Mama needs a bloggy break

It’s been another busy week – though even more so than usual, if that’s possible.

I’ve been to Sarah Beeson, MBE‘s book event, BritMums Live & the House of Mamas launch.

Baby Girl also had another sick bug – that’s been fun.

I’d been looking forward to BritMums Live for so long. Two whole days of talks, sessions, networking, chatting to like minded people, sharing a passion for parenting & blogging – & there was promised to be tea & cake. What was not to look forward to!?

But in reality, the whole thing was quite intense & overwhelming.

And on the Saturday morning, they ran out of tea!!! Thankfully the venue were quick to rectify this insanely rookie error (it’s a mummy conference for Pete’s sake!) & peace & harmony was restored.

But I’m sad to say that overall, I left feeling uninspired and exhausted, asking myself, “why do I blog?!”

I met some lovely people and it was great to catch up with some old faces I’ve met at previous events but I also met some people who weren’t so friendly, which was disappointing.

Where as back in November, after BlogFest ’14, I came home absolutely buzzing, raring to go with hundreds of ideas for how to take my blog forward, this weekend I came home feeling as though I might just throw in the towel altogether.

In hindsight, I think I’m tired. Between looking after Baby Girl, job hunting, interviewing & blogging, I haven’t had a moment to myself for some time now. Any spare time I have is spent trawling job listings or trying to pull a blog post together – I’ve been lucky to get one live a week this past month.

I feel I need a break. Those who don’t blog won’t realise the amount of work that goes into it. A single post can take multiple hours to put together; writing, editing, re-editing, designing, photography & photo editing… Then there’s the promotion; Facebook, Twitter, multiple blogging networks to add your latest post to… whether a post goes live or not, I spend at least one to two hours per day keeping up with other blogs I follow online & finding new ones, networking via Twitter, etc.

A fellow blogger recently called it a hamster wheel & I can think of no better analogy.

Amidst all this, I feel guilty if Baby Girl catches me on my phone or those days when I’m watching the clock til nap time when I can get stuff done.

I’ve said before on the blog I feel I would appreciate the time with her more if I had some time away. In truth, I think I would appreciate the time with her more if I wasn’t constantly thinking of everything else I had to get done in a single day.

So, it’s decided. I’m taking a break.

I’m on holiday with the girls (no Baby Girl or Oh! ah!) next week, which originally I had expected to take my laptop and do one or two hours of writing a day – probably in the morning before the rest of the gang are up because my body clock doesn’t allow for lie-ins any more! But instead, I think I’ll take a book & actually take some proper time out for myself.

Of course, I’m completely addicted to social media, so you’ll still find me on Instagram – my happy place – & no doubt Twitter (either as myself @amiecaitlin or as my blog profile @bumpbabyme). But Facebook & my other platforms will go quiet over the next few weeks while I take some time to recharge & reassess what I really want from blogging.

Thank you so, so much to everyone who has read & supported the blog over the last 18 months. You’ll probably never know how much it’s meant to me that someone more than my mom & the OH reads my blood, sweat & tears (though I do also appreciate their never ending support as well).

While I take a little break, why not check out some other awesome parent bloggers and some uber cool fashion bloggers:

Mama Duck Quacks@mamaduckquacks
Colour Me Woman
Giggles Family Vlog@thegigglesblog
Budding Smiles@buddingsmiles
Mothering Mushroom – @MushroomsMum
Run, Jump Scrap@runjumpscrap
Single Mum Ahoy!@singlemahoy
Running in Lavender@lavenderheledd
Side Street Style
@laurasidestreet
Wacey Style@waceystyle
Style Me Sunday@stylemesunday

And an Instagram shout out to New Young Mum who’s photos of the beach always make me happy (& uber jealous!)

I’m so sorry if I’ve forgotten anyone!

New shoes! {The Wonderful Ordinary 9}

What do you mean Daddy’s boots are too big? But my feet have grown!

Just two months on and Baby Girl has already outgrown her first pair of shoes. Crazy.

She got a blister on the arch of her foot about three weeks ago, so we popped back to Clarks to get her remeasured. They said she was on the cusp and recommended I waited another week or two until she was definitely the next size up.

Then Monday, she woke up and I couldn’t get her shoe on her foot. So that was that.

To be fair, the signs were there and Baby Girl was trying her hardest to communicate that the pink, frilly, polkadot pumps just wouldn’t do anymore. (Thank God.)

We’ve gone for something more summery this time; no more sweaty toes for Baby Girl! And at only £18, these felt positively frugal compared to the £32 I shelled out last time.

Though we do seem destined to only be able to purchase the girliest of shoes in the shop. At least neon colours are in fashion this season?

Showing off her new swag to Mog. I think he approves.

Keep up to date with Finding Our Feet on our Instagram feed, @findingourfeet.

See more Finding Our Feet The Wonderful Ordinary posts. 

Baby Girl’s first love {The Wonderful Ordinary 8}

I think this is one of my favourite photos I’ve ever taken.

Last weekend we went to the lovely Cemetery Park near where we live for a picnic. Afterwards, we went for a wander and Baby Girl was playing with Mog (her bunny) in the dirt – as you do. I was snapping away when suddenly she turned, ran to her Daddy and gave him a massive hug. It was such a spontaneous moment and such a tender one. I’m forever grateful I had the camera in my hand, ready to go.

NB: the photo is blurred for the purpose of the blog as we don’t like to show Baby Girl’s face, not because I can’t focus a camera!

See more Finding Our Feet photography on our Instagram feed, @findingourfeet.

See more Finding Our Feet The Wonderful Ordinary posts. 

First weekend away from Baby Girl

I wrote on Friday explaining I was en route to a Hen weekend; my first weekend away from Baby Girl since she was born.

Back in January, when I spent my first night away from Baby Girl, I cried three times… But not this weekend! After a tough month or so with Leap 9, the MMR, job hunting, teething & more, I was so raring to go on Friday morning.

A whole weekend not thinking about what time it is – snack time, nap time, lunch time, did I get something out of the freezer in time for dinner? – or worrying that Baby Girl is getting enough stimulation & education; not having someone hang off my leg when I made a cup of tea; not being woken up in the morning by the sound of ‘Dadadadadadadada!!!!!’ or slapped in the face every 30 minutes… No one pulled my hair this weekend; no one threw their food on the floor; someone was sick, but there was absolutely no expectation of me to clean it up & I just walked away.

What liberation!

Although the weekend was entirely about my dear friend & bride-to-be Rosie, it was also, in it’s own way, entirely about me. And I relished in Every. Single. Moment.

A friend of mine with a nearly-six month-old recently said the very baffling words, “I miss hangovers”. At the time, not going to lie, I thought the sleep deprivation had finally got to her & she’d lost her marbles. But this weekend, I actually understood what she meant.

On Saturday, I woke at 7:30am, the light streaming through the curtains (who doesn’t have black out curtains these days!?). I simply pulled the sheet over my head & dosed back off to sleep in a grumpy, delirious haze. Because I could.

At 9:30, I woke again, gently, quietly, tentatively. I lay in bed for about ten minutes; the house was strangely quiet and still, even with eleven other girls staying in it. Even with a hangover, how peaceful the world seemed first thing in the morning for the first time in fifteen months. I plodded downstairs for water, tea & toast, which I made in the quiet of the empty kitchen, at my own pace, in my own time. I then actually enjoyed my tea & toast. No one else trying to grab it off my plate or spill my hot tea down themselves.

What bliss.

On Sunday, I woke to a message from the OH; 9:57am, “Off to the farm [photo of the two of them ready to go]”. Between 10 and 11:15am, came an onslaught of photos of Baby Girl at the farm. They say a picture speaks a thousand words. I’ll let you fill in the blanks of my reply:

  
Do I miss hangovers? Good God no. But man have I missed the ability to shut out the world, to wallow in my own self-pity & to be utterly selfish for a day. When was the last time any mother (or father for that matter) can say they had a day like that? I certainly don’t remember the last one I had.

When I got home on Sunday, the OH said it was probably one of the best weekends he’s ever had. He thoroughly enjoyed spending the time with Baby Girl. YES! Don’t worry, I’ll happily go away more often so you can have more Daddy-daughter time.

And, indeed, as predicted, he not only manage this weekend, but his exact words were, “I was surprised by how easy it was!” [Insert murderous thought…]

I’d be lying if I said this didn’t grate slightly… I’d like to see him do it for fifteen months, day in, day out, then let’s see how easy he finds it.

The truth is, in the car on the way back on Sunday, I was dreading coming home. I feel terrible for saying this, but I hadn’t missed it. And the idea of coming back to the same monotonous routine – now jaded from a Hen weekend suffering from what would turn out to be a three day hangover (such a shadow of my 21 year old self!) – the same brightly coloured singing plastic, the same battles with Baby Girl day in, day out… it just wasn’t very appealing.

And this is where I find myself now, coming down off the massive high that was the weekend, back to reality.

Seeing the energy the OH had with Baby Girl, his enthusiasm, his joy at spending so much time with her has made me feel as though I’m not doing a great job at the moment. I feel exhausted all the time (even before the weekend away); even when Baby Girl sleeps, fifteen months of sleep deprivation, worry & confusion have taken their toll.

I thought the weekend away would rejuvenate me, bring me home with a new lease of life & a new passion for Row Row Row Your Boat.

I was wrong.

It’s just made me realise how much I hate Row Row Row Your Boat. On the Saturday we ‘Paddled to the Pub,’ canoeing down Beaulieu River and the girls all started singing Row Row Row Your Boat; I nearly threw myself overboard.

  Umm, so… this wasn’t where I saw this blog post going when I started writing. It was originally a really happy post, filled with glitter & joy from the weekend! (It was a sparkle themed weekend; we all looked like a fairy played fast & loose with her pixie dust!) They say blogging is therapy – now I know why.