There’s not a lot of spare time when it comes to looking after a baby, the odd hour when she naps or an hour or so after she’s gone to bed (if I’ve not fallen asleep while putting her to bed). But when I do get a bit of time to myself I like to indulge in some of my favourite hobbies. These include:
- Doing the dishes that have been ignored
- Hoovering up the crumbs that seem to breed in the carpet
- Picking up the toys that Isla’s taken no notice of because she was too busy playing with a pack of baby wipes or a bib
- Searching for change in the bottom of bags to pay for milk and bread
- Looking at things I can’t afford online
- Watching CBeebies and singing along to annoying tunes which then stick in my head all day
- Trying to find somewhere to hang out the ridiculous amount of baby clothes washing, while I try to baby wipe sick off my jeans and give my top a quick sniff to check if it’s passable
- Fixing the couch cushions for the 1000009th time
- Looking at the state of the bedroom and muttering ‘this room’s a fucking riot’
- Rescuing mouldy coffee cups that Scott’s left and now won’t touch
- Trying to find ways to style my hair that disguise the fact that it’s all fallen out and looks terrible
- Googling ‘separation anxiety’ desperately hoping this particular developmental stage will be over very very soon
- Taking Scott his coffee in bed when I’ve been up since half 6
- Getting up every 3 hours during the night and waiting while the baby’s decided it’s playtime at 2am
- Having mini breakdowns at the drop of a hat because I’ve not slept longer than a few hours at a time in months and having a baby is exhausting!
Thank goodness I’ve got so many fun and interesting hobbies to fill my time now, so I don’t need to waste my time doing things like painting, drawing, reading or having a relaxing bath!
I’m not ashamed to say I have always enjoyed watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians, just to sit down for an hour with a cuppa and indulge in total celebrity nonsense. I know it’s totally brain numbing and often exaggerated or false, but it’s not too serious and a great way to switch off for a bit while dreaming of owning multiple huge homes, expensive jewellery and beautiful clothes.
But the most recent episode, that covers the incident in which Kim was robbed at gunpoint in Paris, had me in floods of tears, because behind the cameras and the makeup, she is a mother too. The men, dressed as policemen, made off with millions of pounds worth of jewellery, but her biggest concern was being able to see her children again. She begged with them to let her go because she had babies, to take whatever they wanted because she already had everything, because as she said “it’s all replaceable and none of it matters.” I can’t imagine how traumatic it must have been, and I know she’s faced a lot of criticism because she flaunted what she had and made her life totally public, and then used the incident as part of the show, but I think it’s important that she did continue. You should never let anyone else influence how you live your life. (I’m still working on taking my own advice)
Nothing has made me aware of my own mortality so much as having a baby, I frequently find myself worrying about how she would be affected if something were to happen to me. I have become so much more cautious driving, I shout at other drivers because no one is being careful enough and it takes me twice as long to get out at junctions. I worry I’ll fall down the stairs, catch a serious illness, accidentally stab myself while cooking, be mugged, hit my head, be in a car crash or get run over by a bus, and not because of the impact it would have on me, but on Isla. Then every time I imagine one of these terrible accidents, I have to surreptitiously touch wood, because I’m overly superstitious and what if thinking it makes it happen? And if there’s no wood to touch I have to tap myself on the head, hoping that no one notices and thinks I’ve gone mad. Have I gone mad?! Probably.
But I don’t care because at the end of the day nothing matters apart from my family. All my possessions combined aren’t worth even the tiniest fraction of what was stolen from Kim KW, but I would still trade it all in to ensure I was able to be there for my beautiful girl. X
Yesterday was International Women’s Day and I felt like I could take on the world. As I scrolled through the numerous posts heralding the many successes of women, I felt empowered. I identified with them, I thought that’s me, I’ve got this. I looked at my daughter and felt, more than ever, that I would be a strong, confident role model, the one to show her that she can achieve anything she puts her mind to. I thought of my Mum and my Gran, the two women I look up to the most. Both sure of who they are, sure of their own opinion and able to hold their own in disagreements with grace and eloquence. That’s who I want to be for my daughter and who I thought I was until tonight.
Tonight I feel about two inches tall. I feel like a silly girl, unsure of herself and reliant on others to fight her corner. I am aware as I write this how petty it seems, all because of a Facebook post, but it’s something that’s forced me to reflect. I saw a post online I disagreed with. Already in a mood and without much forethought, I posted my opinion, only to be met with an onslaught of criticism. Now I feel I can take criticism, but what I don’t react well to is being patronised. And that’s how I felt reading the responses, and as I tried and failed to explain myself, I felt myself become unsure of my own opinion, lost confidence in what I felt. So I deleted the post. I gave up my opinion. This was just a small fight to give up, in the grand scheme of things it’s not something I’m passionate about, but it made me think about myself.
What other arguments have I given up too quickly? Am I selling myself short? Am I being the best role model that I can be for my daughter?
And that’s the scariest thought I’ve had had a mum, that I’m not doing my utmost best for her at every turn, that I’m not putting her first and that I’m letting her down.
So from now on I resolve to be better, to be stronger, because I want both of us to feel the way I did yesterday, everyday.