I am 33 next month and still feel like a student. I dress like a student, living in skinny jeans and ankle boots. My khaki summer jacket wouldn’t be amiss in the college corridors, wisping through lecture room to coffee shop to library – oops no coffee in the library! I still wear my baggy jumpers, my KISS ARMY t-shirts – albeit these are confined to bedtime clothes most of the time – I am and always will be an indie girl at heart, and I frequently quote phrases from Friends. And I also have many insecurities.
One of our favourite things to do, at pretty much any time of the day, is dance in the kitchen. A is a total fiend for dancing and singing. It’s less about coordination and more about the wiggle and stomping of feet but it’s fun and we laugh non stop as the music takes us through a wave of guilty pleasure. We have a go to list of toddler songs that we all love dancing too.
I had a post half written for today about how a week off with A, just me and her, ended up being a ‘so so’ week. Despite my excitement for having so much time off with her, the week was neither exciting nor very eventful. I was in the midst of complaining in my half written post about how my unplanned week could have been much better if I planned and organised some fun and memorable things for me and A to do together. This has been a rare solo few days for us as B was working all week and I feel as though I have in a way wasted the days. This morning, however, my thoughts for this post changed. I gained a little perspective.
I have been designing and making my own jewellery out of old keys, watch parts and other bits and bobs since 2011. I actually started making jewellery at a time when B and I were arguing over whether to start a family. The big decision was a tedious and long thought out process for us both. At that time, I wanted to start a family and B was adament that he didn’t want kids, which was fair enough since we married very young and back then both of us were at a stage were we never envisaged having a family. But hearts and priorities change….
I am delighted to include an In Conversation With series on the blog with some lovely Momma’s and Papa’s who would like to share their tips, tricks and ideas on gaining that understated balance on parenting life. As a full time working Mom and Dad, B and I are often trying to find the correct balance with our careers and our home life. It’s never easy to know if you’re doing the right thing by your children or your partner and as always parenting guilt can take over. It takes a while to get into a routine with work and babies but oddly you do find that routine and manage some sort of equilibrium that suits your family. For me the balance comes with getting quality time with A. This week I speak to a stay at home mother who has raised her two children in the rural countryside of Co. Meath.
Charlie Brown is slowly becoming my mentor in life. Today, I’m stuck on one phrase from the opening beach scene in Snoopy Come Home. Charlie and Linus are standing at the edge of the water, Charlie delicately bends down, picks up a stone and lobs it into the water. Linus says:
Nice going, Charlie Brown. It took that rock 4,000 years to get to shore, and now you’ve thrown it back.
To which Charlie replies in that low monotone voice that honestly could be me every day of the week:
Everything I Do Makes Me Feel Guilty.
I know the feeling Charlie…
I have become very much a discombobulated mess this past week. Probably longer if you ask B. I still blame baby brain for my ludicrous stupidity and mindlessness. Baby brain was exhausting when A was a baby. I almost felt like I should tattoo my daily routine on my arm and thighs like that guy from Memento and carry a Polaroid camera with me!
June is our wedding anniversary. We are married ten years – it’s our Tin Year. B has always made me laugh. He’s one of those guys that is scarily funny. He’s so quick with his comebacks that you can’t help but think, “How the hell did he come up with that one?” I remember sitting on the ‘phone chair’ – a large imposing wicker chair with padded cushions which is long since gone – talking to B on the corded phone in my parents house when I was seventeen and about to sit my leaving cert (end of school exams in our neck of the woods). I was laughing so hard that when I got off the phone my sister who is seven years older than me asked, “Is he really that funny?”
That growing up from baby to toddler, from toddler to child is so quick. I know A is only two and a half and that she still waddles along on sturdy legs, has a cute toddler voice and still pulls the funny “ooh ooh” face when running after a ball which she’s done since nine months old. But she’s getting so big, gaining an independence and finding her own voice. But we’re lucky that we get to watch them grow up and learn.
We have between 30 minutes to 1 hour of playtime and quality time with A after we fall in the door after work. We’re exhausted, probably stressed, and have a million and one things to do to get ready for the next day. Once dinner is made and eaten we make sure to involve family time into our daily evening routine. I love Sensory Play and watching A figuring out new and curious things. As time is limited in the evenings for us, I have a few sensory play ideas that work well when you’re short on time and resources.