtless, flexing selfies but pictures of your gorgeous faces and fresh outfits. I don't care if you look like Ryan Gosling or not, you're just as cute. Be proud. 

Monday, 12 January 2015

An achievable resolution

So I've been thinking a lot about New Years resolutions lately and how the general gist of most people's is to live life to the fullest. That's what we all want right? To be happy, to enjoy life and to make the most of this year instead of letting it go to waste like the last. But how do we do that? I've thought it over a lot and in every example I could see of truly living life to the full, it always came down to love (not just Eros*) and the expression of love. 
Something I hear often is that 'people say they love things too easily or too soon' but I don't think that's the case at all. I think we don't say we love enough. We don't say that we love the feeling of jumping in the water on a bright, hot day, we don't say that we love just talking with our friends about anything, we don't say we love when our mom makes food just the way we LOVE it. We don't think that love can be anything but what we see in romance movies or read about in old books. But love you see, is not an adjective for the degree of fuzzy feeling we get when we are close to a person. Love is a name for the light force that penetrates us through all dimensions; spirit, soul and body. Love is what makes us stop and smell the roses, what makes us smile when we hear that persons name, what makes us want to talk and touch and see and hear. Love is what makes anything in life worthwhile. From the love of ice cream and chocolate to the love of another's heartbeat. It can be small and simple, and it can be so great that it tears us apart or sews us back together. The point is not to reserve the word for only the big things, but to enjoy expressing it for each and every thing that causes us to feel it. That's how we love more, that is how we live life to the full.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that, this year, on the very top of my list of resolutions, is simply (but enormously) to give love.

*Eros - the Ancient Greek word for intimate or sexual love. 
Thank you for taking the time to read Wholehearted Honey, I have so much gratitude and love for you!
Truly xx

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

An Introduction

Well first things first, welcome to my blog!
My name is Haddas Ancliffe but you can call me Dahsi (dah-see) and this my new project of self expression and open sharing. I'm 20 years old, live in Australia, am married to a man named Oliver and mother to a boy named Jonah.
I'm starting this blog because well after multiple people telling me for years I needed to, I finally got the guts to do it! To explain what exactly this blog will be about would be to predict the future and I'm just not capable of that haha. So I'll just say, this is a blog about my life, adventures, discoveries and notions and I really hope you enjoy it!

P.S since this is just a mini introduction post I'll be posting something again soon!
I'm super new to this whole thing so please bear with me while I figure it out.
Thanks for taking the time to check Wholehearted Honey out, truly xx