Phases

I don’t want this to be a gushy ‘it’s so wonderful to be a Mum and aren’t I so lucky?’ post. It is wonderful, and the single most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. It’s also the hardest thing I’ve ever done, both physically and emotionally. At the end of a typical day, for example, my limbs ache as though I’ve been doing hard, physical exercise.

I’ve been reflecting recently on the phases my children have been through, and milestones they have reached. Some are major, such as my baby’s first tastes of solid food, or my 2 year old learning the concept of telling the time. Others are only small, for example my 2 year old has decided she no longer wants milk before bed.

So much hardwork, worry, excitement, joy, guilt and a whole raft of other emotions has preceded each of these phases. Many sleepless nights of milk feeds preceded the baby-weaning (and agonising over which food to introduce first). Months of painstaking attempts at discipline have preceded the 2 year old’s first uttering of “I don’t draw on the walls, Mummy, it’s naughty” (excuse me while I faint).

I guess this is what makes it so rewarding- that, each time they reach a new milestone, you know that you’ve got them there. It’s ace.

A day at the spa: a review

Yesterday, I had the amazing good fortune to spend an entire day – yes that’s from 9am until actual tea time – at a local spa, whilst my partner looked after both children (he had a stunned look of residual terror on his face upon my return, but that’s another story..).

It took a while for my mind to relax (and I did get both children dressed, wrote my partner an itinerary, and prepared breakfast for all before I set off). When I arrived with my friend, my mind was still in that ‘argh! I must do everything really quickly and urgently in case one or other child needs feeding/wakes up etc.’ state. After a coffee whilst filling in the ‘how do you feel today?’ card (stressed?: yes. anxious?: yes. need to unwind?: yes), a mud treatment, and a long spell in the most amazing ‘deep relax’ room, my mind slipped into a relaxed state.

I thought it would be useful to review the things my mind chose to dwell on at this point. This was:

– my close friends’ personal lives
– school choices
– recipes
– the pop star Rhianna, and why she has chosen to get back with that rotter Chris Brown

*Aside*: I’m a friend of the bullet point. This is going to be a recurring theme of this blog.

What does this say about me?! Actually it probably shows that I wasn’t quite as relaxed as I thought. My mind is so used to flitting from one pressing issue to the other right now that it simply replaced the usual with the above.

However, a change is as good as a rest, they say! I still feel totally rejuvenated and refreshed. I thoroughly recommend a day at the spa to contemplate popstar plights and healthy eating!

The pressing need for chocolate

I never used to be much of a chocolate eater, I tell myself. I used to have it on occasion, could count years between having actual chocolate bars. A piece of cake would be a treat, or a pudding (spotted dick and custard, obviously).

Now, nary a day goes by when I don’t eat a reasonable portion of some ’empty calorie’ foodstuff (although surely chocolate’s got calcium in it, at least?!).

I have turned into the woman with zero willpower when it comes to sugar. Evening time arrives and, after the often horrifically traumatic event of ‘bedtime’ with a toddler and a baby (should be renamed ‘mental torture time’), I find myself wearily preparing dinner (ok, mostly preparing dinner, as my partner may have the occasional hand in this – in fact, he’s just reminded me of my nightly ‘sofa-curfew’, whereby I seem unable to leave the sofa to make my way to the kitchen after 8pm) and then the ‘sugar itch’ arrives.

This isn’t a good thing in a house full of chocolate, post-Easter. Mini eggs, huge chunky chocolate eggs, those irresistible chocolate bunnies…

Sitting here eating my latest batch of mini eggs, I have arrived at the following conclusions:

1. I developed the habit in pregnancy.

2. I need the energy, and have low blood sugar at the end of a busy day. By busy, I mean **BUSY**. Is it possible to highlight that word any further?!

3. I just can’t be arsed to have any willpower anymore.

So there it is, my confession of the day. I’m addicted to post-‘bedtime’ sugar.

Once upon a time..

..there was a mum of two (raucous, bouncing toddler and 5 month old baby full of alarmingly cheeky smiles) who decided to jump on the bandwagon and start a blog.

Why? I asked myself this very question, when I felt strongly compelled to do this. Why are blogs an increasingly popular past time for such a rich cross-section of people, including Mums like me who, let’s face it, feel like their brains may actually explode at any point in time?

Thinking about this (in the bath, post-bedtime duty) more or less shaped my first blog post. Firstly, I realised that many of us feel the need (or think it’s a good idea if we ever get the time) to diarise or keep a journal. We wish to capture not only life events, but our thoughts and feelings about those events. For myself, how often do I find myself reflecting, even if just for a second or two, on how amazing it is that my little girl has picked up a particular habit of my partner’s, or on how fascinating it is that, having previously been a ‘lie in bed till 11am’ person, my brain now thinks it’s perfectly ok to get no more than a 5-hour stretch of sleep for 6 months? I rarely get the chance to engage with these thoughts and reflect on them, yet always think I should.

Recently, whilst at a toddler group with other Mums (best tasting cup of coffee and piece of cake around, at this toddler group – probably as this group takes place at that very point in the morning when my body screams “caffeine and sugar, please!”), I coined the phrase ‘mental space’. “I just need some mental space”, I said. This proved to be a very popular phrase, with one Mum getting a spa day out of it after saying the very same to her husband. A blog gives us this informal opportunity to get your mental space and make some sense and order out of stuff that’s just been niggling, bugging or even inspiring you.

A blog is more than just a diary or tool for personal reflection, however. Of course its intention is to be public. We might share it with friends, Facebook, Twitter, the world! I want the world to know that my little girl sang the Alphabet Song to the dentist! We baked psychedelic buns the other day – the kitchen looked like it had been flour-bombed by about a hundred mischievous chimpanzees but I didn’t care, it was soooo lovely!

Sharing this stuff is somehow therapeutic – we expect that like-minded people will read and identify, even comment and tell us their own experiences. Of course some will totally disagree with everything you have to say, and some will be somewhere in the middle. It’s as though blogging is this vast, rich spider web of sharing and experience and expression and confession.

So, “what is this blog about?”, I hear you say. “What’s the angle?”. Hmmm. There isn’t one. Just me and my mental space. With the odd psychedelic bun thrown in.