5 More Things I have Stopped Caring About

1 Apr

1. Dancing in public

By in public I do not mean in a night club or at a party or festival.  I mean in the street, during the day, in the corner shop, in the supermarket, at the garden centre and in the swimming pool. Having worn Elsie in a sling for much of her first year of life I have gotten so used to swaying, bopping, bouncing and squating my way around life that I’ve forgotten how not to dance.  The first time I went to the corner shop post Elsie, without Elsie she was about 10m old and I found myself dancing in the queue, at 2pm in the afternoon.  When I realised my faux pas I felt the need to explain myself to the man behind me.  He just laughed and said not to worry and that I have “rhythm”.  Since this incident I have realised life is actually a happier place to be if you dance along. I don’t care if it looks totally bizarre.

2. Intellectual conversations

I used to love to explore intricate, abstract and philosophical concepts.  Over a bottle of wine, country walk or lengthy telephone conversation.

Now?

Please don’t ask me anything complicated!  Don’t ask me to think!! I don’t have space in my head to think about anything extra and you are distracting my limited processing power from thinking about what I want to think about which is: working out what I can cook for Friday night that is baby friendly, healthy, tasty, vegetarian, wheat free, not massively processed and can be prepared with one hand during the time Elsie eats her lunch on Thursday and provide a lunch for the next 5 days. Actually. Sod that. I don’t want to think at all, Please can you think about that for me too.

3. How I look

Here I am talking beyond basic cleanliness and health.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never aspired to be magazine cover material and always focused my energy in other directions.  But now? It’s fallen totally off the radar.  I used to worry people would judge me for not making “an effort” but I’ve realised there is no law about having to make yourself look pretty.

4. Making up crap songs 

I’ve always wanted to be good at music, but never really developed the skills.  During my pregnancy I read that I should sing to my bump. I thought it was a good idea but the perfectionist in me got stuck in working out what song it should be, should I write one? What if it’s Rubbish? I never did sing to my bump.

Now? We have a song for everything.  The songs are not remotely poetic or musically sound but they aid communication, provide cues, jolly us up and punctuate our days. They get us through! Here are a few examples:

I’m going to wash, wash, wash your wees away. Wash, wash, wash your wees away. Wash, wash, wash your wees away and wiggle your waggles away (to the tune of shake your sillies out) 

We’ll have a cup of tea and a boobie, we’ll have a cup of tea and a boobie, we’ll have a cup of tea and a boobie, ’cause that’s what mummies and Elsies do, boom, boom boom (to the tune of Alice the camel) 

Bye bye water, bye bye bubbles, bye bye day time, bye bye troubles (I don’t know where that time comes from) 

5. Having low-brow tastes

Please consider this my official “coming out” I’ve always secretly liked a bit of crap telly, but now, if I get the chance to spend a few minutes in front of the box I need a zero-effort-super-fast-brainless- hit.  I need something to turn my brain off to.  I love made in Chelsea, TOWIE and 90210. While I’m confessing I might as well tell you I also love KFC, Krispy Kreme and all inclusive beach holidays. I wish I didn’t, but I do. Life’s too short to pretend otherwise.

What do you no longer care about? Either as the result of having a baby or due to other sources of personal change?

5 Things I have stopped caring about 

31 Mar

Everyone knows that becoming a mother changes you so I won’t bore you with all the usual existential, emotional, time or sleep related revelations. Here are the things that I’ve noticed that have taken me by complete surprise…

1. People hearing me poo 

I used to avoid pooing anywhere where I might be overheard, for example, the office toilets.  Now I don’t care, in fact, the office toilet is the best place to poo because it is the one place where I can guarantee not being responsible for a toddler, having an audience, needing to give a running commentary, trying to talk Elsie down from a tantrum because she doesn’t want me to do a poo or being interrupted with questions such as ‘where are Elsie’s socks?’. 

2. Eating alone in a restaurant 

I used to feel awkward at the thought of sitting in a restaurant, eating alone, surely people would look at me? Judge me?

Now?

Just. Give. Me. The. Chance.

 To eat a meal, without having to rush in the knowledge you’ve only got 5 minutes before the baby will stop tolerating the high chair, feed anyone else, debate parenting strategies to decrease the chances of fussy eating, make small talk to be polite whilst knowing you are wasting valuable shovelling time.  

3. My personal use of the following phrases: 

Dont worry, it’s just a bit of vom

Don’t worry, it’s only wee

Don’t worry, it’s only a bit of poo

Here, let me chew that for you

Thank you for your boggy

I’m just going to squirt some breast milk in your eye

Let me sniff your bum

4. Buying pre-chopped, frozen onions

Yes, it costs £1 more than buying the Un-chopped ones, yes you could argue it’s lazy. 

Whatever.

It saved me 15 minutes and removed one of a multitude of barriers to me cooking a healthy meal and decreased our chances of ordering a takeaway. 15 minutes is worth £1. Easy. 

5. Small talk

If, by some miracle, we are two adults managing to have a conversation then, for the love of whichever god you chose, lets not waste it on the weather, sport or people neither of us actually know or care about.  Tell me something real, talk about something that actually matters, let’s laugh, let’s cry  or fuck it and enjoy a minutes silence. 

2014

31 Dec

I feel as if 2014 has brought me full circle in a number of ways:

This time last year I was a tiny bit pregnant and desperately anxious that I would lose that little life.

I didn’t.

I am very happy to write Elsie Anne Brown arrived on the 14th of August, on what was probably the most traumatic, but ultimately, brilliant day of my life.

A year later, here she is:

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/284/34132598/files/2014/12/img_6084.jpg

Which brings me on to the other thing that 2014 has done for me. It’s made me a mother. I’m still getting my head around what that means exactly but, I know that I have changed. A lot. In ways I didn’t imagine.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/284/34132598/files/2014/12/img_5004.jpg

Also, perhaps unfortunately, I turned 30 this year. Having this coincide with pregnancy really nailed home the feeling that I’ve moved onto my next life stage. I was ready to make that transition but it was, it is, still a transition. I’ve still had to let go of ideas about, and aspects of, myself.

I’ve replaced drinking and smoking with baby wearing and cloth nappies. Report writing with breast feeding and thinking with gazing at my baby.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/284/34132598/files/2014/12/img_5009.jpg

I totally love it!

Thank you for reading whoever and wherever you are. I hope 2015 is a good-un for us all.

Bright blessings xx

Honeymoon

14 Jun

We got married back in August last year, but with the impending Viva, house buying and relocation, plus the fact we had just paid for a wedding we didn’t really have the time, nor the means to go away.

We played with the idea of winter sun, expensive Caribbean destinations and exotic, cultured tours.

But actually, what we really wanted was to lay on a beach drinking cocktails, and doing naf all.  We didn’t want the pressure of being somewhere where we would have to go and see buildings, art galleries or wonders of the ancient world.  No, sod that, we didn’t want to be entertained or cultured.

Neither of us are particularly adventurous so we have come to love the greek islands,  the greek people are friendly, engaging and don’t seem to mind if you can’t speak greek.  Most of all we feel safe there.  We also realised that there was little point traveling half way around the world to just lay on a beach drinking all-inclusive cocktails!

So we waited until the start of the Greek holiday season and went to Kos, an island we have visited previously with limited cultural interest (all of which we saw on our last trip) and where we managed to get a fairly bargainous all-inclusive-10-day-deal.  It was still significantly more expensive than our usual 3-star-self-catering job.  But we figured we should make it a bit more special than our usual holiday.

We stayed at the Hotel Oceanis Beach and Spa Resort which is a 4-star-couples-only-mega-all-inclusive-hotel on the beach.  We were expecting it to be a bit posher that our previous holidays, with no food shopping to do and 10 days instead of 7, we also expected it to be a bit more relaxing and luxurious.

The hotel surpassed all our expectations…
IMG_2919IMG_2920</IMG_2921

IMG_2907

The room staff folded our towels into animal shapes:

IMG_2666IMG_2562IMG_2560

And when we mentioned we were on Honeymoon:

IMG_2850 IMG_2845 IMG_2846 IMG_2842

The food was awesome, the drink all inclusive:

IMG_2683 IMG_2630 IMG_2858

And we actually managed to do nothing for a whole 10 days:

IMG_2573

Aside from, of course, some experimental paddle-boarding:

IMG_2822 IMG_2829 IMG_2840

And, posing in the sea:

IMG_2613 IMG_2876 IMG_2903

We also learned a little bit of Greek and made friends with the Beach Bar Staff:

IMG_2924 IMG_2927 IMG_2928

With nothing to do for 10 days, we felt as if we had a decent break. I was sad to leave, so sad I cried on the crappy flight back home.

However,  Life goes on, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the puppies had survived our trip away.  They had been well looked after by Dan’s parents and were pleased to see us but also quite happy with life as it was:

IMG_2930

Also, the Apple tree had blossomed:

IMG_2976

And the flowers had begun to flower:

IMG_2972 IMG_2971 IMG_2970 - Copy

Moments of compassion

22 Apr

Work was hideous today. I felt like I was banging my head up against a brick wall, trying to get heard about ‘risk issues’ I am professionally responsible for communicating but powerless to act on. Lots of phone calls, dead ends and defensiveness. My heart raced and I exploded in a mess of tears in the office stairwell.

On returning home I wanted to skip karate, order a 14″ pizza, drink 2 cans of cider and pass out on the couch.

I found my self ruminating over all the crap that I had encountered during the day.

I stopped and noticed what I was doing.

As an experiment I tried, instead to notice all the compassion I had encountered through out the day:

The positive, inspirational blogs I read on the loo this morning.

Bronwyn returning her ball to me during our walk.

My colleague listening to me and supporting me.

The team secretary who decided not to bother putting through non-urgent calls.

The colleague who filled up my coffee cup without asking.

The colleague who contained me in the stair well.

The lady from social services who took me seriously.

My husband who took a panicked phone call from me at work. And listened.

My puppies who delighted in my return from work and licked my weary face.

All the people who liked and followed my blog😉

Me, who despite tendencies towards the unhelpful took herself off to karate.

My karate sensei, who caused me so much pain I forgot about all the mental stresses of the day.

It worked, I feel better, I feel supported and emotionally regulated.

Thank you🙂

Going ‘Off Plan’

20 Apr

It’s been a stressy week. I have not managed to take time back.

I have worked overtime, over time that I won’t be paid for and probably won’t manage to claim back.

I figure that I need to start giving clients a set number of hours per week and sticking to it! I have been pulled into various meetings about clients and have still felt it was important to go and see them, write their notes and analyse data about them. This just isn’t feasible! (unless I can get my caseload down to two!).

Anyway, yesterday (Friday) I was driving around Thanet between a session with a client and a case conference about a different client. I realised I had a hour to spare; not enough time to get back to the office; too much time to go straight there.

I realised I was driving through broadstairs and it occured to me that I could take a lunch-break yes a friging lunch break. I had heard that Broadstairs is nice, and I suddenly felt like I might have the opportunity to do something totally unpredictable to even myself.

I felt as I were being somewhat reckless as I parked my car on the high street and walked down the hill towards where I imagined the sea might be. To think that no one in the world knew where I was or what I was doing, nor could they guess felt alien and exciting to me.

I felt as if I might have managed to go off plan; to have demonstrated my own free will and independence of thought.

I walked down the road and identified that Broadstairs was indeed, middle class, with an old-fashioned bakery, haberdashery and butcher on the high street. A funeral parlour with the tag line “today is a good day to plan your funeral” gave me an idea of the demographics of the town, yet strangely, the only young people I could see were teenagers. Not British teenagers, but French, in fact, the only language I could hear being spoken was French. I wondered if I might have accidentally entered into a rift in the space-time continuum, or maybe just, absent mindedly driven through the eurotunnel into France.

As it began to rain I realised I was indeed in Britain, and like a true Brit, carried in regardless down to the beach.

20130420-175414.jpg

20130420-175454.jpg
I walked along the pavement by the beach huts and identified a picnic bench to venture across the sand for. Wearing a full length woollen coat and my red-leather work shoes I suspected that should anyone have noticed me they might have thought me rather odd. Indeed, in my psychologist outfit, I felt more removed that usual from nature and less able to be connected with the outdoors. I fantasised about taking my shoes off and running across the beach to paddle in the icy sea. I noticed this urge and reflected that, had I have not been in psychologist mode I probably would have gone with it. I comforted my self with my flask of coffee and a cigarette.

I was aware of this chap sitting in the bench next to mine:

20130420-180354.jpg
I’m not a fan of seagulls but he stayed put, looking at me and talking to the other seagulls. He reminded me of a dog, or rather dogs when they whine at each other. On making this association, I paid him some more attention. He seemed wise and grounded. I wondered if he had an understanding of the universe and realised that, on a level, he did. Not a cognitive level, but on a practical, behavioural level, and perhaps, an emotional level. Looking at him made me feel as if he had a sense of mastery over his world, a complete understanding of all he perceives, or at least the feeling of understanding of all he perceives.

I reasoned that I had a fairly good, practical understanding of the universe and my place in it, but there is no way I will ever have an understanding of it all on a cognitive level. Even if i had infinite mental capacity to understand all the knowledge in the world, the facts are still unknown. I wondered if I could ever understand it all on an emotional level and fairly quickly dismissed that as too time and energy consuming.

I wondered, however, whether I am missing a level or two?

I started to get cold and wet and retreated to my car, dissatisfied with my attempt to be reckless but satisfied that I had achieved some thinking space of my own.

I felt a sense of achievement as I arrived at my next meeting with wet hair and sand in my shoes.

Also, at the meeting I apologetically informed my colleagues that I would not be present the week after next for two consecutive weeks. They surprised me by seeming genuinely pleased for
me to be getting a holiday. I walked away realising that I had fallen into a trap of thinking my presence is more important than it actually is.

I drove home after the meeting feeling a little bit free…

Karate Grading

20 Apr

Last Sunday I attended my second karate grading. My club tends to wait until you are ready and have done at least so many classes. Once you have been registered for grading you have to go and run through all your karate basics (kicks, punches, blocks and stances) and your Kata (sequences of basics) with everyone else in the region.
I knew from previous experience that I was unlikely to fail (they rarely ‘fail’ anyone on the day). However I wasn’t expecting it to be as hard as it was. They made us work for those belts! By 30 minutes I could barely stand. Let alone do ‘good’ karate!
Still, I passed, and I felt as if I had earned it!

20130420-173054.jpg

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32 other followers