The 10 Year Challenge

I’ve noticed these 10-year challenge things floating around on the interweb recently and thought I’d use a similar theme for a blog post.

However, mine won’t be a “Ooh, look at us! weren’t we fabulously glamorous then…and we haven’t changed much, have we Social Media friends?….WELL??? HAVE WE???!!!” type of theme.


No, our life has changed.  We’ve changed.  Considerably.

These last 10 years have been a bit of eye opener…for lots of reasons…and not least because of a little girl who unwittingly brought along with her a life less ordinary.

So, here’s my version of the 10 year challenge…the then and now.  No glamour;  but plenty wrinkles, exhaustion, frown lines, a bad back, migraines and sprinkles of white hair (unsurprisingly, I’ve bypassed the grey!)

You ready?

Okay, let’s go…



Ten years ago…


I took life for granted

…and I certainly took sleep for granted!

I didn’t have to think about anyone else, except me.  I could nip to the shops, have a relaxing bath whenever, lie in bed until lunchtime if I wanted, drink wine and listen to music into the early hours.

The world, I believed, was my oyster.  Pretty much.


anne and mark 2008

Before we became Mama and Papa Broccoli 


Ten years ago…


I never knew how it would feel to long for those ‘firsts’ – that first eye contact, first smile, first tentative swallow of solid food, first roll over, first time sitting unaided, first wobbly steps.

And, oh, that first hug!  Blissful.

…and I would’ve never anticipated waiting years for many of them to happen!

I guess I never appreciated how patient I could be…when I had no other choice.

I took simple things for granted


Ten years ago…

I’d never seen the smile that could brighten up the darkest of days

I’d never felt so proud

My diary was never as full

…nor was my head!

I never realised who my true friends were

I’d never appreciated a random text message, or a silly meme or a “Hi” so much



Ten years ago…


I’d never had to clean up so many bodily fluids (or solids!)…or wipe away sticky handprints

I’d never had to change bed sheets in the night…or sluiced as many clothes

I’d never heard my washing machine spin so much

I never knew that bubble baths and getting messy and twizzing around in the kitchen with a t-towel on your head could be SO much fun!

…and I’d never left the house with yoghurt in my hair!



Ten years ago…


My heart had never ached as much

I believed everyone possessed empathy.  I was wrong, so wrong.

I’d never been bitten, or kicked, or nipped, or headbutted

I never knew what strength I had – physical and emotional

I’d never cried so much – with joy or despair

I never knew how capable I would become

I’d never been as tenacious or fearless…or more fearful



Ten years ago…


I’d never listened to so much conjecture

…and I’d never challenged as much speculation or poor practice

I’d never researched or advocated or trusted my gut as much

I’d never had to restrain a child who needed medical intervention

I’d never felt my heart break a million times over when a child was hurting

I’d never realised how helpless I’d feel when I couldn’t fix the hurt

…and I’d never wished that it was me who was hurting instead

I’d never wiped away as many tears

I’d never lain in bed, anxiously counting the gaps in a baby’s breath; willing them to take another

I never knew how the sound of a medical alarm could generate so much fear

I’d never prayed for a precious life to be saved

I’d never received so much life changing, heart wrenching, painful news


Ten years ago…

I never appreciated how much someone could long to hear a little voice say “mummy”


Ten years ago, I never anticipated my life being like this

…and I never really knew what unconditional love was all about

But oh, I do now! ❤

Pupil of the year award.JPG

Mama, Papa and Miss Broccoli  

This entry was posted in Miscellaneous, Parenting, Syndromes/Special Needs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The 10 Year Challenge

  1. Andrea Baker says:

    oh man! you’ve mad me cry agian.
    Love and hugs to all at Brocoli HQ xxxx

  2. MS says:

    Oh Mrs Broccoli, you’ve done it again. .. I seem to have something in my eye. Also, FYI, 10 years ago I could never have anticipated managing to go to and from school with a pair of knickers wrapped round my head. Truly. Fondest, M Smith 😘

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