(The photo is of me stacking B’s cups on my head – thanks to my sister for sending these! B was actually having a nap when I did this, so she wasn’t harmed by my failed attempts. She didn’t even wake up at the sound of them all falling! I usually put just one on my head to amuse her…)
This post is fuelled by Nights On Broadway by the Bee Gees. I’m writing this on 30th December 2020 – and I can not believe that this year is nearly over. Do I think 2021 will be much different? Hmm…
In the morning I can not be bothered to leave our bedroom, so I usually get B’s milk (which I do have to leave the room for) and Tiago feeds her while I do yoga. Then he goes off to shower and start work, while I entertain B until naptime.
I think there are less distractions in our room (well there is no TV), so it’s generally better quality time. We didn’t have a TV in Liverpool and my Nan is usually watching it – I should really move B’s stuff away from the TV.
I just randomly started to do it one day and she laughed. Anything that makes her laugh is a winner obviously. She was so grumpy from teething that I wanted to cheer her up, so I didn’t care that my head was pounding.
We made some videos the other day of B giggling from T just putting his finger in his mouth and then suddenly pointing the same finger (yeah, really non-exciting stuff but B loves it). I can hear Tiago watching them all the time…
My Mum usually comes to us as she does some chores for my Nan. I think B was just a bit weirded out by being in a new place and maybe she didn’t recognise my Mum in a different place? She’s seen my Dad once before since we moved, but that was at my Nan’s house (where we live) and so she was okay with it. Babies are weird…
Things would be so much easier if she could communicate.
Soon we should start just giving her a bit of our dinners, but I worry that she might not get as much variety. I do really need to sit down and do a meal plan. At the moment we’ve been getting those recipe boxes a bit – they’re good, but sometimes it can feel quite overwhelming to finish everything.
There’s a butternut squash dish that I make for her. The first time she loved it, the second time she didn’t, and the third time she loved it. I also need to stop giving her new dishes when I am in a rush to go out – we were going out for a walk to meet a Mum and her baby.
The app is really good – Kegel Exercises – with daily reminders and I feel guilty if I do not do them. I still remember a midwife on the ward telling us all to do them, otherwise we’ll regret it when we’re older.
I can hear B giggling at T from here. I’m also listening to Sparrow Sleeps – which are lullaby versions of songs that I liked when I was a teen. I’ve been listening to Relient K, but now I see they have albums of Say Anything and Alkaline Trio… It’s quite nice to write to as I don’t get so distracted by the lyrics though I am kind of singing along anyways.
(I wrote this on 26th December and I’d already forgot about Sparrow Sleeps, so thanks to me for the reminder!)
We thought that we were cursing things by staying up late two nights ago, but as she slept fairly well we just ended up watching the whole of Pearl Harbour. I thought I would turn it off at 11pm, but there seemed like no point as we were so close to the end.
Tiago says I can’t win as I feel bad for wanting more time for myself, but when I do I feel guilty about it and don’t really enjoy it.
T fed B all her meals yesterday (though dinner didn’t go well so I gave it a go). I tried to just read my book (The Sanest Guy In The Room by Don Black), but I kept getting distracted by my Nan and life. I usually read e-books now, but this is a physical book that my Mum got me for my birthday.
I felt like I didn’t need to speak to them anymore, but my mood does go up and down a lot. I know they won’t be able to help with some things (they won’t be able to give me time off – though like I’ve said before I don’t want time away from B), but maybe it might help me to try to change myself for the better.
It’s so stupid that it gets to me. I know that most of social media is fake and most people don’t show their true feelings etc. I am happy for other people, but it says a lot more about me than it does about them.
I’m also currently reading a book about periods (Period by Emma Barnett) and it says something about talking about them being quite off limits for a lot of people. Well, I’ve now talked about periods and cysts in my project so…
It is unbelievable how much babies grow in the first six months though. I remember my friend sending us a 6 month onesie for B and thinking nah she is never going to be that big in 6 months time. Well, she is…
We give her a lot of water with meals and between if she doesn’t have milk. We give her a milk feed in the morning and in the evening, but after her terrible dinner we gave her milk to make sure she had enough. I think she was just teething really badly and food was irritating her. Possibly?
B didn’t want to anymore, so I shouldn’t feel bad about it though I feel like I might have jumped to formula a bit too quick before.. You never know. She wasn’t feeding well and we were moving, so it seemed like the best thing to do to make sure she was getting enough.
I feel like the whole breastfeeding journey has been very up and down. There are a lot of what ifs… but I do just need to let it go. Easier said than done.
Well, I guess the next shoot can be a family portrait.
Tiago asked if I could cut his hair tonight, but my Mum was round so she looked after B while I did it. I did feel very nervous, but like last time I quickly got into it. It is quite therapeutic, but hopefully next time I’ll do a better job of it.
I never like how hair looks when it’s just been cut, so maybe it will look better in a few days. I do need to work out there not being such an abrupt change in length in hair between sections though.
I used a sample of blusher that I got with some makeup I ordered on a post-birth high. The blusher was more orange than the red I expected it to be, and I haven’t really worn the other makeup that I bought.
You can also see a little scratch from B on my face.)
It seemed to get really bad around the day that Tiago was driving a van load of our stuff to Birmingham. Typical.
I really don’t like taking medications unless I feel quite bad. I shouldn’t make B suffer though. If she seems in pain I will give it to her. I think I got put off by my Mum saying that some people just give it to their kids to make them sleep through the night. Obviously I want B to sleep through the night, but I didn’t want to feel like I was just trying to drug her.
I guess from what I’ve heard people do not take you seriously as an artist if you make a lot of work about motherhood. This also seems rubbish though as everyone is born in some way and so many people are mothers.
I like to think that my work is helpful for other people. I have had some Dads tell me how they’ve found this project and/or my pregnancy one useful.
It’s all a nice record for me too. I can’t believe how much B has grown and it’s been a blur. My pregnancy feels like a past life already, so it’s nice to be able to trigger memories and things through my work.
We used to make more of an effort to try to get her to go back to sleep. She does sleep through the night at times, so I knew she couldn’t be that hungry, but feeding her is a quick way to make her go back to sleep.
Especially if it was 5am. I’d just be rushing to feed her as I knew she would definitely sleep for a long time afterwards. I don’t mind starting our day at 6, but 5 is too early. If she wakes up pre-6 and is being quiet it’s fine, but if she is screaming then something needs to happen.
So basically I wouldn’t get anything done, which would make me feel worse and make me want to lie in bed and cry more.
I like to do some yoga/stretching in the morning. We were getting up late and then T would have to get ready to start work, whereas if we get up at 7 he can feed B while I stretch. Though the last 2 days I’ve had to feed her and make other time for my yoga as T didn’t sleep very well two nights ago and this morning he had to go out to work for once (instead of working at home).
At 6am it seemed like ‘fair enough, let’s just start the day and then in 2 hours she will be having a nap again, so I know I can get things done’. I’m not looking forward to her dropping another nap. Apparently it should be done between 7 and 9 months. I’m hoping it goes towards the end of the 9 months, but we’ll just have to see how B is.
I did get a bit stressed out that she was asleep for so long. It feels weird that she should have dinner around 4ish, but I managed to stretch it until 4.30pm and then extended her awake time to 6.30ish. Apologies if some of this stuff is super boring.
T was just about to get into bed when she woke up. We do usually do a dream feed around 9.30/10 anyways. Sometimes we think about dropping it, but I have read that some people suggest doing it until 1 years old. I know some babies don’t have it, but it seems to work (at times) for us.
Also, when trying to put her back to sleep I usually put my hand on her chest and if she turns her head to the side quite quickly I know she wants to sleep. She was also lifting her legs up and throwing them down quick, which is another sign that she wants to sleep. I was about to get her some milk, but I realised that she wasn’t really crying much, so I tried one more time to see if she would sleep. I rubbed her forehead a little bit and eventually she went off.
I just read my book (André Leon Talley’s The Chiffon Trenches) a little bit, as sometimes it is better just to read and observe rather than try to go back to sleep and get annoyed when she won’t settle.
She had a few spoons, then I got a pouch of food out of the cupboard but by that point I think she was too traumatised and wouldn’t take anything off of the spoon. I gave her 4 oz of milk, which she drank most of, but I worried it would not be enough.
Annoyingly there was a cute photo op set up too. I feel like I can’t be bothered to dress her in outfits unless we go to class though. When we go out for walks she is usually in her pram suit, so no one can see.
I’m sure soon I’ll get used to putting her in other clothes…
It’s nice to start the day feeling like I don’t have all of my to-do list hanging over me. That means I can give B more of my attention (not a stressed out Mum thinking about the many things I want/need to do).
The good thing about her going to bed earlier too (I’m going to aim for a 7pm bedtime in future) is that I usually get stuff done earlier, which means I can go to sleep earlier. I do like to read for about 30 minutes or so before I go to bed, though last week I was reading for about an hour at night. It was good, but sometimes I did read too much which I shouldn’t do as you never know when B will wake up.
Feeding suddenly went from not being that stressful to being super stressful. I still feel a little overwhelmed about it all (so many foods left for her to try/making sure she gets a balanced mix of things), but making more and freezing more is definitely a good idea.
I blame the pandemic, but maybe my ‘people skills’ have always been bad. Sometimes I just don’t know what to say, so I find it easier to talk about myself and hope that the person will jump in on something that relates to them. They probably just think that I’m trying to show off or that I am annoying though…
We’ve got one more class before Christmas. We’ve been to that group a couple of times, but annoyingly it’s the furthest away and so the people who go don’t live close to us.
It’s raining outside at the moment and the bad weather annoys me more than not having lots of people to meet and talk to during the day. The day I felt better coincided with a long walk to our class though in nicer weather. I can’t wait for winter to be over.
I keep saying that I’d love a week off, but I do not want that time away from her. I know I will not get a week off and it will not fix everything anyways. I’ve been mothering for nearly 6 months now; I knew it would be intense but living it is completely different.
Oh classes. I love to pass the time and know that B is getting a lot of stimulation. It has brought a whole new set of concerns though – especially yesterday when she was due to have a nap when the class started. She slept to and from class and I’ve just had to let go of things. It is good for me.
But yeah, just feeling like the awkward new kid is no fun.
Sometimes it is negative to compare yourself to other Mums, but this was something that was a positive recognition – what can I be doing better at? Often I will just daydream when playing with B and go into myself a bit too much.
I seem to be a bit obsessed with wanting to talk to people. I don’t know if I really even want to – it just seems like a way to pass time. I just want the best for B, and for her to get enough stimulation everyday and to be happy. I’m sure she’s fine and I need to stop worrying so much.
It’s such a weird time. Mothering is the most intense thing I have ever done in my life. It’s good that we see my Mum and she looks after B for a bit while I cook and do whatever.
Weaning is stressing me out. It’s just full on. Before all we had to do was give her milk – now I’m having to meal prep more and things. Soon it will feel normal, but at the moment it just feels like a lot.
I don’t think this was a great post. I was just trying to write hashtags and this post while B was asleep. I need to think about the photos now. I think with pictures of me crying at least it’s an easy thing to do and share, but I want to try to do something more creative/me.
(23rd December:)Well, there’s a picture of me with my head on a table. I guess it sums up how I felt, but I did do others that were less dramatic. I couldn’t decide between a few, but Tiago said he liked this one best. Sometimes when T says a photo is his favourite it makes me realise that I don’t like the picture, but in this case I went with it.
Typically I booked her onto the other course, then saw another class that I thought she (well probably me) would enjoy more. If they were spaced out a bit better then maybe it would be alright. There’s only one class of one we’re trialling before Xmas, so if it seems good and if I think I can endure two classes two days in a row then I’ll book on.
Playtimes are so long that I’m sure it’ll be good to have another class to go to. I just worry about the timings, especially as we’ve gone so long without having fixed times that we need to go out in our schedule.
I think she will be having sweet potato more often. Tiago isn’t usually a fan of it, but I made baked sweet potatoes and he really liked them. I’m trying to give her lots of different vegetables now before repeating them though.
We gave her some paracetamol last night for the first time in a few nights and maybe that was why? Or it could be that she went to bed quite early, but had two more feeds before we went to bed? She always seems to be hungry…
I try to prepare her food for the day during her first nap now.
Obviously every place has their own way of doing things. I do tend to feel better at the start of the week and the health visitor coming made the day a bit more interesting. Though I did think that I had the wrong day as it was getting on and she had not arrived. B was due for a nap but I was trying to keep her up as I knew she would have to be weighed. In the end I put her to bed and called the number to check, and they said she was 30 minutes away.
B is 5 and a half months old. We’ve been to one class in person. This is why I get so rigid with her routine, but luckily I have been relaxing a bit about it lately.
I am hoping the class will tire her out more than just our usual playtimes so she will sleep well at night. I have been wondering if that is why sometimes she does not sleep very well – she has not been tired out enough.
This morning she fed a bit, but she still seemed hungry so I gave her some formula too. I am trying to feed her in the morning and evening to see if that helps my supply. I miss the convenience of breastfeeding, though our prep machine is super useful.
It was a bit scary, so we built up our confidence again with the baby rice.
She still did not seem too impressed though. The lumps were worrying me though I did mash it up a lot.
I am typing this now in the kitchen while I am boiling some carrot. B is having a nap. This seems like a good time to do some cooking. The other day when I was boiling the potatoes I was also making a meal for the day.
I am sad about it. Maybe it is not too late… Maybe I should try? They’ve just been out of action for at least 5 days now, so I feel like the time has passed. I have gone back to wearing non-maternity bras now, which feels a bit weird.
My Mum said I wouldn’t be breastfed after 4 months…
(After I finished this B woke up and I felt compelled to try breastfeeding her. Some milk did actually come out, and though I had to keep swapping B over from side to side I think she did get something. Afterwards I winded her and she burped quite loudly, but it could have been left over from earlier? I think I might try to see if I can get my production up.)
I read an article about it, but it seemed to be about babies that are a lot younger. It said that it overstimulates them, but one of the reasons why I like her to face out is so that she can see everything, and for a change of scenery during playtimes.
I usually have the hood of her pushchair pulled over her, so I can’t really see her and she is usually asleep so of course people will not interact with her. I just need to talk to her more in the pushchair. It doesn’t face me, so hopefully she can just enjoy the world and I can stop more to talk to her and point things out.