Monday, 21 October 2013

Mummy went to Stockholm!

I had a mini city break with friends at the beginning of October, and I missed my little munchkin so so soooo much! But I knew she was happy with Daddy so I proceeded to have a fabulous time. We stayed at the awesome flat of Nichlas thanks to Airbnb, we danced, sang to Abba, boat cruised, wined and dined, paid extortionate amounts of tax, spoke English to the Swedes and Northern to each other (I dooon't knoooow waaahyy!), took a gazillion photos, had a super fun time. I was thinking about my baby a lot though, and the things we would do when we go there together, it's super baby friendly in Stockholm, just have a look at their tube staircases as evidence....


Actually, its just friendly in every way, probably because people are happier there, not like us miserable British sods. 

Anyway, here's some more photo evidence of other reasons that our trip to Stockholm rules...











Saying of the week: That Fish Cray! ;)












Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Our little trip to Weymouth

A girly trip to Weymouth Bay Caravan Park! We had lovely weather, wine, swimming, rom coms, chips on the beach, sleepless nights (thanks Boo!), sun tans and lots of giggles with mummy and the 'Aunties'!












Saturday, 22 June 2013

Social life!

Last night...I went out! I saw my friends! I drank some drinks! I talked about random stuff and not about babies! I had fun! I did not want to leave!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Competitive mothers

There's an assumption, particularly among people who don't have babies, books and the media, that mums are highly competitive about their baby being the best, always showing off and comparing each others babies. The overwhelming experience I've had is of myself and other mums I meet competing over who's baby is worse, who's parenting is missing the mark, who's the best at not sleeping through the night. Queen of Self Deprecation seems to be the title we are all vying for. Women, why do we do this to ourselves? Just a thought I'm dwelling on.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

"so when is she going to nursery?"

I don't even know where to begin my aggression against this question. It's a classic sentence that the child-free will say without even thinking, while those with children are picking it apart and reeling.

My baby is 5 months old. I don't have a job to go back to. Or any money to fall back on. And I actually like spending time with my baby instead of spending money on her.

Why do so many people presume that as soon as a woman has popped it out she's ready for a total stranger to take her baby away for the majority of the day, so she can go to an office just to pay for the nursery fees and keep the economy "growing".

Doing that is a choice, for many it's one they'd rather not make but it's still an overwhelmingly popular option, thanks to so-called female liberation. That doesn't mean we have to choose it. I can't believe I have to defend myself for doing the most natural thing in the world.

So no, she's not going to nursery anytime soon.



Tuesday, 7 May 2013

My breast feeding story

I've been breast feeding for 4 months. My original plan was to feed for 6 months, but now I'm not so sure about giving it up that easily. As with most of my 'original plans' with motherhood, the reality is always a lot more real. So I want to write my experience before it ends and I forget...

The beginning was actually quite a stress and distracting from really enjoying and chilling out in the first couple of days. We were not as blissfully connected as I imagined we would be. She had slight tongue tie, I couldn't get my nipple into her mouth, I couldn't find a comfortable position, and when she did finally latch it hurt and I needed nipple cream. She was also jaundice so was more interested in sleeping than eating and the midwives wouldn't discharge us until she looked less yellow.

But, after a couple of weeks we were pretty sure of ourselves and had even started expressed feeds so daddy could take over in the evenings. Baby Boo was on a cluster feeding mission every night, it was exhausting and I could barely put her down for a minute to do anything else. Despite being a big baby she was still too small to get a good position, I was addicted to my pillow pile, trying new combinations and different types, but still had permanent back pain. Feeding her outside of the house and away from pillows was disastrous.

But I had developed life saving habits to see us through the tough times. As well as multiple pillows and shot gunning the best place on the sofa I religiously kept near me at all times: the tv remote, my phone, a muslin, a bottle of water, a hot cross bun and my kindle.




Eventually I became more confident with positioning, and relaxed enough to adjust and not worry about disturbing the latch. I created a bedtime routine based on feeding - after her bath around 8 I would only feed her in bed, lying down, which was relaxing for me and probably for her too as she was soon sleeping through the night by about 6 weeks. That last feed always sends her off to sleep, even though people say don't feed them to sleep, it works for us so that's all that matters right now. We exclusively feed in bed and don't leave the dark quiet of the bedroom until official morning time, around 7am.

So from 8 weeks onwards we were pros at breast feeding and I started to reap the benefits of persevering. She fed for around 30 minutes each feed, every 2 or 3 hours. Feeding took up most of our time, and with at least one hand free I made excellent use of my kindle and love film subscription, I blame my addiction to Buffy on those long feeds. I was able to write little blog posts to record our non feeding adventures, I was even able to knit (but Buffy took priority).

By 18 weeks she had become a more efficient feeder, taking as little as 10 minutes to be full. So no more Buffy in the daytime. But we definitely have a good routine now so I have my evenings from 8ish to do what I want, until I remember to have an early night (in bed before 11pm) to prep for the next day, when it happen all over again.

It was hard at the beginning, and especially after a long birth I can see why people get frustrated and swap to bottles. But now I'm so grateful to myself for persevering with breast feeding. Anytime that Boo is upset, whether she is hungry or tired or ill or just grumpy, I feed her and it is always the magic cure. She is a happy baby and sleeps well. Shes on the 75th percentile and is a real chubster. She's become all that she is on a diet of my breast milk alone. Excuse the excess pride but after all the (mostly unseen) effort of motherhood, I think I deserve it.



Friday, 3 May 2013

How to change a nappy...

My pregnant friend sent me an email asking for nappy changing advice, it made me smile to remember how clueless I was about about nappies and baby care stuff when I was pregnant. I too was watching videos online and mildly freaking out that it would all be really difficult. But it never was. Looking after a baby is stupidly easy. I mean, the every day changing nappies putting them in the bath getting them dressed stuff. You do it twice and then you're fine.

But being a mother is difficult. Possibly because making that adjustment to baby world is so huge, it requires a complete change of gear and of thought processes. Maybe everyone's cluelessness of how to change a nappy is a symptom of how little we really know of that world, until it springs upon us.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

'these are the best days of your life!'

Being a baby is ultimately as good as it gets. Everyone loves you, even total strangers think you are the shizzle. And you really are. Life is sweet. You want for nothing and if you do, just make yourself heard and within a few minutes the world is yours. Food, comfort, love and cuddles, a constant stream of new toys and clothes and every outing is an adventure.



Adult life is really a pathetic attempt to emulate those days we once spent as babies. Except the whole thing is one giant struggle. We have to work at rubbish jobs for over priced food, clothes and adventures, strangers are mean and love hurts. So we continue with this farce until eventually giving up to have our own babies and experience happiness once again, vicariously.

The lesson in all this is to truly appreciate the time you spend as a baby. Oh Boo, if only you had the mental capacity to understand this lesson and remember how good you have it right now. This is why I write this blog, so you can remember.




Friday, 5 April 2013

The truth about motherhood

Let me just say this at the beginning. Every tiny yet wonderful thing she does more than makes up for any feelings I feel of not having much fun. I laugh and smile more every day than I ever did before.

But im still allowed to miss the before. The thing about beforeness is that life was easy, carefree, you can do what you want when you want. With a baby there are serious limitations on what you can do, how far you can travel, what time you will get there, how much attention you can give to anything other than the baby.

So it baffles me that most women go out of their way to decide and plan to have a baby. I wonder how much they consider the fact that what they are really choosing is a complete change to life as they know it. Life is now a cycle of feeding, laundry, nappies and baby talk. It's really boring. Like down grading from an awesome all night party to an OAP tea party. If you're leaving the party at the end of the night coz it's getting lame, then fair enough, but to be dragged out when you're busy dancing on tables, that's going to breed a bit of resentment. And that's something that no one ever tells you.

Yes in a general sense I am in tune with the universe, I have a purpose in life and the most amazing and important relationship to another living thing, I wish everyone could know what that is like. But with all great things I think you pay for it, the price may be a bargain really considering what you get in return, but it's still there, and maybe I didn't quite budget for that change (maybe none of us do?).

Monday, 1 April 2013

Caring and not caring

Recently, we popped in to see a photography exhibition about children with Downs syndrome. And it was really good, artistically as well as in a way that just makes you think.

Of course I am infinitely happy that my child was born healthy and doesn't have any syndromes that I'm aware of. But I like to think that happiness is only for her sake. Knowing how much I love her, and loved her before meeting her, there's nothing that could have stopped my happiness.

Before getting pregnant it's not something I would have thought of, that idea of not caring. I suppose being alone I was bound to be self absorbed, I still cared about some false image of perfection, in the eyes of others. But the thing about being a parent is that the only thing you really truly care about above anything else is your child. Everything else, whatever syndromes or illnesses attach themselves along the way, whatever anyone else thinks or says, could never even scrape the sides of my love for her. Its the most liberating feeling, to not care about stupid things, and it seems to only happen when you start to care about something, or someone, significant.




Where does time go?

So much happens in such a short space of time. My teeny tiny baby has grown so much I'm inclined to think her clothes are shrinking, and she's looking around at the world and it's people like she's ready to get involved. Yet it was only 14 weeks ago that she was scrunched up in my belly with no clue about the outside, suspended in and inhaling water. So much happens in such a short space of time. Is that what makes life go so quickly?

When I was 15 a month was an eternity. I was out dancing every weekend, bunking off school, going to gigs, discovering boys, feeling the highest highs and the lowest lows all within that short space of time. And I can remember it clearly. But aged 25, what was I doing at any given month? I can't remember. And chances are I wasn't doing as much as I was a decade previously. That's probably why I can't remember, and maybe why my twenties went so fast, because I didn't bulk them out to weigh them down.

Boo's life is going so fast because she's constantly on the move. In just 1% of my lifespan all this has happened to her, but for her it has taken a life time. I think as long as we are living in the moment, the moment will make space for us, and it might be a little less fleeting.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Proverbial Career

So it's nearly a decade (!) since I left full time compulsory education (if you include A levels). And this year I have a baby. Following society logic I should have by now managed to establish my place in the world, build a career from which I can take maternity leave, shop for a house, meet and marry the 'one'. I wasn't one of those girls whose 'career choice after school is instantaneous pregnancy'. I got good grades, I pass myself off as 'middle class', so one presumes I've made the choice to be a career woman before settling down. Once again I fall in between the cracks of society's clearly laid out and labelled benchmarks.

It seems to me that in a country where women (supposedly) are equals and have choices and careers, we're still only given a handful of acceptable choices. Unfortunately abortions rank quite highly, because to have a baby, to switch lanes, confuses people, it has confused me too.

Luckily I am quite used to embracing confusion, falling down cracks and being placed in square holes when there's a shortage of round ones. Does that even make sense? Probably not, so maybe I have made my point. The career will just have to wait.


Thursday, 28 March 2013

Regrets

I've been wondering what my life would be like if I hadn't given up on all the things I started and gave up on. Maybe...

I would have a lot of hand knitted scarves
I would play the violin
And tennis
And judo
I would be a ballerina
A music videos dancer
A sailor
I would be in a rock girl band
I would have stayed in Australia
Ran the Paris Marathon
I would be a magazine editor
Maker of a lot more short films
An author
A closer friend.

Just as I'm making this list in my head, mulling over my failings and inability to stick at anything, to see things through and not give up, I come across Her. She is awake and in the moment. That is at least one thing I can put on my Accomplished list and it's a pretty spectacular entry, given the odds and peer drop out rates. Oh and here's a scarf that I am definitely almost about to finish.






Take This Waltz

This is my favourite type of indie film, filled with saturated colours and focus pulling, featuring a kooky, troubled girl, trippy dialogue, folksy soundtrack, a couple of fairground rides and unstraight forward romances. Perfect perfect perfect.

Im watching Michelle Williams play out complex emotional needs and inject bizarreness into mundane events, and feeling the enormity and futility of human existence. And I look down and there's my Boo, happily feeding away, all her needs are met and her life is simple.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Bouldering and Botox

It's definitely a good thing to maintain friendships with people who dont have kids. I want to stay grounded, not let my personality and social life be obliterated by an army of travel systems and laundry cycles. Yes, I really must fight back. The problem is I'm a little apprehensive about going bouldering (sure I'll just strap my baby to a carabiner?). And I have nothing to contribute on the subject of my friend's recently botoxed face, at the age of 27. I'm more interested in reconstructive surgery somewhere Else.

Probably at some point I will start to care about these Other things and it will be good for me. Right now though I just want to gaze in wonderment at this lovely little thing I created and I can't understand why everyone else can't understand that.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Remembering...day one


Birthing room with a view

5am:


and later that day:

Granny was the first visitor


Learning to love bunnies from day one


Mummy and Daddy want to take you home