Wednesday, 30 April 2008

i'm just stopping by...


J has just fallen asleep and I had to tear myself away from the exciting laundry, dirty kitchen floor and dirty just about everything else, to get on the PC. I was sort of into the flow of it (doesn't happen often), so it was hard to change levels. But must get on with the novel!

I remembered today that when I was working part-time and had loads of time (supposedly), I hardly did any writing. Things haven't really changed... whatever situation I'm in, I find myself making excuses and longing to just lie around reading a book. Sometimes I think books are my vice. So now that I'm grabbing little moments here and there (and sometimes a block of 2 hours after J's gone to bed at night, but often I'm too exhausted by then), it's no different.


Sunday, 27 April 2008

Sunday ...exhausted!

Taught a yoga class at LA Fitness Gym today, covering for my teacher. It was great - I haven't taught there for months but used to do it fairly regularly as cover. It's weird how things come full circle - that gym was where I first started doing Kundalini Yoga, and now I am teaching there. I got a good response with a couple of students asking me afterwards about my new class. Always a good sign. I feel so amazing after teaching, it's one of those things that I can do and really be totally immersed in, not half somewhere else. No problem being 'in the moment' there! Even temporarily forgot about my perennial obsession, my baby!

I haven't had much time to write the past couple of days, although I submitted a new article to Suite 101 on Thursday. It turns out writing specifically for the web takes some getting used to; I got some feedback from the editor that made me aware of needing to improve on my search engine optimisation! But it's a learning curve ;) I got good feedback re my articles from another writer mama on a forum for holistic-minded mothers that I frequent, which was great.

Attended the Will Self reading with G, promoting his new book, 'The Butt', at the Old Market Theatre (associated with City Books) on Thursday night. Was rather nerve-wracking as had to drop J off at friends to babysit, and was called back there before the end of the event as he was crying :( It really breaks my heart when that happens. But apparently he was fine most of the time, and at least I was just down the road. Anyway it was quite inspiring, hearing such a successful author read, and hearing the way he answered questions.

Really 'in love' with my baba lately - I've been 'wearing' him a lot the last few days and it makes a difference to how close we feel. I love my Ergo! J has been so much fun to be with, he is just full of laughs and life.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Pleasant reveries and reflections

Bus reverie

Just emerged from a lovely reverie on the bus. Bus journeys have become part of my life again recently. On a bus I'm often struck by how much I love this city. It seems crazy to contemplate moving anywhere else - although I do, regularly - Devon, for example. There's something addictive about Brighton - I know there are cheaper places to live that are just as lovely, with communities of their own, but somehow Brighton always pulls me in...

Looking out the window of the bus I can see ... a group of university music students jamming on the lawn...women pushing twin buggies along... an animated discussion between two dreadlocked hippies outside the Cowley businessmen and women heading for the train station, back to London...I can see all possibilities and all lifestyles, all questions, all choices, all connections. It helps me make connections in my own life, and think about what I am doing, and where I want to go.

The Zen of Motherhood

I was also thinking: motherhood is so incredibly Zen, in a way. It's a wonderful way to peel off the layers. I find myself losing my preferences gradually, and growing in my ability to be okay with unpredictability, chaos, the unknown. Something I've always been both drawn to, and terrified of - like many of us, I suppose. There I am, on the bus, sprawled across two seats so I can breastfeed my baby, honestly not giving a s*** about what anyone might think. I wrote recently about being sensitive to others' reaction to my baby's crying. Well, I'm making progress with that. I'm starting to trust that I know my J, and I trust my mothering. You really need that trust, as a mother. Especially times like, on Monday night when I returned from a poetry event that I read at, and poor J was crying his eyes out. The minute I took him from his dad, he stopped. It really hit me: He needs me.

Of course, I felt guilty...having chosen to do something out of the home at night time, which I very rarely do these days...but I know this is just part of what I have to cope with. The conflicting needs. However, it did make me resolve to not leave J at night unless I truly feel it's important... it's a tough call to make. But today, I took him to a creche for the first time, stayed with him for part of the time, and did some writing on the PC's that were available. Mainly work on my novel - just reading through character sketches and fleshing out plot. But he was fine. The creche worker told me he had been great, and is obviously very secure; she congratulated me on doing a good job. These affirmations are what mothers need, and more of!

Let's affirm each other as mothers.

Monday, 21 April 2008

one of those run-around days

Off to a poetry event

How many times can you heat up rice again? ;) J's doing his waking-up-every-few-minutes-after-being-put-down thing. I'm planning to go out to an event called Justin Sane, that Charles Devus, a guy from my poetry group, Poets Cornered, is holding at More Bar in Trafalgar Street. I'm going to perform my poems 'Passion', 'Permission' and 'Keep the Faith'. G's sister is babysitting, I'm a bit nervous as to how it will go because J will probably wake at least once, but I don't plan to be gone more than two hours tops. Of course, the buses around here are rubbish so who knows.

Covering a yoga class

I've just agreed to cover a yoga class on Sunday at LA Fitness Gym for my yoga teacher, who I met up with this morning. I've covered classes there often before, but not recently. Quite excited about it. Still feel ambivalent about having time away from J. It so rarely happens, that I get out of the habit of it. He is not used to being without me. Also, I find I miss him - like the time we had people round for dinner recently and he slept an unheard-of four and a half hours straight, and I honestly was longing for his company by the time he woke! I guess, when else do you spend literally 24/7 with someone?

My challenge at the moment seems to be to find new ways of creating balance between looking after J, writing and seeing people! I'm amazed when I go on mothers' forums to see how many mums balance studying, work and motherhood and STILL manage to have a relationship with their spouse ! More and more I am amazed by women. I don't even have any formal committments at the moment, yet I easily get stressed trying to do it all. Oh yes, and housework too...thank god I have a partner who does more than his fair share, or I'd live in chaos...

And finally...the never-ending novel

I've started looking at character studies I wrote a while ago, for my novel, and trying to get back into the characters' heads again. Now that I've decided to focus on three central characters rather than the eight I was envisioning, it's much easier. Though the writing I've already done will be useful background.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

A Sunny day in Brighton

So...what is the job description?

Sometimes I find myself wondering...what exactly are you supposed to do with a young baby?

It's much like any other job I've done before: I start to feel I should be doing more somehow, or at least better ;) I wish I could be a fly on the wall of other mums' homes, and see what they really get up to.

But when things are flowing well, I don't wonder about this so much. I just get on with it, and J seems happy, and I'm happy. I don't think people wondered about this stuff before the advent of parenting theories and books. I get the impression babies and children were just part of the bigger picture of life in the family and community.

Does your baby never cry?

Today I was on the seafront with G and J; it was a lovely sunny day, definitely the prelude to spring... and when I was left alone with J he had a huge crying fit. I swear, when he cries it is the loudest thing! Other mums have said I just imagine it is, because it sounds so loud to me, but today I really think it was, because the people at the next table were staring. I felt like saying, 'Did your baby never cry?' (they had an empty buggy with them). I knew he was just tired and had a runny nose which was preventing him from feeding properly, but there seems to be this vibe of, if a baby cries, the mum has to do something about it - fix it, stop it. I feel really on the spot when that happens, and its something that I can't fix. Oh well. All of this is great practice for gradually starting to give less of a damn what anyone else thinks!

I had a really productive morning, today - did a good page of my novel (oh yes, it's very slow...but its something!), had an epiphany about what to change in my novel while washing the dishes (love it when that happens), and did some networking and profiling on the web.

Gotta go now - J needs attention!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Writing Meeting and Yoga Classes

Writers feedback

I went to a writer's feedback meeting with two friends today which was really good. I've only been to my regular poets group, Poets Cornered, once since J's birth, as the time has proved inconvenient for me because of having no-one to look after J. When he was really little I could just pop him in the sling and take him along to anything, till whatever time, but now he has a 'bedtime' it's more difficult! Anyway this afternoon worked out well though, he slept through nearly an hour of it! And wasn't too fussy the rest of the time. Still, it's hard to concentrate fully and juggle things.

The feedback made me think about why I write the poems I do, and what they are really saying. I write in such a 'stream of consciousness', free writing way (and then work on the poems) that I often find it difficult to explain why I said this or that. That's why feedback is so useful, because I can see how my poem comes across more objectively, and whether the 'story' or concepts follow through, or jar a little.

We made goals to complete for the next meeting, and mine was to get to the next stage with my novel, by using tools such as mind maps and flipcharts to see where it's going, get an overall picture. At the moment I'm contemplating simplifying it quite a bit. I wrote a good page and a half this morning which I'm pleased with - it was a new 'scene' and some surprising things happened.


I've ended up being really busy again this week, seeing people every day and having lots planned. If I'm not careful I'll get exhausted again. It seems to come in waves though; I know better now when to slow down and schedule less. Before this week I had a pretty low-key one. But I haven't managed a single nap this week, and I'm starting to feel tired again.

New yoga class

I've organised the kundalini yoga classes, to start 1st May, and had fliers printed up which ended up being more expensive than I thought. Oh well. Put them up in a few places already, and the clinic where I'll be teaching said they'd give them to people at their Open Day today. Quite excited about it all, though also nervous, because the classes I started in Hove a while ago didn't ever take off. But this venue is a much more established one - the Hove one was a brand new practice, which was a mistake - but you live and learn.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

it's 7:45 am and a lovely day

New beginnings and a non-starter...

the last few days have been a mixture...

I'm discovering new levels to this motherhood thing all the time. One of the things that's quite hard is feeling like a black sheep (yet again) with some mums (not all) because of my rather alternative views on parenting. I also seem to be a bit over-researched on everything...other people don't seem to take the time to consciously choose what they are doing, just following tradition. This makes me sad :(

I'm feeling positive about my yoga teaching as have organised a new class starting 1st May in the mornings, not far from my house. The co-owners of the business seem very nice and are also up for me doing an evening class there soon, but suggest waiting to see how this one goes first. Typical me-style is to plunge ahead and do it all, then get overwhelmed! But learning to go slower these days :)

Unfortunately the pregnancy yoga training I had enrolled on, to start next month, has been cancelled due to low numbers. This I had kind of anticipated, but was disappointing nonetheless. I really was looking forward to starting pregnancy yoga classes. Now it'll have to wait another year.

Well that's all I have time for today. Little one is needing my attention. If only he were content in the sling while I'm sitting down...but no! He has been a real cutie-pie though lately (well, when is he not...)

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Back on the Upswing...


Feel really connected with my life again. Positive and excited. I feel so lucky to be able to live in the flow I'm in right now. I think what's relieved a lot of tension in my mind has been two things: making the final decision (with G) that I'm NOT going back to work as of the end of June as planned, and a few days away in Devon with G's family.

Amazing what a change of scenery can achieve. Right now I can see how lucky I am to be a mother and be able to do that, really put myself into it, without the extra stress of a job. The financial side is taking a lot of faith, but we ended up being better off than I thought, when I went onto maternity pay, so I know things can stretch and change. The dependence does scare me, sure - but not as much as doing something I hate and leaving my baby with someone else. Have been reading bits of 'Affluenza' by Oliver James, which I gave G for his birthday, and there's stuff in there that's pretty scary, about the effects of daycare on children under three, and the way that society brainwashes us into thinking only paid work outside the home is worth anything. Aah, the relief!

As for writing...I'm quite well back into the swing of my novel lately, although obviously had a break during our time away. Think I'm ready, finally, to start sharing it with a select few quite soon...I've had three articles published in less than two weeks, on It's great the way it is forcing me to write!