11 February 2012

I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.
- Virginia Woolf-

I've been thinking about this quote a lot. Not only in regards to postnatal depression, and living live under a bell jar. Also in relation to what it's like being a mum at home. 

Many wise mothers have warned me that it's horrible to be "trapped" at home with a child.
I used to think, trapped, come on, all I have to do is stick the baby in the Ergo carrier or the pram and we can escape, together. But I understand now that it's a different kind of trapped.

I think motherhood enriches your life in more ways than you could ever imagine. But for all the riches to fit in, you have to make room. And the something that has to give is space. Mental space, physical space, your own space, head space. I miss my space. I do. Even when I have it, when I'm swimming, for example, and I know the baby is safe at home, and I'm swimming lap after lap, my head still isn't free like it used to be. It's always, somehow, with my baby.

At home, the baby's things have slowly crawled into every possible corner. More and more things are being moved into the garage. Our toes are blue from their encounters with the baby gym and the bouncers. I am fine with that. It's lovely and it's necessary. But I can't remember that crafting in my own space has ever felt this important to me before Matilda arrived.
Crafting gives me head space, feet space, mental space.
I have just recently finished clearing out a little corner for my desk and my shelves and my silly doilies, and just looking at it makes me feel a teensy bit calmer. 

It's there waiting for me.

05 February 2012

Dear Matilda

you are not four months old and you are rapidly growing. So are your fingernails and toenails. 

Last week I once again faced the awkward and terrifying challenge of cutting your tiny, see-through, fragile fingernails. You were playing with my hair with one hand, and I was gripping the other, clipping one finger at a time, they are as thin as matchsticks, or so it seems to me. I was oh so careful not to do any damage to your buttery, delicate skin. Then I clipped your thumbnail, and there was blood.

A tiny bit. And you started crying.

I rang your dad at work and informed him that he needed to come home in a taxi immediately, because you were bleeding, probably needed stitches, and we had to go to hospital, and I wanted you to have a tetanus shot, who cares if the nail clippers weren't rusty. 

He arrived 20 minutes later, sweating and panicked. He found me on our couch, holding you tightly against my chest. I was sobbing. You were laughing and giggling.  Your dad was very pleased to find out that your blood loss amounted to a 2 dollar coin sized patch on a tissue.He also did a good job of pretending that he didn't mind being married to a crazy person.

He returned to work soon after he reassured me that the injury most likely did not require an emergency room visit. He said it reminded him of the time I rang the ambulance because you had heat rash.  

Sheepishly, your loving mother.

03 February 2012

When Matilda was being cooked in my belly I decided she would lead a plastic-free life. 
I purchased wooden toys, lovely cotton rattles and lovingly handmade playthings.

Her favourite toys are mainly those we got given, and those my mum bought at Ikea.
All made in China.
Of course.

02 February 2012


Of course after collecting the best of the best of children's literature for my daughter the first book she falls in love with is: Ikea, by Ikea.