We had fun at the soft play centre but I was exhausted | Cheryl Gibbs

For the first time since our daughter Harley was born fifteen months ago, Matt and I ventured into a soft play arena.Wow, what an experience it was.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 3:46 pm
Cheryl had a great time at a soft play zone with her daughter and niece.

We’ve been before more times than I can count, taking our nieces and nephews, but it was a totally different experience taking Harley.

Matt was beyond excited. Honestly, I’ve never seen him so eager to get somewhere. If nothing else, the pandemic has made us really grateful for all the things we took for granted. But it was the fact that as new parents, we could go somewhere that before the pandemic, was just a very normal thing to do with children.

It was just amazing. Hectic, hard work, beyond tiring but amazing all the same.

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We went to Play Planet in Horndean and we took our niece Florence too – she’s only nine months older than Harley and they go to the same nursery too. I just love watching them interact with each other. They’re so funny and have a very close bond that I’m keen to nurture.

Being that much older, Florence was off like a shot and I spent most of my time simply trying to keep up with her, while Matt chaperoned Harley. I don’t know who enjoyed it more, but my guess was Matt. Harley loved being around other children and although at times she found it a bit daunting I think, overall she loved the experience.

We started talking to another couple there who had a daughter similar in age. After a bit of a natter, we discovered that they also had IVF to conceive – something the dad told us after I had told him that’s how we got Harley.

I could almost see the relief on his face to tell me they had too.

Fertility is such a taboo subject – even in 2021 – and I find it incredibly sad that in this day and age people still struggle to talk about it, as if they should be ashamed.

I’m beyond proud that Harley was conceived through IVF. It all shows how wanted she was. But for others, it’s something they continually find hard to accept and hard to talk openly about.

Let’s normalise fertility and its struggles. Keep the conversation going – you have no idea how important it is.

I’m glad ‘lockdown babies’ can experience normality

On top of visiting Play Planet, I also went to Flip Out in Port Solent. It was actually my first experience of going and I loved it.

I remember before I had Harley play zones like this were my idea of a nightmare – all that noise and chaos all under one roof was something I couldn’t wait to leave. But I genuinely enjoyed Flipout, most probably because the trampolines are just as fun for adults.

What I love so much about being a mum is seeing everything through Harley’s eyes. I waited a long time to be a mum and I don’t take a second for granted. I’m so glad life is slowly getting back to normal and our ‘lockdown babies’ are getting a taste of what normality is like.

I’m always late to the party, but I am loving Line of Duty

I openly admit that I do things late, often by several years after it was trendy or popular.

We started watching Game of Thrones years later than when it was actually really popular. Getting into BBC’s Line of Duty is just another example of that.

Matt and I have started watching Line of Duty and we’re both absolutely addicted. It’s truly the best British crime TV series I’ve ever seen and we’re hooked. How they’ve supported a stellar cast with such strong scriptwriting has made a truly memorable TV series.

I know series six ended with so much controversy. I just hope it doesn’t have the same catastrophic disaster Game of Thrones suffered!