The hardest (and sweetest) year of our lives

Ella turned one on Saturday. One! And all our family and friends were like: “Where did the year go?” I was not: I can tell you in painstaking detail where the year went. And that’s not a negative reflection, just a fact. It has without doubt been the hardest year Mark and I have ever had. But also absolutely the sweetest.

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How I learnt to be a family

Oh my my, but there are so many parenting traps I didn’t anticipate! So many potential things to do ‘wrong’, ways to mess up your kid without even noticing, layers and layers of judgement about your parenting style if you buy into that (I do not). But if there’s one thing I’m certain I do well as a parent, it’s be a family. Let me explain… (more…)

Cuteness overload

I wrote this last night and then got interrupted by Arty refusing to go to sleep… The rest still holds true, though!

And then today, my kids were unbelievably cute. Both of them, all day. (more…)

Acceptance

We’ve been in the trenches lately. It’s been a tough two weeks of not enough sleep, two clingy kids (teething, sickness and developmental leaps) and intense work pressure. Life has been hard.

But then… (more…)

Sweet and sour days

A few weeks ago, we went on our annual pilgrimage to Durban: two weeks in midwinter to my hometown that never experiences winter. It was beautiful! Warm! Balmy! The ocean was like bathwater, even on a supposedly ‘cold’ day…

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What’s your recurring thought?

It’s been an exhausting week. Ella has had German measles and fluid trapped behind her ear – a double whammy, as the doctor said – so she’s been super grumpy and not sleeping well. Poor poppet. I am not used to a grumpy baby! I feel like the whole week has been a single note plucked on a guitar: ‘sick baby, sick baby, sick baby’. Alternated with ‘I’m so tired, I’m so tired, I’m so tired.’ But aren’t we all walking around with a recurring thought on repeat?

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What I’ll miss about having a baby

While I will not miss the frequent night wakings – not one little bit – I will miss Ella being so excited to see me when I get back from work that she grabs my face and tries to eat it.

I’ll miss the funny little cooing garbledy sounds she makes before she learns how to talk properly.

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Sleep deprivation torture

Torture is a big word. I do not use it lightly. If you haven’t had kids yet, maybe don’t read on…

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How I learnt to be a Mom

I’ve never been a particularly maternal person. I like kids and babies when they belong to people I love, but I won’t walk up to a stranger to coo at their children, and I’ve never felt that motherhood would be my defining role in life. Still, that was before I met Arthur and Ella (who are, without doubt, the most remarkable children the world has ever seen – of course!) and at the moment life is all about mothering, all the time. I think this is probably true of anyone with a baby and a toddler, but I’ve been thinking, lately, of how I learnt to be a Mom… And the answer, of course, is from my mom.

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A sense of style

I had the most amazing morning last weekend: I went clothes shopping. For myself! This might not sound like that much of a treat but I’m not exaggerating when I say I haven’t bought myself new clothes in over a year and a half. I was planning on getting pregnant, so there was no point. And then I was pregnant, so there was no point. And then I was overweight, so there was no points. And then breastfeeding. But now, although I am still not quite back to normal and although I am still breastfeeding, I am sick to death of looking frumpy. So I went on a shopping spree!

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