(6th June: A bit of a different picture. No flash as the space is too small to have my usual softbox, I’ve messed so many times with the colour of the image and it’s probably still wrong. Debated cropping my nose out but I quite like it.)
I try to make most meals be things where she can feed herself now. Yesterday I tried to turn her porridge into pancakes. They didn’t turn out as well as I hoped but they still tasted good and B fed herself.
It’s nice to get on and do other things like clean up, make food, eat etc while she eats.
When I started to do improv comedy I thought something similar. It’s a skill that I’ll need in the future and it’ll make my life easier, so I’ll just try to do it asap. Not long ago I debated finding a TV show that was looking for learner drivers – I just had a search online and apparently a woman took 26 tests before she passed. That’ll be me…
I just walked into her room one day and was surprised to see her doing it. It might have been yesterday, it might have been 2 days ago. I can’t remember, but I do remember thinking yesterday that I should imitate it.
It’s been a couple of hours since I wrote these hashtags and I already feel much better – I finished a yoga session (I stopped as I felt in the mood to write these hashtags), I did a shoot, I did 4 dance videos, I edited the dance videos, had breakfast, had a quick shower and now I’m writing these at 10.10am.
(17th May – And then I was super tired. I think I often try to do too much on Saturday mornings when Tiago is around to look after B, and I pay for it later. This Saturday I had to have a long nap in the afternoon.)
This project is all about trying to be as honest as possible about my motherhood journey. I feel like I’m honest but not as honest as I could be. I am not looking for pity or sympathy or whatever, I just want to say how I am finding things.
Like I said in my last post, it was so nice to see B smiling at everyone. Yesterday my Uncles surprised us with a visit and B was crying at them, so I think she doesn’t like people suddenly turning up on her home turf. Well, they were already in the garden but she’d just got up from a nap.
I do love you B. I’m so glad that you exist, but it’s been tough.
And I feel like people read this and think like I act like I’m the only person who has found the pandemic/lockdowns tough. Of course I know I’m not the only one. I think everyone has found it tough in one way or another. This is just my diary of sorts and so I say what I feel.
I was reading something the other day about just act like you’re the popular kid. If you act like the awkward, anxious person you are then it’s a self fulfilling prophecy. I’d feel like a fake trying to be the popular kid, but I just need to be me and stop caring so much.
I think I said that I posted in our local group about wanting to meet more people. The problem is most people are free to meet up at the weekend, which is fine, but I want more weekday friends. Weekdays are the problem!
I look most days to see if there are any new ones. I’m going to try out an outdoor exercise class next week if the weather is good, as T can put B to bed and I can still have some time afterwards to do anything that I need to do. I think it will be good for me.
She is generally getting up around 6.45am now. I don’t want to get her up earlier in able to go to classes. Nah. If she was waking up at 6am every morning still then fair enough, I’d adapt her schedule for classes.
Nap in the morning to try to get stuff done, nap in the afternoon to get minor stuff done or have a nap if there is nothing urgent to do. Or if her first nap is rubbish like yesterday, then we just deal with it and try to get more stuff done in the second nap.
Then I started to read The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis last night. I need an escape of sorts, and I’ve never read all the Narnia books. I know they’re not really for adults, but why not. I’ve just seen that this was published 6th, but my library says it is the first in the series. I was wondering why I had never heard of it before. Oh well.
Someone just slammed a door downstairs and B seems to have woken up. Great. I’m ready for a nap… I wanted to just lie in bed and rest more this morning but I thought I should get up and start doing my work. I feel less guilty for doing work on weekend mornings as I think that Tiago does not like to start his weekends with work.
B has gone back to sleep. Phew. I would have a lie down now, but our bedsheets are in the wash so I’m just going to try to do a few more things – post dance videos, edit/backup the shoot, and look at some work work that I need to do.
The stepladder that I sit on to feed her in her highchair, the sofa that my Nan sits on, the tables that house things like photo frames and vases, and the glass shelves under the TV which she pushes the cushion away from to do so. Fun times.
I just felt embarrassed. She’s like ‘do you eat a lot of sugar?’, but I said I’m paying for my teenage/early 20s sugar sins.
I was known in high school for my addiction to a certain sugary drink and I was sure one day I’d get a tattoo related to it. I’m glad to say that I have no tattoos. I had that certain drink while at a hospital for a pregnancy scan (when pregnant with B) and they wanted her to change positions. They told me to get a sugary drink and walk up and down the corridors. The drink tasted disgusting (probably due to less sugar) and she did not move.
Classic. She does love smacking my laptop a bit too much.
(21st April: I think the final shot is a bit messy with the composition, but this was the reality of trying to do a shoot. I’m never sure what to use to cover B’s face, but I liked how her hand was so I instinctively copied and pasted it, then enlarged it to cover her features better. It fits well with something I like in photos – hands.)
With my job. I really need to check the weather before I go out as it changes so fast. Today I just wore a coat the whole time as it was spitting constantly (the weather).
We have ‘Dermol 500’ which the other doctors prescribed. We were using that and that hydromol, but yesterday we just kept applying Dermol and it seemed to make things better.
Her skin is the worst under her vest, and she has a sleepsuit on top of it most of the time. Last night we thought we would try her without the vest but she was crying her eyes out at 11.30 and we put it back on. Her skin seems better. We had also put her in a new brand of nappies, so we’ve gone back to her old ones. The problem with changing a few things is that you’re not sure what is really helping, but I think it is a mix of things really.
My Nan will say ‘put B’s shows on’. I say ‘B has watched enough TV today’ and my Nan will disagree. I know my Nan means well, but surely me playing with B is much better for her than TV? We didn’t have a TV in Liverpool and we do not plan to have one when we eventually move out. We watch stuff on our computers from time to time, but I don’t like how we can just get stuck in front of the TV. Hopefully the weather will be good soon and we can go out more, and go to classes and do anything else that isn’t sitting in front of the box.
She loves breakfast and it seems okay for me to feed her, but lunch and dinner are a bit more tricky. I’ve made her broccoli scones and raspberry oat bites that she seems more into, but I need to work on giving her more finger foods as we didn’t do the baby led weaning approach.
It starts in 15 minutes. B is due to get up in 30 minutes.
I need to do the shoot for this so I’d rather get it done now and then relax during B’s nap later. Or I can just try to quickly do the shoot and attend, and leave early if I do not like it. Hmm. I think I’ll just do the shoot now as we have an online baby class in an hour or so.
I know that some people are still dying from Covid after having the vaccine, but at least we know she will have some protection and then we need to encourage her to still keep her distance from people etc.
I feel bad for her. I complain about things, but this whole situation is also rubbish for everyone else in different ways. She misses going out to the shops, which was her main source of joy before. Hopefully things will be better for us all soon.
I was toying between imitating this and the way she sits down sometimes. I will have to aim to do that next time.
I haven’t done the shoot yet, but I wrote it like I had. I guess the backdrop will be the cupboards in our bedroom again… I could quickly go into B’s room and do it there, but by the time I finish writing this she is due to sleep. I could just go and do the shoot now. Hmm.
Okay I need to move quick…
Well that was fun. Tiago and B came up during the shoot and the light was blocking the doorway (health and safety!!!), so Tiago passed B over the light which she found hilarious.
I obviously (well maybe it’s not that obvious) have more hair than B. I did some yoga after my dance videos too so that helped, especially as B is so flexible.
I never know what to call her. The woman who calls me every 2 weeks to talk about my mental health. I had thought about quitting the service as they probably have a waiting list and I don’t want to unnecessarily take up their resources. I just feel like I don’t have time for a 30 minute call every 2 weeks (lol) as it happens during B’s nap, but it is useful and it does make me think differently about things.
It is more just a project that I feel I am stuck making for now. I don’t know how long I will do it for. I thought maybe until B is one, but maybe it is a more long-term thing now that I just need to do once a week, so I have time for other things?
At the moment this shoot sits on the so-so pile. I might feel differently about it later.
Some weeks I have really not wanted to do this project, particularly when B was a bit younger.
In my ArtsQuest article (ooh get me quoting myself) I said ‘I decided to set up the blog not long after giving birth in June 2020 in a sleep-deprived haze of confidence. There are times that I have told myself off for giving myself extra work as my stubbornness means I will continue to write posts for probably at least a few more years to come whether anyone reads it or not.‘
I am glad that I did not quit it when there were times that I wanted to. I think this project will be interesting to look back on when B is older.
My favourite shoots are definitely those where I am imitating B, so I just need to make it more fun and playful.
Sometimes I have ideas that pass quickly, but this one was stuck in my head to the point where I knew I needed to do it. I had been doing some research for it, but I usually work best by shooting and seeing where it goes. It’s meant to be a fun project, which is self-portraiture and sticks within my interests.
Starting a project is the hardest thing. Particularly now when my last few photography projects have generally been shoot, talk about it and post it, it’s weird doing work where it doesn’t feel like that might be the case. I may need to sit on it and see. It is another project though where I think I do just need to do keep shooting and accumulate mass to wade through.
He’s just gone off for a bike ride and I had 3 hours in the morning to do things. BEAUTIFUL. It’s 10.30am now and B should be asleep for another 45 minutes, so I’m really enjoying getting things done. In the morning I have a list of things that I want to do in my head and it’s a long time to wait until 7.30pm when I can usually get more things done.
My support befriender person said I’m disciplined. I guess it’s true.
I’ve always said with the dance videos that the project is over when I don’t want to do it anymore. Some weeks it feels like more of a slog (having to move furniture and stuff is always fun), but other times I do get into it more. It’s meant to be an exercise in not caring and today I didn’t care and just enjoyed it.
If I’m left with 5 quid afterwards then what’s the point? Some people might say yeah it’s 5 quid, but it seems like a lot of hassle. Hopefully something will come up at some point, but for now I should enjoy spending time with B as I’m sure a lot of people would just prefer to be at home with their kids. I know I am lucky.
Having time away from B this morning makes me look forward to playing with her when she wakes up. I don’t feel as excited if I’m with her all day every day you know? No offence B.
I just want to have a gaggle of friends who we meet up with in the summer and chill in the park with. She might have to make do with younger friends but that’s fine. A lot of the younger babies that we have met will be acknowledging other babies/not sleeping all the time by the time the better weather comes around.
I think people do not know how to start a conversation (like me).
This seems to be a good one. I don’t offend someone by misgendering their child, and it’s something that doesn’t seem too intimidating. I usually direct it to people who have sat their kid in the swing next to us.
Last time I spoke to more people I was feeling really down due to ‘am I pregnant/am I not?’ issues and other people made the effort, but now I am feeling better I am the one reaching out. I guess things go in waves, but I want to keep getting mentally and physically stronger.