Thursday, December 01, 2016

first things first

The first of December.

This month will be a special one, it will be our first Christmas as parents, and we will soon be heading on a trip to the Lake District with my family, which will be our first holiday as parents too. We did a similar trip last year, and days before we went we found out that I was pregnant again and so this feels like a very poignant time of year. From those tentative first days of knowing, it is incredible to see the three and a half month old little boy in front of us and see how far we have come.

Yet again, this is the first post in a long time. It feels like there is so much to say, but I have realised that in the absence of being able to say everything, it is better to write to something rather than nothing. In a bid to get this post written it is the first time in years I have used the Blogger app to write a post so apologies if the formatting is a mess!

These first few months of parenthood have been incredible, and I still can't quite believe I am lucky enough to be his mummy. Somehow when I come to write though, I feel like everything is too mundane, acutely aware that my days are filled entirely with motherhood, which, while fascinating to me, is not the most interesting reading. The mammoth undertaking that is a walk to the library or a trip to the swimming pool fills a whole morning but leaves me with not all that much to say.

Most days I feel like I'm doing a half decent job of being a mum, though today has been an exception where I have convinced myself I'm not doing the "right" thing with naps and sleep, whatever that might be, and Google has proved, as always, the perfect source of confirmation for my fears! That was then compounded by the fact in one of my two minute bursts of productivity, between letting Millie out, making a drink and tidying the lounge, I had felt super organised as I put baked potatoes into the oven for dinner, only to return an hour and a half later to realise I had forgotten to turn it on.

I'm trying to work out where the person I was before fits in these days, and I am on a learning curve trying to find out how to keep some sense of myself along the way. So many of the things that I enjoyed, cooking, baking, photography, trying to run, reading, all feel like luxuries I don't know how to fit in any more. I remember the first week after I gave birth coincided with the first episode of Great British Bake Off and in blissful naivety I bought the ingredients to make the first technical challenge, hoping to join in as I had last year, and quickly realising that was a somewhat unrealistic aim. 

This is the first time since I was seventeen I haven't had some kind of paid employment, and the first time since goodness knows how long I haven't been working towards some kind of exam, or qualification or training. I've discovered that becoming a parent teaches you quite quickly about your self-identity, as the first few months have been given over to looking after another person, completely dependent, you gradually notice what you miss. I'm not altogether sure where this post is going. I'm conscious it sounds negative, when I genuinely couldn't feel luckier to have my baby boy, and I would hate to think in years to come he would read this and think I didn't adore being his mum. I'm just at the point of starting to work out how to be a mum and be myself, finding out what I can happily let go of and what I want to hold on to. I suppose taking half an hour to write something here is a step towards holding onto this blog, holding on to a little bit of who I was before, holding on to my voice. Yet just as one part of me holds on to some threads of who I was before, another holds so tightly to that little boy who clings to me, grabs at the joy of being his mum, being there for him wholeheartedly, and seeing what we both can become.