Time jump update! Where have I been? I wish I could tell you it was something exciting but to be honest, I’ve been exactly here. Home. My bubbly baby is now 10 months old- we’re in the double digits! There’s been teething. Fierce teething. There’s been building- not the renovation kind- but after months, we have finally put away boxes of clothes and hung them up in nice big bespoke wardrobes. I will never take wardrobes for granted again. Then came the painting of the wardrobes, that once upon a time would have taken a weekend of intensive work to finish. With a baby, you move at a glacial pace. It took forever between me and Robin, in between nap times and bed times, to finally paint those bad boys.
With the year zooming by so quickly, we’ve also tried to hurry up and finish the loft room into the master bedroom. A new bed has been ordered and the pouffe of my dreams was delivered a few days ago. As it’s a loft room and an awkward shape, we couldn’t just order any old bed and when we did find a bed that would fit beneath the velux windows, it went out of stock. One evening, during one of those mindless scrolls in between adverts, Robin saw it was back and quickly snapped it up. It arrives tomorrow! Just as he’s about to disappear for a couple of days on a shoot! Angela- wife, mother, lifter of heavy things.
I had a bit of an identity crisis too. I discovered that dipping my toes into freelance employment- even small dips- was really, really hard. Meeting deadlines was a struggle, even though I had ages to prepare. As easy as it was to assume I could work in between naps and in the evenings, the reality was that most days nap times wavered from anything to half an hour to an hour and a half, meaning drafts were hurried and then I’d feel bad for not having done the washing/fed the cats/let the house fall down around me in a storm of dust bunnies and unfolded laundry. And babies aren’t predictable. I had Ava attached to me nearly 24 hours of the day for a week as she was completely inconsolable as her teeth cut through her gums. One day, I realised I wasn’t being fair to her as my mind wondered and fret about working- whilst there she was, sobbing in my arms, clutching her blanket. She was so sad, it broke me- she needed her mummy. I felt very selfish for suddenly needing validation for the next time someone asked me ‘what do you do/are you going back to work’ like being a mother isn’t important, or annoyingly- that being a stay at home mum in this chapter of my life isn’t hard.
Anyway, I’m still working on all this in my head. Once upon a time I worked in buzzing agencies and cliche media companies, putting on events for Prime Ministers and alcoholic advertising execs, booking private jets and personal shopping in Harrods…and then suddenly, I have a baby and afterwards people treat me like I’m a dim witted Stepford Wife. But, WORKING ON THIS.
As Spring gently rolls in, I look at the pink blossom trees lining our street, I can hear the laughter of the children in the park behind our house, and then I watch Ava playing on the floor with her favourite spoon grasped in her little hand- happy and content and always smiling, babbling at me. I feel good. This is my family. This is our home. So, that question, when am I going back to work? I don’t know. I’m having too much fun doing the hardest job I will ever have right now.1