Calling Your Cat Names 

Bastian my cat is annoying early in the morning. You might say he’s cute and beautiful and whatever words you want to use for this:


But he is making me consider slitting my veins in the early hours when I’m juggling breakfast and pee pee and dressing up responsibilities to the best of my ability and this mofo stares at me from outside scratching the kitchen door only to wait on the porch and lick his fur when I let him in in haste. Once he eats his food he claws my calf asking for more and I swear to an Egyptian cat he looks like this:


Is calling a cat “dog” counts as verbal abuse?

There’s nothing to be proud of but I did tell him: “No more food for you, dog”.

He left the room and jumped on San-Jay’s bed.

Not my problem now. Phew…

I Don’t Want to Be Boring

The other day, when I had a chat with my work colleague about children she announced: “I do want to have children but not yet because I don’t want to be boring”.

I laughed with endearment and thought at th  first split of the second that I should feel offended or at least defensive. But I didn’t.

I certainly didn’t consider this an insult but this one little innocent statement definitely made me think.

Now, that I am a mother, am I boring? Am I really boring? And I can answer this with absolutely no hesitation. Yes I am. I am perceived as boring. My days of partying are over, I go to sleep at the same time as my daughter, I skip company’s drinks because I rush to my daughter, I don’t remember when I last went to the cinema with my husband, let alone friends.  What friends? I already have had a handful and now I don’t even make an effort to go for an occasional girls night out.

Socially I am dead! I also lost my mojo one could think. I would rather say on the other hand – my mojo transformed. Yes, it transformed. Now I have a mummy mojo and although there’s still a hole in my soul unfulfilled wig the things that I love and either sacrificed or lost energy to re- take up, I devote myself to my long awaited mother persona. 

And I am the least fun human on the planet at the moment but it is so worth it…

On Bilingual Mothers who Are Not Really Bilingual

I’m Polish. Bred and raised. Yet my daughter (now almost 2.5 years old, as she says: she’s “two o’s”) wields only her own mother tongue (aka English) , except a few occasional: “kocham”, “czesc” or “dzieki”.

Since Arya’s day one, I have been feeling guilty about this fact although I consciously made a choice not to speak to her in Polish mostly out of of convenience (I don’t have Polish speakers around me to converse on a daily basis). The guilt is coming from the societal (and sociolinguistic) view on raising children in a bilingual family. I’ve heard million times: “You should speak to Arya in your language, it’s really bad you don’t”.

And for the whole list of the reasons I have learnt when studied linguistics I do know they are right. Yes, Bilingual children are smarter, geniuses and they know a second language by default.

For years now I t has been hard for me to speak Polish. I don’t speak Polish daily. My family doesn’t call me regularly for chats in my native tongue, I don’t work with Polish people, I don’t have many Polish friends who I meet often. I breathe, think and speak English (far from RP, but I still do). I have been for over 12 years now (even in the Uni before than we spoke English all the time because we studied in English). How am I supposed to suddenly switch? 

And yes the dark cloud of guilt follows me every day and I don’t need gurus on trains and occasional encounters telling me “YOU SHOULD” like I’m depriving my daughter of her basic rights. Go back to your lives and let me live with my guilt in my own world. I promise, Arya will speak Polish before I die.

 

Screwing you Over Mums, BIG TIME

I’ve got two jobs, my husband is a management consultant, our baby is in a nursery and as much as there’s only benefits of the latter I cannot digest the thought that I pay £1500 each month for this. She’s having fun there and very much enjoying the time spent with her teachers and peers but almost each day I cry over this £1500 per month. 

£1500

Do you realise… DO YOU REALISE!!! that nurseries charge more than an average university for an MBA degree and yes, some mothers will jump on me saying that my child is the most important to me and money has no meaning when it comes to happiness of your child. Well, fuck it does because for this money I could get my daughter lots of things that inspire her, or, what would most of you say I could SAVE for her “real” education. 

You have to be realistic about the costs. Wake up and realise that the government is f***ing you like a prostitute (what? A mother shouldn’t use a language like that? Oh oh oh let me tell you something, who are people to judge?) 

Let’s see… If I pay £1500 per month she either comes out from it with a secured pension plan for me and my husband or 

she knows Chinese and AT LEAST basic programming 

or

she knows how to figure out what the next Euro millions results will be.

I cannot comprehend it – the newborns are our pension providers, mothers are some of the kegs in the economy wheel (still undervalued and underpaid but they are) and yet they fucking charge the FAMILIES for that. 

W-T-F?!!! I say?

Do you know, parents, we are being ripped off, big time. FUCKING BIG TIME (and although I’m a parent I will fucking swear here, just because I’m a human. Not a woman, not a baby… but a fucking human… who has a brain, who is believed to have a brain, as opposed to women and babies).

There I had my rant. 

And I’m actually considering moving out of this country – as a mother. #brexit to the win (short-term win)

And you know what – I know lots of women with babies who, with their families, decided to move out too.

Families, babies, women are not wanted here. 

Hm, if most of us leave who will pay for your pensioner holiday, Britain?

Macabre Visions

I promise I will be back as soon as summer is over. I’ve been in too lazy mood for the past couple of months but this will have to change.

Now however I wanted to write about the topic that has been a part of my life since Arya was born – involuntary macabre visions.

Yes, everyone has heard about mother instinct and that the mind of a woman changes as soon as they become mothers but to me this was just a piece of dry information until I (FINELY, sorry but I cannot stress that enough) became a mother myself. 

Since Arya was little those horrible flashes of images hit me out of the blue, when I was walking with Arya in a buggy or leaving her for a second in her seat while turning my head to reach for something. Gruesome figments of my imagination where I saw Arya in exactly the same situation as we were at that moment and an accident or a scary incident with the most vivid details of this horror – all in the split of a second. The scenes were so horrid they were bringing chills on my skin and heart palpitating faster as if I was getting panic attacks. And each time different (because the actual situation was different) and each time as intense and lucid that it became my massive worry. I also started thinking that perhaps on some level I wanted these things happen or enjoyed them. Felt so embarrassed, scared but at the same time intrigued. I sort of knew what they were referring too, but as I always question everything about myself this was not an exception.

I once told Sanj about all this and he said in the most causal way as if I was trying to share with him that the we are married or that the rain falls from the sky: “Of course. This is mother instinct. You are a mother and you love your baby so much that your brain is constantly alerted.”

From then on I have understood it more and more and at the same I became so fascinated with it.

I always proclaimed how much animals we humans are and how amazing it is. But since Arya was born the experience of all this is so much more transcending me than ever. 

The fact that I have these gruesome thoughts is the higher level of intelligence which to us humans is still not fully explored. The fact that my mind puts the worst case scenario of the moment I am in with my baby in front of me especially when I’m completely oblivious of any possible danger around me and my baby is perfection. Not very pretty one but these signals simply keep a mother on her toes. 

Our primeval nature is more intelligent than we think and I can bet all my money that female primates have far more of such intelligent apparatuses in their minds.

If all that was only combined into one…

Working Mum

Sending Arya to a nursery was the best thing I had done for years. Yes, that best thing instantly flushed our savings and pleasure expenditures down the drain but this is the very example of money well-spent. 

Staying at home with my baby, all by myself (because all the relatives – overseas), I would never be able to ensure so much play&learn variety, social interaction and perfectly guarded routine as the nursery does. Parenting is challenging, especially in countries like this one, where “family” buzz word is far behind “business”, “money” and “entertainment” and don’t even get me started on the meaning of mothers in the western word. I therefore need to charge batteries for evenings, nights, weekends and mornings. The problem is where and how do I do that? I work – 5 days a week, most days I take Arya to crèche and collect her, all must be done on time (not a minute too long at work), running up the underground stairs with the buggy (equality London my ass), on the train I turn into an entertainment centre by feeding Arya with snacks, singing, reading, holding my iPhone in a video position watching Bing, Mickey Mouse of Sofia the First. Sleep time is at 21:00 and she still wakes up at 6:00 (there is no “weekend” in the vocabulary of a child). There’s probably a 30 minute window when my husband and I are alone and TV is our saviour. We, very likely, tell each other how our day was but I very vaguely register his stories and vice versa. That’s why we started going on dates (I will write about it in another post)…

I don’t remember when last I cooked a meal. Oh wait, I lie, I made a cauliflower pizza and energy bombs on Sunday. But I must regretfully say – I lost my cooking mojo and my husband is currently holding the baton doing an amazing job as a family chef. And here I must add that the father’s contribution is amazing! I would say we both are awesome parents and are doing a great job. Sanj is engaged in Arya’s life and upbringing 100% and I hope all mother have or will eventually find a partner like that. Arya will better turn out great:-)

Being a working mother means that you’re charging your batteries while spending your energy sitting in front of the computer. But I need it. For my own sanity, development and household budget. I need it for Arya’s sake too. 

Here’s the list of cons:
£1500 a month is out of your pocket.

Can the government do something about t, please?m

And here’s the list of all the benefits of being a working mother with a baby in a nursery :

  • We both cherish the moments with each other more and as a mother I’m less frustrated if something goes wrong (because it doesn’t happen often during the day)
  • Arya is stimulated socially, intellectually, emotionally and god knows how else
  • Arya learns from the early age about work, work-life balance and routine
  • I progress in my career (although coming back from maternity leave hinders this objective, which I will write about soon)
  • Cash and more cash (if the above is happening)
  • I’ve got more energy to spend quality time with Arya
  • I’m less frustrated if something goes wrong

First Night Lonely Sleeper

Arya slept in her own bed, on her own for the whole night. Not a single wake-up in between until 7:15. So I guess it’s another milestone for us, for me rather than for Arya as she probably doesn’t give a squat unless she gets milk once she’s up. 

It’s one of those “happen when ready” moments again – for all this time I was simply not prepared to let my baby lie stranded in a big bed with no one beside her, checking if she’s breathing. The thought of sleeping snug with my husband while my poor daughter is out there, in another room with no one beside her. No one wants to sleep alone. Right… 

But last night, we just put Arya to HER bed, (it took a while because this girl refuses to sleep) and returned to the sleeping arrangement from the time before Arya was born. Husband and wife reunited. And survived. 

This is another era ending. I remember each milestone and having to let go. Very likely have been doing all this completely off the book and later than any other parent but I-DO-NOT-CARE! “Ready” is the magic word. Remember that!

Things That Make a Mother of a Sick Child on Holiday Happy

Just how women have their secret menstrual cycle diary I should start Arya’s sickness cycle calendar. Hardly two weeks have passed since her last cold, just to arrive at Amsterdam with accompanying two green candles  continuously sticking out of her nose. 

And here is the list of anomalies that have made me happy while on this holiday:

– when your husband throws your baby worryingly high because the snots perfectly come out so you can wipe them out to clear your baby’s nose

– being against too hasty medicine application, on this occasion shooting Nurofen into your baby’s mouth to help her enjoy holiday

– your baby devouring fatty pizza (which you normally consider a no-no food chasing your baby with carrot and organic chicken but at this point you’re ecstatic that she’s at least eating something)

– your baby way past her bed time hoping that the next morning she would wake up at least this tiny 32 minutes later than the usual 5:58

– ZARA just around the corner, when your baby’s nappy has just leaked wetting the underwear, tights and the dress and after changing the body and covering your baby with just a jacket (not counting shoes) you perform the giant slalom stunts among the tourist crowd in order to quickly get an alternative outfit. You’re reaching ZARA with a massive “PHEW!!!” only two slow down a pace to carefully choose the right dress or trousers and top. 

– your baby still not knowing how to speak because watching a cartoon in Dutch is as perfect as in her native language. You on the other hand go beyond your intelligence levels to figure out the remote control just to find a language changing option. Thank god, the Dutch prefer the original version with subtitles. 

Any other mums and similar oddities?

 

This is the fourth time I have been sick since I last breast fed Arya. Fourth time. And it’s not just a runny nose and a bit of sneezing, but a full blown flu with bone pain and old smoker’s cough. I’m starting to think that I probably need a Michael -Jackson-face-mask to save myself from the nursery bug vividly transmitted by my beloved child. When they say hybrid children have strong genes I didn’t know they have strong weapon genes.Today it’s the 11th day and I think, I THINK it’s all better because I’m not on beechams or day nurse yet, albeit it’s only 9:20 am. 

I diagnosed myself – it’s bronchitis and who knows what I will bring from the nursery next time. 

I hate being incapable, immobile, debilitated. The most annoying is that as soon as I feel worse physically, my dopamine level drops to the lowest extremes and I develop depression symptoms (I know, because I’ve been there) and it scares me. 

It’s like when a recovered alcoholic drinks a shot of vodka (say, by accident) and then he gets anxiety attack that it all is coming back again and he’s falling and nothing will stop this.

The good thing is that today I’m feeling better and as soon as Arya is up we, are out.

I say basta to the toy mess in the living room.

Rollercoaster 

It’s been a rather hectic roller coaster. Lots have been happening and fast. I managed to get flu twice, Sanj became a Brit
  Arya acclimatised perfectly in her new super nursery.  
Yes, she cries here and there but it’s a type of a
cry I’m familiar with (stubborn, moaning type) so not a big deal. 
Our lives are a little bit crazy at the moment. When I work in the office I take Arya to the nursery for a full day, running fast at 16:30 to collect her and get home just to get ready for my meeting with a client, intern, collaborator or whoever is in the schedule. The days when Arya is with me are tricky as in order to do some work I rely on her sleep which doesn’t happen as often and doesn’t last as long as a few months ago. But I put the mobile devices away when she’s awake in order to spend quality time with her. 
I got a fold-up sofa for her to sleep on. It’s time for her to let her snoring and wriggling disturb no one… but am I ready? ??

Of course I’m not!
We keep defending our decisions by saying that the baby is not ready for this or that, but in reality – it’s us who have more difficulty facing the cruelty of time. So when last night, the first time we put Arya in her new bed in another bedroom, I eventually landed sleeping next to her. For no other reason than that I was missing her. I fell asleep holding her hand only to get kicks in my face next morning.
The styling business is literally rolling on adrenaline and the hits I keep getting while organising the events are incredible. They feel like punches in the face but at the same time they make me stronger. They show me how professional and how ambitious I am. Or at least I’m striving to be. They teach me a lot. But at the same time they hurt. 
Intense period. Ups and downs. More ups please!

Mothers to the Mole Hole

Becoming a mother has been the most wonderful thing that happened to me and I cherish every moment of it. However being a mother in a society is not a pleasant experience. Still. Sadly. We are in the XXI century, fighting for equal rights to every group left right and centre, you name it. But mothers are very much neglected on the social and professional map. When you say: “I’m a mum”, depending on the situation, it’s perceived as an excuse, a plead for special treatment, nuisance, hindrance, disturbance of others’ daily life.

Your baby is not allowed to many restaurants due to a very likely noise she will be producing interfering other guests. Automatically thus you are not allowed either. Unless you leave your baby outside, tied to a tree… Like a dog. Although probably your dog has more chances to get in than your baby.

And yes, of course, I agree – I can eat lunch in most pubs, labelled “family-friendly” (are the other ones “family-hostile” and they poison each member of a group composed of a tired looking man and woman pushing a noisy buggy?)

And yes, I have even managed to dine for dinners in London with Arya present, sitting everywhere except the high chair (her personal choice). Most of them were hotel restaurants though.

But I have experienced the horrible, anger raising feeling of rejection when I was informed that babies are not permitted at the premises. And it hurt. And it exasperated me. I understand crying and all this commotion but these are HARMLESS HUMANS who did nothing to deserve this banishment.

Don’t try to argue because they will put you into a straight jacket or so their look tells you that.

It’s like it’s acknowledged that yes, you gave birth, you have kids but if you’re a mum (meaning, you are no longer a singular) you have to adapt… Adapt to the world where we don’t want you. Be a mother in a mole hole. We don’t want to see it, we don’t want to speak about it, we don’t want to deal with it.

I must admit, I was one of those people who very often thought like that – motherhood, buggies and childcare issues were like a plague. Mostly because I was going through a depression related to having no children so whenever I saw them I wished they disappeared. And I’m sure everyone else has a similarly valid argument for resenting mothers. But nope. None of them are valid. Neither my depression was.

Now I’m given the experience from the other side of the mirror and I’m really thankful for that. Not only for the obvious reasons but also because it taught me again TO NOT JUDGE IF YOU HAVEN’T EXPERIENCED SOMETHING YOURSELF.

As a mother, I cannot travel easily on the tube. And yes, as every mother I have to search for positives here, so I’ve got one: “At least I build my muscles and strength”. Every time I carry the buggy up the stairs with the speed of light I hear behind me: “Oh my God, I would never be able to do this. The buggy looks so heavy”.

And I take the compliment but really am I really not allowed to the centre of London pushing the four wheels? You can count central stations with wheelchair or buggy access on the fingers of one hand. We are simply not allowed to zone 1 or 2. Stay at home mums should stay at homes. Forever. Or maybe from time to time they can meet up with other mums but somewhere baby related so another mum’s house, a playroom attached to a church, some libraries, play soft centres and maybe a few other venues.

As a mother, I have to know when to put my first baby into the nursery and to make sure it works perfectly to not hear from the boss that this settling in process is “a little bit” long and swapping working days means I need to think about how I want to work things out in future but “no pressure”.

Thank God, I’m not a single mother, but what do they do? How do they go to work and pay for the childcare through the nose. If they can’t afford it because their salary is lower than the fees, are they judged because they don’t do enough for their children? And a single mother has such a pejorative connotations. A single mother is not necessarily a promiscuous woman who had an “accident”. My mum was a single mother – my father passed away when I was 2.5 and my mum was 9 months pregnant. Thank God she had her mum living with her, but this is such a small percentage.

What do single mothers do? How do they live? These are real troopers who will never get a medal. Even posthumously. BECAUSE THEY DO NOTHING ACCORDING TO THE SOCIETY.

If you’re a stay-at-home mum, never, never NEVER say: “I’m just a mum”!

It is a job and it is hard. Not so much because of your children, but because of the society.

You couldn’t even compare yourself to Leonardo do Caprio who is a brilliant, talented actor but who never got the Oscar. Because he eventually will.

It’s Getting Better but Still Not in a Happy Place

It’s been a hard time recently. An end of an era, a transition time… Transition time is a substitute word for tears for every mother – tears of frustration, sadness, uncertainty, confusion… But after all this there’s always a smile and a sigh of relief. Until a moment of nostalgia sneaks in. 

This is exactly what’s going on right now in my life. 

I’m all a bundle of nerves. It’s the second week (a three day-er) of my baby girl attending a nursery and I’m so proud of her but at the same time stressing every morning I drop her off there. The “bye, bye”got a big impact on her. Such a huge impact I can’t even watch. The horseshoe on her face when she hears these two words – I can’t stand it. It made me think that, no, saying “bye bye” to her when I’m leaving is the worst idea. I will just give her a hug and say I’m coming back.

These two words “bye, bye”… Even a grown up has issues digesting them when parting with a beloved person. Why would you expect more from a toddler. 

She’s been brave for the past few days but no smile on her face still kills me. And here’s the selfish thought – it’s me who leaves her there and her daddy is still the best. He comes home and plays with her.

Now I’m tasting the bitter taste of motherhood – will I ever be the one who A appreciates. Yes, call me selfish but I’m just a human.

   
    
 

It’s not Even Middle of the Week yet It’s Been Hectic

It’s Arya’s first week in the nursery. Let’s face it – I was dreading it for a year, slightly calmed down last week when the settling in days were rather OK with Arya taking them quite well but this week – I’m all shattered, sick with stress and slightly down. 

Why do I insist on a nursery? – you ask. I can present you a handful of reasons, for example:

  • I simply lack the entertaining power to a growing toddler and she needs stimulus and other children around
  • I always believed that if one wants to have a child one must provide for them and hence I need to go back and earn dosh

OK, that’s just two but I’m sure if I spent more time thinking over it I would probably find 10 more but I have no time now (well, when do I?). These two, however are the most essential in this decision making process which has now been completed.

The nursery is just around the corner from my office and the plan is to have Arya there for three days when I go the office. The remaining two days – she stays with me for the time being.

Monday was great, considering the circumstances, which is getting up at 6am, rushing to the busy Bloomsbury area and hearing Arya’s cry behind the closing door was just a beginning of an on and off activity, which luckily I didn’t whiteness for Theresa of the day but which I could spot on Arya’s face in the photos sent by the nursery teacher.

My stomach was churning for the whole 8 solid hours, tears secretly wiped off my cheek now and then and 4pm sharp I was at the nursery door missing my baby.

 

first full day at the nursery
first full day at the nursery
  
 

   

not very happy
    

 The second morning looked pretty much like this:   

second day of nursery – the morning

 
day 3 of nursery
  

I’m constantly stressed. The teacher doesn’t help continuously saying that when Arya cries the whole day, she puts other children in distress and she [the teacher] doesn’t want that. I felt like this is not a very pleasant thing to say. As a nursery teacher she could be more supportive and speak about how we all could work on this problem rather than make me even sicker with stress. I’ve got a feeling that someone (moi) will speak up here.

Currently I’m in shreds…