Thursday, August 26, 2010

Phoebe's first festival

Longstanding readers of this blog may remember that each August Bank Holiday I go to Greenbelt, possibly my favourite place in the world, and I steward. Last year I didn't go as I was pregnant and too fat and tired to move.

Well, tomorrow is Greenbelt again. This year Phoebe and I are going with Sanctus1, our church community. Matt isn't coming but is on hand to come and pick us up if it's too terrible. I'm a combination of excited and nervous. Camping with an 8-month-old is a little frightening, particularly as she's teething and sleeping badly (maybe it's the rest of Sanctus1 who should be frightened). However, I grew up going on camping holidays in a trailer tent with my parents and four siblings - my brother even went in reusable nappies as disposables didn't agree with him. So I know it can be done.

I'm looking forward to seeing lots of my friends, showing off my beautiful baby, and getting lots of fresh air (hopefully not too fresh). I might even get to see a few bands and talks and take Phoebe to the children's festival (messy play on Sunday!). It's not going to be like my normal Greenbelt, though I expect I'll still be up at 3 am, but hopefully it will be a good one.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Over the past eight months (yes, really!) I've been asked many times variations on "how are you getting used to motherhood?"

Motherhood is shit. Literally. Dirty nappies. 3am wakings for feeds. Constant tiredness. No time for myself. Not much idea what I'm doing. Endless repetitive drudgery. Forgive me if I'm not really selling it. I read somewhere that 'motherhood is not a job that pays in cheques but in hugs and kisses' - but if it were a job I'd expect a pretty good salary and certainly wouldn't be fobbed off with kisses.

But let me tell you about Phoebe. She's just got the hang of crawling. She can sit herself up. And she is pulling herself up onto furniture so I expect she'll be walking soon-ish. She loves exploring and climbing on things - mainly me - and she loves being rolled around. Inexplicably she also loves being carried down the stairs by me while her daddy walks down behind us. She smiles when she sees me and cries when I go away. And I miss her if I'm away from her for more than a few hours - I relish the freedom too, but I miss her. It's not a job, it's a relationship.

However, I'm not prepared to be one of those people who say "when she smiles at me it's all worth it". I'm not sure it's an equation that can be balanced like that - one smile=3 dirty nappies? I don't really do it because I choose to or because it all balances out - here is just where I find myself, looking after my beautiful baby girl, enjoying the fun bits and just too tired to object to the rest.