• Sharon Dooley

Seven Was My Lucky Number

Trigger Warning

*Refers to near cot death*

Do you not have a television? If I was given a euro everytime I have been asked that question I would be a millionaire by now. The truth is I am rich, not the monetary way most people instantly think about but in family.

I never really wanted children as I was growing up. Why anyone would put their body though that pain was beyond me, and anyway I could always adopt if I wanted. I used to read Jackie Collins novels and imagined myself like the character Lucky Santio. A ball breaking career woman who took a morning swim in her pool and a cold shower before a day of business meetings and glamor. In truth the upbringing I have was far from Hollywood.

The area I grew up in and school friends I had mostly left school early, had babies and were housed in a flat by the council. I had moved away and worked two jobs to pay for a luxury apartment in the Docklands area, a "yuppie" area. I was so lonely when the timeshare company I worked for closed. I would visit home and my school friends and their babies more and more.

That's when the baby bug hit me, I went from never wanting a baby to having to have one right away at the age of 19. My first born showed me how easy things were, I was breastfeeding so instead of all the bottles, milk and changing bags. I walked around with her in a baby sling, wipes in the back pocket of my jeans and a nappy or two in the other. She was never sick or dribbling in fact I don't remember ever needing a bib for her. She slept 12 hours at night. I didn't see what all the fuss was about.

Pregnant with baby number two, I went into my baby girl's room. I don't know what made me as she always had an afternoon nap but when I went in I found her with a grey colour and not breathing. I phoned 999 and followed the instructions given on the phone until the ambulance came. She was breathing again and rushed to the hospital. She had a temperature that peeked really high really quick which they felt caused her to have a seizure. After that I took her into bed with me and her perfect sleep pattern was gone.

Along came baby number two. Lesson learnt, the poor baby cried and cried. I never got more than a solid hour of sleep at any time. Now with two babies, one 12 month and 1 week, the other newborn I realized quickly the work wasn't in giving birth but rather the day to day routine, lack of sleep and living in an area I didn't know anyone that started to take its toll. By the age of 21 I found myself divorced, a single mother and back in the area I grew up in waiting for my council flat. I knew when I got the keys to I am going to say my "Penthouse" yes top floor flat it wasn't my story. I went upstairs and the door had been kicked in, the copper piping and boiler gone and I had no option but to make it work.

I had been down and out when approached by a model agent but it was a life line I held onto. I worked when I could and put myself through college. Childcare was exchanged between myself and my childhood friend. It was a hard 4 years. I felt I just wanted my children to grow into the next stage so my time could free up. I felt I was away from them so when I was with them I had to be the most amazing mother ever. To say I burnt the candle at both ends was an understatement. However I was young and healthy and looking back I can say I did a great job. I had bought and sold my council flat and moved across to Ireland after college to start a new life for us in the country.

I wasn't looking for love, far from it. I settled my children, now aged 6 and 7 years, into a lovely school by the sea with less than 70 students. It was far from the school they had moved from. In time I started teaching in a school around 30 minute drive from where we lived. Life was good, when I look back at what I had managed to achieve I am in ore of myself. Love came along, true love that I tried to avoid but it wasn't going away. I am so thankful for it now. We went on to have five wonderful children together and together is the key word. I had a new experience of parenting. Someone smelt the dirty nappies and heard the nighttime cries at the same time as me. Who I could share everything with. My husband and I are now welcoming grandchildren and being in a position to offer help I never got, to my older children with their children. Christmas brings a full house in fact it's a full house all the time. During lockdowns due to Covid-19 we were never bored or lonely. I am very rich not with the career or money I had wanted as a child but with the love and support of family. Husband, seven children, four grandchildren and counting...

Sharon Dooley

Hi, I am Sharon Dooley, a self love coach and body positive advocate. I am also a mother of seven, grandmother to four, which isn't bad as I never really wanted kids!

I learnt the hard way that being a mother means you have to fill up your own self love cup first. After suffering total burnout and being then diagnosed with Fibromyalgia I knew I was useless to anyone if I wasn't looking after my needs first. When you're a busy mum and putting your family first the whole time it's so easy to not think of you.

I now help other women to be the best version of themselves using many tools and help them change their story from sometimes what is given to them to what they want. Having hit rock bottom and living a life of pleasing others I know the way out and love helping others to do the same in a quicker more painless way than I did.

Let me help you live your truth.

For my blog or for speaking or coaching information see CLICK HERE