Figuring out this blog — part 2

by Sara Drawwater in

A month ago I wrote how I was inspired to stop making excuses and to write for 10 minutes a day. This all happened because of something I heard Shonda Rhimes say. Four weeks in and this is my review.

Hitting publish (nearly) everyday after just 10 minutes has been a useful challenge to get me to stop worrying about what people think and to stamp on perfectionism which has been a serious limiting factor.

On the flip side, hitting publish so quickly has made me worry that I'm just churning out quantity over quality. I mean who has time to read a daily post anyway? But then I remind myself that my main reason for writing at this stage is to strengthen my writing muscles and not about developing a readership (yet).

I figured a middle ground would be that I don't have to hit publish everyday. So long as I spend at least 10 minutes a day writing, I can write longer posts, series posts and more carefully thought out posts. I could allow myself the time to include imagery that the 10 minute limit has simply not allowed. Publish less often but better quality.

The danger is I will overthink things and end up back in the land of perfectionism that results in never hitting publish at all. 

Building on part 1 of figuring out this blog I need to spend more time clarifying what I will focus my writing on. I need a content plan but the danger of this is that I will overthink it and stop writing in favour of too much planning! 

Clearly, I have a lot of jumbled thoughts and ideas to wade through before I am happy with what I am doing. Maybe I will never be happy. Creative people are after all their own worst critics. I'm proud of myself for getting this far, but between now and happy, I must continue hitting publish.

When are you having another baby?

by Sara Drawwater

Marley is nearly 5 months old! He is big and bouncy and boisterous. And people are already asking, 'So, when are you having another baby?' Seriously?

But here's a scary thought. There really is something to think about here. If we want a small age gap, (like an 18 month gap) between two little ones, I'd need to be pregnant again by October this year! What a horrific thought.

My body has not recovered. My life is still upside down. Our relationship is still adjusting.

But the truth is, we don't want a big gap. We'd rather finish the  phases and be done with them. Who want to finish the nappy phase and then start it again 4 years later? Who wants to get used to blissful uninterrupted sleep only to start the very real nightmare again?

Oh, what to do... 

The silver lining of a rubbish weekend

by Sara Drawwater in

In my last blog, I had a bit of a moan about how rubbish our bank holiday had ended up because hubby crashed and burnt with a migraine. 

After feeling somewhat angry with hubby for working himself into the ground when I really need the weekend time with him like never before, I pulled myself together. This weekend I was reminded that there is a silver lining to many a rubbish situation.

As hubby began to feel better yesterday afternoon we had long interesting talks about priorities, and staying healthy. We're exploring what could possibly change in our lives to achieve more balance.

It reminded me that we are so on the same page, just that life, particularly work, pulls us in different and often very tiring directions that can leave us both quite depleted. But we've realigned ourselves. Onwards we go...

Juggling Mama — baby, dog and sick hubby

by Sara Drawwater

It's not been a great start to the Easter Bank holiday. I didn't do my 10 minutes of writing yesterday and am quickly adding this entry while Marley has his last nap of the day. 

I was so looking forward to hubby having 4 days off. Friday morning, and bang, he landed an almighty migraine. And so day 1 and day 2 of the long weekend have been spent either in bed or on the sofa. 

And so the plans for a DIY push on the house project, family time and shared baby responsibilities were laid to rest. Instead this feels like a 7 day week plus some :-( 24/7 Marley, nurse and dog duties (to avoid the sad dog look or the sock thieving crazy dog) have kept me on my toes.

Hubby is overworked and I am desperate to fit in more work. Oh, the irony. I full to the brim of baby joys (the good and bad joys) and hubby dreams of opening Daddy daycare. Oh, the irony.

(Though, not so secretly now, I'm not entirely sure he would really settle for full time Daddy day care. I think its one of those things that looks good to him until he gets there).

I wonder what day 3 of the bank holiday has in-store? 

Do not judge the Mother's meeting

by Sara Drawwater in

I used to judge groups of Mother's and their offspring. Sipping coffee, delving into sweet treats and using up all the space with their buggies. I would think to myself, "That will not be me. I will not have time for that. Surely, there is more talk about that baby talk anyway."

The tables have turned. I am now a Mother. I take back all the judgy things I thought and said because I need these Mother’s meetings like I need air to breathe.

Here's why:

  • Mother's know what I am going through physically and emotionally
  • Mother's know about the changing dynamics of relationships (with husbands, partners, friends, family and colleagues) as a result of getting used to life with a tiny human that can't help but demand all your attention
  • Mother's have the same dilemmas and challenges about balancing careers with motherhood 
  • Mother's are going through similar challenges - sleep deprivation, growth spurts, brain leaps, development phases like teething, weaning and napping and the to buy or not to buy debates about the million and one things you could get for your little one
  • Mother's understand if I'm totally late, if I arrive with my top inside out (or worse, stained with some kind of unwanted liquid) or if I forget to brush my hair. 

I met a wonderful group of Mother's to be, through NCT. Now, we meet once a week to sip coffee, delve into sweet treats and use up all the space with out buggies. We go for walks, meet at each other's houses and in time, I'm sure we'll hang around in playgrounds.

We laugh and cry together. We have a very busy Whatsapp group. We share worries, wins and whines. It's an essential support group for Mother's going through an almighty life change.

Maybe there is no solution

by Sara Drawwater in

In March I wrote about the things that are important to me. I wrote about how some things are going to have to take a back seat for a season. My challenge was to work out what can take a back seat out of this list?

  1. Take care of Marley
  2. Cultivate my relationship with hubby
  3. Get back into shape post pregnancy— eat well and exercise
  4. Two hours a day minimum on my work
  5. Maintaining and tidy and organised home
  6. Finish the house project
  7. Quiet spiritual time
  8. Time to just live, be and have fun
After much thought, the difficult truth is there is no solution. I’m not prepared to let any of these slip. So what now? The realisation that I’m going to have to spread myself rather thinly across the board.

Some will take more of a priority but life will be a little too empty and incomplete without any one of these things in it.

Turning challenges into positives

by Sara Drawwater

Sleep. It's a simple thing really. Well, its wonderfully complex from a scientific and biological perspective. Whichever way you look at, sleep becomes a very different experience after you have a baby.  

After 14 weeks (yep, that's three and a half months) of hideous nights with Marley, quite a few tearful breakdowns (mine and Marley's) I decided to take on sleep as a challenge. I became a seeker of sleep knowledge. I read books and websites like Precious Little Sleep and Baby Sleep Site.

Marley is now nearly 20 weeks old. For the last week or so we have all been enjoying blocks of three to four hours of sleep. That may sound like a broken night to you, but considering Marley started off waking hourly, this stage is snugly (as night time should be) and absolutely blissful!

How did we get here:

  • Marley is getting older and his sleep cycles are naturally maturing
  • Day time naps, although still a battle, and very short, at 30 to 40 minutes, have become essential ingredients for a good night
  • Stopped automatically feeding Marley every time he woke
I know its not always going to be smooth sailing. But I have learnt that no matter how bleak the situation (and I think this has been one of the bleakest experiences of my life), challenges will usually give way to a lesson, blessing or new beginning. 
— //Sara Drawwater

This ongoing experience has turned out to be all three for me, lessons, blessings and new beginnings.

Sunshine — medicine for your soul

by Sara Drawwater in

This weekend, the sun shone warm and bright for the first full weekend in 2017. And so it came to be that the aroma of BBQ's filled the air. Shop shelves where bread rolls used to be, lay bare. People were out walking, biking, scooting and skate boarding. Sunglasses, hats and sun cream at the ready. Sunshine is medicine for the soul.