My favourite products for the first year of baby
12 months of Tilly
When I was pregnant, I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of baby stuff out there. There were so many options for just about everything- and so many things that claim to do wonderful things, it makes you wonder how on earth you can store it all!
But as I navigated through the first year of parenthood, I discovered the things I did and didn’t need, and realised that wading through all that extra crap (and believe me, there was a lot of extra crap!), I was able to settle on a tried and tested bunch of useful baby products.
Women's Rights ARE Human Rights
ONE. My girl is one. It’s amazing. I can’t imagine life without her, and yet at the same time, can’t believe it’s been a whole entire year since she arrived.
I’ve documented a bit about how I found the early days of motherhood, and it’s true, I’ve found it to be really tough. But I’ve also more recently discovered how much I love being Tilly’s mum. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than with her.
So this is to celebrate one year of Tilly. My light, my life, my best girl. Oh how she’s grown x
Redefining what creativity means
My heart breaks to see what has happened in Alabama today. Whether you agree with abortion or not, what has happened for women who find themselves pregnant through rape or incest especially, is that their right to justice, to healing, and to reclaiming their bodies is no longer their right. Reproductive coercion is also a very real and permanent element of domestic violence, and this decision tears down any progress that has been made in changing the scourge that is violence against women.
Since having a baby, I think my biggest struggle in working out who I now am has been clarifying what my creative outlet wants to be. The combination of tiredness, lack of spare time, and the shift in comprehension of my identity means the attempts (both successful and unsuccessful) from before having a baby no longer really seem to hold any weight with me- or at least not in the way they used to. So I still love the things I did before- cakes, paper crafts, calligraphy etc. but now I’m trying to decipher, are they really where I want to focus the little time I have leftover in my days?
The great paradox of parenthood
The first time Tilly got a cold, she was about 8 weeks old, and I didn’t sleep a wink that first night- checking on her constantly, terrified she’d stop breathing because of the congestion in her nose.
She survived that (obviously) and on we went with our life. Sniffly noses have popped up occasionally, but it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that we really encountered a sick baby, and it was an experience I won’t forget lightly- especially as it happened twice in a matter of weeks.
A Christmas letter
Parenthood has got to be THE weirdest thing in the world, because it constantly makes no sense. It is equally the most fulfilling and exhausting journey any person can experience- and even in the worst moments of it, every single person who does it, will still say it’s completely worth it.
Christmas Eve. A day suspended in magical anticipation of the following dawn. Tilly’s first taste of the joy of Christmas is about to be upon us, and before we find ourselves swept up in the merriment, I penned her a little letter, with my dreams for how Christmas will become a part of her childhood memory.
Merry Christmas xx
Time to rest
I’ve always been a fairly lonely sort of person. I’ve never been one of those people who has masses of friends, or been part of an unseparable group. Through school I found that I had friends in various groups, but never was completely part of one or the other.
My closest friends, I can count on one hand, and they have been beside me for years- in fact, my best girlfriend and I have been friends since the first day of kindergarten, and that was a loooong time ago.
A letter to my daughter
From the early days of my daughter’s life, the need to perfect her sleep has been very high on my priority list, but not just for wanting to control potentially ‘bad’ sleeping habits. Mostly, for the desire to be able to continue on with other aspects of life while she sleeps- housework, business, sleep, even basic care like showering and peeing. And the fact that (particularly the days) have been nothing short of a broken record of catnaps, crying, and bouts of only sleeping on me, has left me frustrated and frazzled that nothing else has been done around me.
When I was pregnant and contemplating all that was to come, I wrote an open letter to my growing baby. And after a rough and tough week this past week, I felt it was appropriate to re-read it, and remind myself of my dreams and desires for my little tiny. But this letter is also for anyone and everyone who feels unsure of where they are headed, unsure of who they are, starting out or slowing down, because you are just as worthy as Tilly to hear these words, and feel their power. This is for you.
The mum bun. A staple in every mother’s daily life. Add to that greasy hair, the same clothes every day (or pjs day and night), neglected nail polish and probably hair in places that you just can’t be arsed getting rid of. I’m pretty sure every single mum is nodding in understanding right now. It’s like a signature look.
But some days, I look in the mirror and think, who the hell is that? And I realise how much of a difference it makes when I make an effort to look after myself. When I take the time- and the right- to feel female.
Oh good Lord, the dreaded development leaps. Those necessary evils that help our babies become thinking, feeling, doing machines. If you have little ones, and you don’t already have the Wonder Weeks app, download it now- it will make soooo much sense!*
So we are currently one week into leap 4, which, for those who have been through it before, know it is a longggggg one, almost 5 weeks! As with the first three, Tilly hit that fussy bit bang on time- she goes from being part-time Velcro to full-time Velcro and loud to boot. My eardrums don’t know what’s hit them.
It wasn't until I realised that I was, that I realised I hadn't been. All of a sudden one morning, as I sat with Tilly, watching her smile and grab at my face, I discovered that I was enjoying motherhood. And in that second, realised that before that moment, I had simply been doing a 'job'. It took me 10 weeks to finally find motherhood a joy.
One of the clearest memories I have of those first days post-baby is sitting on the lounge at home, a day or so after we left the hospital. There were a few people there- #thelove and my mum and his mum, perhaps a couple of others, I can’t remember. I had Tilly in my arms, and she was unsettled, and I remember realizing that, despite being surrounded by people, I was completely alone.
Fear Of Missing Out. We live in a society that's rife with this phenomenon, and being in babyland, we're certainly not escaping it here. If it's not me wishing I was able to get out and about and rediscover life as an adult again, it's a certain tiny person wanting to check out the party every moment of every day and night (I hate to break it to you kid, but you're really not missing out on anything. Mum and dad are too tired for any parties right now- we're boring as batsh*t!).
What you do and don't need
They say sleep deprivation is the worst form of torture. I've been tired before, but nothing like what having a newborn baby does to you. And the irony of the situation hasn't escaped me- you lose sleep over getting them to go to sleep! And it's quite often the basis of conversation about baby- people ask 'are they a good sleeper?', 'are you getting any sleep?', or comment- 'get your sleep now, it will get worse!', or 'sleep when the baby sleeps' (which, for the record, is next to impossible to do. Am I supposed to eat and shower and converse with other people when the baby does that too?!).
Mourning & rediscovering you
Okay, so when you're pregnant, you've got a lot of time on your hands, right? I mean, it's growing away in there, but there's not much else you can do with it, except spend all your time thinking about it, and shopping for it. Right? Of course I'm right.
So, you see all these cute, pretty, itty bitty things that capture your eye and your heart, and make your ovaries squeal with delight, and, if you're anything like me, you find yourself building a little collection of baby things (and sometimes hiding things from your other half, shhh). Super fun!
The concept of life & death is one which has captivated mankind since the beginning of time. Why are we here, where did we come from, where do we go? We spend our lives searching for these answers, and marvelling in the complexities that make up life.