BF asked me how my blog is going the other day. We were all in the bathroom. He had just given the Little One a bath, and was now trying to help her brush her teeth, whilst I was in the loo hoping the toilet flush would work this time, and simultaneously checking work emails on my phone and trying to follow what he was saying about when the builders were coming to fix our mouldy kitchen. I didn’t respond — just smirked.
This is what life has been like this September. Just trying to stay afloat. Work has been and will be crazy, the house is collapsing because of building works and piles of laundry left untouched for weeks. In the meantime, I keep writing posts in my head, on the tube, during dull meetings, while breastfeeding Little One to sleep. Not sure when I’ll find the time to actually write them down. I’m worried about all these fleeting thoughts during our first year with the Little One. I need to find the time to write them down.
There are three moments I treasure during the day:
A hot cup of black tea first thing in the morning. During pregnancy it wasn’t black and for the first few months of the Little One’s life if was never hot. I can now have it again and it makes me wonder how I managed to function without it for such a long time.
Stealing some time to read something non work related on the tube or the bus. I’m reading Hollie McNish’s Nobody Told Me. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve read in a while. Pretty much the only book about pregnancy, birth and parenthood one needs to read. BF said he’ll read it when I’m done.
Cuddling and nursing the Little One, especially at night. She’s with my Mum or BF for most of the day. But at night it’s just me and her. Even if she is the only one ‘breastsleeping’, as I usually stay awake looking at her, and hearing her breath, and smelling her baby smell until the small hours.
I have to work this Saturday. But tomorrow I’ll get to spend the whole day with the Little One and maybe fold some laundry.
All is good, I’m grateful for all we have and for the fact that we somehow manage to stay afloat. Just about.
My poor blog has been abandoned for a while. We’ve been on (nominal) holidays in sunnier climes. I say ‘nominal’ because I feel much more tired now than on the day we left (and I was pretty tired then). It’s definitely not the Little One’s fault — she’s been a great traveller and companion. She’s also extremely sociable and she made friends with everyone on the plane, the hotel and the beach. ❤
It’s been rather all the effort needed to coordinate parents/in-laws, arranging to meet friends and relatives who wanted to meet the Little One, getting stressed about the really difficult winter that awaits us, the added stress of building works going on at home, plus cases of conjunctivitis (me) and stomach bugs (everyone else in the family apart from the Little One). But you wouldn’t know by looking at our holiday snaps of my Instagram feed. 😉 #curatedlifestyle #honestparenthood
In the meantime, I’ve been reading loads about gentle parenting and finding a fantastic online village through groups like this one. Travelling with the Little One has also provided additional evidence that cots and buggies are pretty useless at this age (10 months). We bought the cheapest stroller we could find just for the trip as we were worried that our Bugaboo Bee might get damaged on the plane. The Little One refused to sit on it for more than 3 minutes so we had to leave it behind. We only used our BabyBjörn sling throughout the whole trip, which she loves. This also increased my confidence babywearing. The hotel where we were staying at also kindly provided a crib for the baby. Despite the fact I was convinced that cribs are baby torture devices, it turned out to be quite useful as we used it to block the side of the bed me and Little One were sleeping on so that she doesn’t fall off. 😀
I’ve also been writing dozens of posts in my mind about our experience of one year with a baby but I’ve no idea when I’m going to find the time to actually write them down. It’s going to be a really tough autumn and winter and I’m already getting depressed about work and the Little One going to a nursery at 15 months. 😦
I’m now off to have some more black tea, unpack, fight all this back-to-school sadness, do some laundry and change the cat litter while the Little One is having a nap with her grandma.
Work colleague 1 (female): “SO ARE YOU PREGNANT???!?” (very loudly, in the middle of our shared kitchen, 2 weeks before I had even told my boss)
Work colleague 2 (female): “I knew you were pregnant when I saw you from behind because you are… wider!”
Work colleague 3 (male): “I knew you were pregnant before you said anything because you know… massive boobs!”
Work colleague 3 (male): “How long will you be with us for?” Because I’d clearly leave work and become a stay at home mum after having a baby. (Nothing wrong with staying at home with kids obviously, only with the assumption that this will definitely be the case.)
Work colleague 4 (male): “So when are you going to POP??!?”
Work colleague 5 (male): “Don’t worry about working so close to your due date, I’m sure the baby will be late as all people from [insert Southern European country I’m originally from] are always late!”
More than one work colleagues: “Are you SURE you’re not having twins??”
I could go on. What suddenly dawned on me while writing this is that, when put together, these seemingly innocuous comments clearly show the level of entitlement people have to observe and comment on women’s bodies, especially when pregnant. I mean, I had no idea these people that I bump into every day and chat over a cup of tea in the kitchen even looked at my boobs and waist size?! And even though I was fully aware of attitudes towards pregnant women and I got annoyed with each individual comment at the time, looking at these comments together somehow makes it so much more obvious.
So next time you see a pregnant woman, please kindly STFU. x
A few days ago, we visited the Woodberry Woodlands in Stoke Newington. Embarrassingly, I had no idea this place existed! The whole thing is pretty surreal, and the juxtaposition of natural surfaces and nearby high-rise construction sites (that don’t even look like they are in London) is just something out-of-this-world. You just can’t believe this is N16. We walked by the reedbeds and took out the Little One to show her the pond and the birds. The path was a bit too rough for the buggy so she had to be carried for part of it.
We ended up at the cafe, which I thought was really lovely. BF wouldn’t shut up about ‘how Stoke Newington’ the place was whilst I was really enjoying a delicious fennel-based salad and admiring the duck egg blue Ercol chairs.
We also saw a couple of coots taking care of their babies in their nest on our way out.
Today has been the most difficult day since the Little One was born. For no particular reason. Just likethat. The funny thing is that I’ve met other mums who I reckon they think I have my shit together. And I do most of the time, but not always.
But it will be ok in the end.
P.S. Writing this with Little One falling asleep on my breast.
I just found out that today is the first day of spring, so a good occasion to kickstart the blog. I didn’t use to be a big fan of spring growing up, but I guess people tend to mellow as they get older… 😉
We spent the weekend decluttering and selling furniture on Gumtree. We are getting rid of our home office furniture, which wasn’t used frequently anyway, to make space for the nursery. I also did a proper KonMari-inspired post-pregnancy spring clean of my wardrobe that was truly therapeutic, but this will be the focus of an entire new post! We still managed to go for a quick morning walk around Dalston and by the canal on Saturday, however, where I took photos of these gorgeous trees in our neighbourhood. #treegoals
I feel a little unprepared for spring to be honest but after a difficult summer and dark winter of complete sleep deprivation, utter exhaustion and endless to-do lists, as things have started to settle down a bit 5 months post-birth and I’m feeling a bit more like myself again, blossomed trees and longer days are very much welcome.