Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Hardcore babywearing

Well, I count it as hardcore. I've always been terrified of woven wraps, but here we are with an ellaroo claudia, having fallen in love with it at the sling library. We have it for three weeks - watch this space for the moment I get brave enough to try a back carry (and the moment I start complaining about it hurting and Bonzo being just too heavy to be worn). But at the moment, one day into having it, I am smitten.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The girl done good - a post with pictures

Mood swing alert!
I feel the need to document how blithe and cheery I am feeling tonight.
1. The baby is wonderful. Our relationship is just getting better and better as his ability to communicate (and mine to understand his communications) improves, and I surprise myself each day with a new depth of joy in the good bits. 
2. I gave blood today, frst time since before I was pregnant, and I HATE HATE HATE doing it, but I did it, and I'm pleased.
3. I am slowly chipping away at making my home a nicer place to be. Having become obsessed with flylady, I truly am following her routines and very very gradually things are improving, and I'm not letting myself become disheartened with how slow it is. My aim is to have a set of things I always do, then each day to make one incremental improvement or bit of sorting, so for example today I went through a box of OU materials and threw out rubbishy notes and the CDs from past modules, choosing to keep the books and nothing else. A million more sorting sessions like this and everywhere will be beautiful.
4. The baby is also finally starting to eat. It's still pretty small quantities, but having him join us for dinner has helped him to enjoy the social side of meals and tonight he shoved several curls of pasta down (penne were rejected. He refused to listen to reason about them all being made of the same stuff)
5. I have been commissioned to do a couple of (teeny tiny) pieces of paid writing work. If if if I do them well, and if if if the people I do them for find a budget, it's just about possible that they might want to keep paying me to do more, in my own time, fitting around baby sleeps, ABSOLUTELY PERFECT for my lifestyle, etc. And I'm managing to carve out little slivers of time in the day to work on them, a bit during morning nap, perhaps a bit during afternoon nap if he's having one that doesn't involve me wheeling him around, even the occasional bit while he's awake and absorbed in sucking some buckles.
6. Did I mention the baby's wonderfulness?
7. Most evenings now I am going up to bed at a respectable time and spending at least a little time reading, fiction reading, reading for pleasure. It's nothing like the volume I could get through pre-motherhood, oh, but it gives me pleasure. If only I could stop finding fascinating books about motherhood, and borrowing a different hippy book each month from La Leche League, I'd have more fiction time, but it might need to wait until I've found a time turner.

Friday, 16 March 2012


You can see I've not come up with any of the promised posts addressing my work-life balance issues: they are all brewing up in my head but none have made it out. Surprisingly, setting out my initial thoughts helped me quite a lot, and I have a couple of possibilities brewing up, one of which in particular would fit perfectly - it would be a steady-ish stream of work, but do-able from home to fit around bonzo, and would keep my specialisms up.
So why the long face today?
I think it's just, again, the daunting-ness of even trying to do anything at all with a baby in the house. I keep thinking it's going to get easier, that he's going to get less demanding, in the sense of having some reliable downtime. But it's all one step forward, one or two back. Today I'd planned a day basically at home so I could try and do some work to move forward my exciting possibility, so I took him upstairs for an after lunch nap, fed him, and he just wouldn't come off. After half an hour or so of sleep-sucking I gently detached him, and he howled, so I re-attached him, and half an hour later he was done. That was naptime, and I couldn't do any of the things I wanted to do, so all I did for an hour was despair about how he is never ever ever going to get over his infatuation with the breast; how he is the only 10 month old in the world still so besotted; how I will never be able to do or come to anything while he still needs just so much of me all the time.
And now he's having his brief early evening nap and instead of getting on with the writing work, I'm sitting here banging out a blog post about how I never get any time to do writing work....

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Weighing it all up

I've a feeling my next few posts are all going to be on the theme of "what should I do with my life?" - there's a lot floating around in my head at the moment and it helps to write it down. To summarise my current position, I'm supposed to be back at work in two months' time, have got in an application to return only part time (3 days a week) but am trying to work out whether I truly want/need to go back at all.
The things I'm trying to explore at the moment are:
1. The potential feelings of guilt associated with opting out of bringing in any income, replacing it instead with committing to full time child/house care. Not, so much, guilt about asking the beloved to have/share that financial responsibility, but more the idea that I *should* be "working" and a concern that I would end up trying to do "useful" things with every minute of my time, constantly chasing little income streams that would fit around the baby, etc
2. The alternative guilt relating to the fear that I will deprive my baby by not putting him in full time childcare - what if he does need to be with other children already, and what if he gets bored of me?
3. A third kind of guilt, if I did go back to work, about leaving him without me. We are still breastfeeding (all the time), baby-led weaning, and generally doing attachment-style things, and he and I are devoted to each other. This makes the wrench of handing him over to someone else potentially that much more extreme than in mother-child dyads where a more detached style has been in place from the outset.
4. Terror about the prospect of leaving my job, loss of career capital, oh god I'll never work again
5. Terror #2, what if I do pack it up and then find the future to be a yawning void? How will we fill our days once all his baby peers' mummies have gone back to work?
6. Existential crisis - feel disconcerted at this desire that is growing stronger and stronger in me to nest, to maintain and bless my home and family as a priority over everything else. Have I stopped being an interesting person? etc

So I think each of these might get a post of its own, and by the time I've explored them all I'll be satisfied with what the right answer is. Easy!