Thursday, 31 January 2013

about discipline

Discipline is a lovely word, isn't it? It is one of the words we start to appreciate when we grow up. It makes us feel and look and act grown up if/because we have got discipline.
I am 32 weeks pregnant now and discipline is high on my agenda. I have a feeling that if I don't become super - disciplined NOW or soon, I will not manage once the baby arrives. I have a vision of myself giving birth, being super - happy and after few hazy days recovering slipping back to my discipline - using all of my spare time (however little of it, I am not naive) to my best advantage.
I am quieting down, there is not much work left for me. I am not in a full time job, thankfully I am able to exist with occasional jobs only as I spent the years when most people build great careers traveling the world and the freedom I got used to plus lack of reputable CV meant I never caught up with the real world. I don't mind, I can have my own plans and projects and divide my time the way I want to. Of course, all of this wouldn't be possible if I didn't have a very supportive husband (thank you my dear). My small projects involve a little bit of PA work or translating and revising other people's works which is always exciting. I sometimes volunteer, too. We are not rich, my husband isn't a high flyer, but the truth is that we don't need that much stuff as we are made to think.
Another thing regarding my lack of work is that I spent over 2 years trying to get pregnant, I had an idea of building up some proper career but I felt pregnant, miscarried in 12 weeks and since then I sort of hoped it would happen at any time. It didn't and we kept trying and I wanted to be prepared and relaxed so why stress about job interviews anyway, right?... I did get pregnant finally after I started considering a job, was updating a very poor CV and searching online. I didn't apply though because we were also moving house which kept me pretty busy and before I could put myself together - whoala - I was pregnant!
So if there is any of you trying to conceive and getting frustrated I have an advice: don't give up but start to get busy with other things, make your mind worry about another things, make plans B and C and I hope you will not need them, or will be able to put them aside for later... But that's not what I wanted to write about.
The theme was discipline. Last week I started fretting about my lack of writing and planed to get back to my productive creative self. How do I do so far? Words planned to day:  9000. Words actually written: 3935. I sat down twice, not every day except Sunday. Oh dear, the fact that I have got more time at the moment as I don't have anything else going on, doesn't mean I am any better. Discipline is still something I hope to establish but I am working very slow at it. Why do I get so slow? I used to be able to fit so much into my day! Now everything takes time, so much time. Are all pregnant people so slow?
Plus I will have to start getting ready, put the things I will need together, take the classes, prepare for birth, pack the bag, fight over names - I will need the discipline even more because nothing is easier than sit online and research/discuss/review/compare baby products and dilemmas.
And why do I have this panic feeling that by end of March my life will end? Whatever won't be done can be done after the baby is here, right? I am not disappearing into thin air, I will still be me. A little lighter even.
Lets stay positive. I have a good life, I am transforming myself into a proper housewife and I am working on my discipline. I am improving. OK, last week was hectic, lets see what can I do in the coming one....

Thursday, 24 January 2013


I spent time reading a few pregnancy books in the past week, mainly to do with natural birth. There are some good tips in them on how to cope with labour pain without medications and a good one is to distract the senses - moving the body, using stress balls, look at objects or pictures, use sounds and listen to music. How do I create a perfect playlist for labour? Apparently, most women have a mixture of music styles from relaxing music to techno so they can pick and choose. Will I be able to fiddle with my ipod which tends to annoy me even without being in a contraction? You probably noticed I am not the best with technology, I try my best but find it mostly frustrating.
If I only knew how my mood and musical taste will develop and how long playlist I will need. I will probably want to start quite slow and calm and move on to gangster rap towards the end.... Husband hates rap and hip hop so I may loose his support by then plus who wants this kind of lyrics to be the welcoming sound to the world for a new born baby? Time to think about the others, not only about myself, but on the other hand it is my labour right??? Last time in my life when everything is about ME.
I am not sure what I will do but so far I have got one candidate for my birthing playlist: Alicia Keys' Superwoman. Very suitable for a victorious entry into motherhood. More tips welcomed dear readers.

Speaking of technology, I spent last few days revising a translation. It was printed out on a paper and I actually enjoyed reading the pages, marking out points I found relevant, being busy without getting frustrated with the moods of my wonderful new computer or distracted by emails and interesting stuff from internet. To do a little bit of work also reminded me that there is more to me than being pregnant and since I have got only about two months of me time left, it is time to get my nanowrimo hat back on and start working! I was supposed to move onto revising by now, that was the plan, but since the end of November (and my great victory, feels like years ago) I wrote my book ONCE. Shame on me.
I still hope that if I organize myself properly I will find it easier to return to writing once my baby arrives. Of course I will be busy, but if I push myself I will surely spare some time to write.
I made the first step today, I transferred my writing to this new shiny computer and hope that I will open the files most days in coming weeks.

Looking around the internet, I noticed the world is full of pregnant women and new mums with lots to say and reading their blogs is fascinating. So far it is taking me away from researching baby stuff I need to start buying and participating in online discussions. I am definitely more of a reader than talker. So lets take it easy and be a writer, too. If I could write 50000 words in November, surely I can do the same in February with a last week of January added in as a bonus.... Before my brain completely melts in nesting madness, I can see it slowly approaching with a hungry knowing smile....

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Week 30 - time to get organized

Yesterday I was over the moon. I found out I will be part of mumsnet bloggers forum. It is a great achievement. I started setting up my badge to let the world know. I am still trying today... And it doesn't work. I can not add it to my blog, whatever and however I try. The advice in the mumsnet mail is great but blogspot doesn't cooperate. Where are real people who could answer a question??? I am frustrated to the core of my poor soul. Why oh why, just when I partly recovered from trying to figure out a new computer I was given for christmas, do I have to encounter yet another technical challenge? Since the new computer can be slightly moody (who on earth thought we need such a thing as windows 8? just let me live and work with something that works please!) I thought - cleverly - I will try with my old computer today, maybe is some sort of settings I don't understand. But no, there is no mumsnet logo, no nanowrimo badge, nothing but plain background on my dear new blog. Who knows when will I manage to solve it. I typed a request into a great anonymous forum but I may as well go out to the garden and shout at the sky. It may work better, actually.

Husband is away on a conference this week, I am alone to take care of any challenge that comes my way. Considering how confused he was with our new computer I don't see him as a great technical guru anymore anyway (sorry my dear). Maybe he knows some super geek who could help, chances are better on his side than on mine.

Of course that when husband is about to fly to Malta early on Monday morning it starts to snow. Of course the cold weather comes on the day when I have to walk to the ante-natal class by myself. I should have learned to drive, not just get a driving license years ago and never sit behind a wheel again. I negotiated frozen footpaths and managed to make it for my second of three ante-natal classes. Since last week I am noticing pain in my left hip and a pubic pain. Apparently a gift that comes with pregnancy, my joints are getting softer. I am trying to make smaller steps and to be gentle on myself, but I constantly feel my body which is unusual. Besides my bump there are feeling in areas I didn't notice ever before. 10 more weeks to go...

What does help? I carry on with my private yoga classes and I must say I do feel better afterwards. There are no miracles, I didn't expect any, but I learned how to move with awareness and how to adjust myself to the changes. Plus I am super relaxed after my class. I am so glad I started with it. Funny thing is that my teacher is pregnant at the moment, too, so I feel like I am hanging out with a friend. I was thinking about joining a post-natal class but as this teacher will be on a maternity leave herself we thought about an unofficial get together for a practice instead of a regular class. Our situation is similar - no willing grandparents near by and husbands at work, so we will be able to meet with our babies and she will not have to worry about providing a proper teacher service while busy taking care of her possibly crying child. It could be a start of a wonderful friendship.

I am thinking about quitting my frustrations when I finish typing, switching the computers off and going for a meditation class. I found out that Buddhist center has an afternoon meditation drop in and I feel a great need of it. I want to get into a habit of meditating and I know I work better under a guidance.  Besides, it is a practice for normal, not pregnant people, and it would be a great chance to forget about myself for a moment and simply be (if the baby in the bump allows - it likes to remind me of its presence very much). The roads seem quite normal, if there is no risk of slipping I will gladly take a walk. Otherwise I will spend my afternoon in endless frustration possibly shouting at my computer.

I was supposed to go back to writing and finish my novel before my baby is due.Today I wanted to make a plan and start writing with NO EXCUSES.  But just to maintain and publicize a blog seems to be enough of a challenge at this very moment....

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Too much choice, too much advice...

OK, I am officially in the last trimester of my first pregnancy. And I can feel it. The bump is suddenly in a way. It was a moderate bump but now it is stopping me from walking around corners without bumping into them, being fast, turning in bed without noticing, sitting and dressing or undressing without a thought. Whatever move I make the bump reminds me of its existence.

Baby's moves feel different, too and they are actually visible now, which makes husband very happy.
With the last trimester and Christmas behind us we can start to get ready. Getting ready time was a project placed in my head - I could see it in the future, happily ordering and getting only necessary stuff. But the reality is that once I started my research I am bombarded with too many products, too much information and too much choice. Who said that choice is good? I need nappies (washable, I am not giving my baby 500 years worth of landfill mountain as a gift for the environment) - give me nappies that work, not 50 websites claiming they are the best and confusing comments and forums where nobody has a clear opinion. Same with a sling, a cot, a car seat, basically with anything.

My friends are keen to donate stuff they don't need which I am grateful for, but I am stuffed with a massive bag filled with pink clothes and I don't know the sex of my baby (newborns are colour blind anyway, surely my eventual son will not be damaged if he will spend some time in a pink onesie) and I already have 2 Moses baskets. I will soon run out of space without putting together sensible amount of things I will really need and use. Apparently I will not find out WHAT I actually need and will use until the baby is here anyway, so maybe I should go back to simply enjoying myself and hope for the best.

With donated items came the advice. Yes, my friends already had all the children they will ever want and besides de-cluttering they also feel the need to tell me what to do. They feel they really know how parenting works and husband and I are clueless. Somehow the fact that while they popped their dear babies ones and twos while husband and I were struggling to conceive seems to make them believe we have no idea. The fact is that husband and I had plenty of time to observe their parenting and make up our own idea about how we want to function as a family in the future. But because we didn't do any parenting yet, our dear friends assume we want to listen to their advice and stories and follow them to the letter.

At the same time I noticed that while I am very occupied with the pregnancy/birth/newborn, those parts became very blurry to my friends and they keep telling me how to deal with older kids and work-life balance. So thank you but no thank you. We are not on the same boat really.

What I do think after absorbing the baby talk (and thanks to the now very visible bump there is clearly more to come) is that every woman starts her motherhood with an ideal image of ideal mother version of herself who is blessed with an ideal baby, than this image disappears as the real motherhood starts and once she finds the ground she starts explaining herself in order to make herself to feel better. I don't think there is an ideal mother or ideal baby anywhere in the world but I think that we should just try our best - as with everything in life. I would just love to be able to do my best without being constantly judged by others and I am a little bit afraid of the competitiveness that comes with parenting. I can hear the comments my friends make about those not present and I am pretty sure the same happens regarding me when I am not around.
So my friends don't like reusable nappies or natural births but I do and instead of accepting it they keep trying to put me off. Not very helpful.

 My yoga teacher mentioned how I should observe myself in a non-judgmental way and be open while I practice but I am trying to take this advice to my everyday life. I don't want to judge my friends and their parenting or choice of baby clothes, whatever they do is clearly good for them and that is what matters. I just hope they will do the same to me and allow me to go thorough my own motherhood my own way - whether it is different from theirs or not.