18 Million Things – New Year 2017

I use this blog sometimes just for me – a place to remember some of the things that make me smile about my son. These posts are a bit soppy and they are definitely not going to change the world so please don’t feel obliged to linger on this one (unless you’re my husband).

Not that I’ve written one like this in blooming ages…partly because there’s been a few millions things that haven’t made me smile so much recently and partly because I had a break and a new baby and all that jazz.

So my fast-growing-but-you’ll-always-be-my-baby three and a half year old, there are at least 18 million things I love about you and they include: Continue reading

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My Snap Happy Son

My three year old has discovered (and therefore I have just discovered) that one can take photos on one’s iPad without unlocking said iPad.

My son thinks this is amazing. I am indifferent and will always unlock my iPad to take a picture because I am essentially a technological relic.

Anyway scrolling through my gallery the other day led me to some shots that are cronkier, wonkier and more blurry than my usual ones…

Yet somehow these little gems are sweeter than any of my attempts – they are infused with a childish simplicity that makes me smile.

My son chooses to take pictures of things he loves in the house; the kitchen clock, the kitchen bin, his toys, his parents, his sister. His small world is getting bigger by the minute but for now this is his world – this is his happy.

And so, in what could be the most ill-conceived photo-blog post of all time, allow me to present the photographic gallery of my three year old:

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Surviving. Not Thriving

‘Does it get easier? Please tell me it gets easier?’. I’m frantically asking this of almost anyone with more than one child at the moment… I feel as though I’m merely existing with a rambunctious (polite description) three year old and a gorgeous but naturally demanding eight week old. For context the first five weeks were bliss, genuinely lovely, then the newborn bubble burst and real life had to start. I’m overall happy and content but today is a BAD day…some days are. My husband works most afternoons and evenings so bedtime, otherwise known as deviltime, is my time. Thus some days are bad. Continue reading

Family Fun Linky

I’m trying something a bit different this week – I am dipping my digital toe (much more pedicured that my normal toe) into cohosting a linky. And I’m very happy that the linky in question is Family Fun from the fabulous Catie at Diary of an Imperfect Mum.

I so enjoy this linky – there’s a lovely community of bloggers who link each week and share the love with lots of commenting. Catie has, if you will, created quite the blogging ‘family’ with it. See what I did there? Yep.
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The Highs and Little Lows of Middle Pregnancy

I think it’s fair to say I wasn’t the happiest I’ve ever been in the early weeks and months of this pregnancy. The sickness, tiredness and general feeling of illness coupled with the normal first trimester anxiety and hormonal maelstrom was not the best mix. The sickness lingered but did finally bid me farewell at around 18 weeks…a little later than I had hoped, much earlier than some people experience.

My last post on this theme covered mostly the lows of that time with only a few chinks of light by way of highs. Writing it was a purge and now it’s time for a celebration. What a difference a month or so makes! If you’re reading this in the miserable throes of early pregnancy, take heart…it may get a huge amount better for you soon. Continue reading

Anticipation – Christmas 2015

Do you ever have the sense that you’re trying to reach or search for a feeling or a time or a sensation…one you are sure exists but can’t be pinned down? I get this a lot – it’s a still from a film, an emotion from a song, a picture in my mind from a book, a sense of another time. I think it stems from having an active imagination and being a nostalgic romantic at heart.
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Hello, what do you do?

I’ve decided to start this blog with a very common question to help explain where I’m coming from. To be honest I didn’t expect my first post to be as serious or as rants as this, but stick with me and we’ll get to splashing in puddles soon I promise!

So how many times have you been asked this question? Or asked it yourself? I know I’ve lost count of both. Given the nature of my partner’s job as a professional sportsman I’m part of a world where what you do is often intrinsically linked with who you are. Of course this is common throughout society…what we choose to do does say something about who we are. But not all that we are, and not even who we think we are, but instead who the asker thinks we are.

The asker builds a quick and, let’s face it, sketchy picture of you based on one or two words used to describe your job. The asker decides if it’s your passion, your calling, a stop gap job, a mistake. They make assumptions about your intelligence, your commitment, your people skills, your lifestyle.

To give you an example…my partner, Andrew, is a professional sportsman as I’ve said. He loves the sport that he is lucky enough to get paid to play. But when his career finishes he has a fantasy of working in a supermarket part time and following our children around (!) the rest of the time. If he is able to carry out this ambition and in the future answers ‘what do you do?’ with ‘supermarket shelf stacker’, the asker will make completely different assumptions about who he is at that moment without Andrew having fundamentally changed as a person at all.

When I had a job I had problems with being asked this…I worked in the arts. I speak quietly, it sounded like ‘arse’. I always had to repeat my answer. I was usually met with blank looks and so launched into a description of the complicated multi-partner, multi-art form project I managed. More often that not (being mostly, which wasn’t much, asked it by men at Andrew’s work events) there just wasn’t enough of the familiar in my answer for the asker to grasp on to and the follow up question, asked with a patronising jokiness, was invariably ‘so do you like cricket?’. Sigh…

Now I’ve stopped working and spend my days playing with Little J, I fit in far more neatly to the social hierarchy. For me this makes ‘what do you do?’ so much harder to answer. Full time mother? Well, yes but I’m fairly sure my friends that work who also have children are full time mothers…you don’t stop being one just because you’re not physically next to your child. And does that make Andrew a part time father? Or when he’s at an away game, a zero hour contract father? And don’t even get me started on ‘housewife’. I’m fairly sure I married Andrew, not the house. I’m also fairly sure I’m still his wife even when I leave the house.

My tussle with expressing myself the way I want to, while resisting society’s pigeonholes has spurred me to to start this blog, along with a desire to create a record of my thoughts and experiences as a new parent. I’ve written more about what I do, who I am and the blog’s title on the about page. I hope this blog will express who I am and maybe if I’m asked again ‘what do you do?’ I’ll be able to answer in a way that doesn’t answer that at all, and instead tells them who I am.

Because ultimately it is a limiting question, a way for us to cling onto the security of stereotypes and therefore it is about as useful for really finding out about someone as sitting down to tea with their shadow.

 

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