This is a rare moment. I’m alone, sitting at the kitchen table with a glass of iced tea, afternoon sun shining through the windows. And I’m not working either. I figure we’re due an update.
It’s been a year since I wrote my last blog post, 14 months since Emilia was born and the all-consuming role of motherhood changed my life as I once knew it. It is only now that I’m beginning to find balance once more, to weave some of my favourite pre-baby activities back into my days.
This journey has been incredible so far, from watching the kicks roll across my bump, to the fumbling foray into breastfeeding before we came home from the hospital, to the preciousness of a first smile, then a first giggle, then a first word (“Wow!”, which is still a firm favourite), to the excitement of plane rides to the struggle of nursery drop offs and everything else that has shaped this little one into the nearly walking, constantly babbling toddler that she is now.
Motherhood has meant survival on extremely little sleep and many nights with none at all. It’s been an exercise in patience, an emotional adventure, a change of pace. Her needs come first, always.
I’ve made some amazing and supportive friends along the way from playgroups to playgrounds. And yes, we talk a lot about babies, but we also talk a lot about our own lives and how they’ve changed and how, now that a year has passed, the time has come to reclaim them a bit, re-shape them.
Since Emilia was about two-months-old, I’ve been freelancing, building it up into something sustainable that would allow me the flexibility I need right now, to work in my own time and from home. And so I quit my full time job in March to pursue the lifestyle of a somewhat-grounded digital nomad, something I’ve always wanted to do.
I’ve worked from my parents’ sofa in New York, from a train on the way to Devon, from airport lounges, from Jorge’s childhood bedroom in Spain, from a bothy next to a fireplace while glamping in the snow in the Scottish Highlands, from local cafes, from my phone while walking a sleeping baby around the park and with a sleeping baby in my arms. I’ve worked at 6am, here and there during normal hours, at 8pm, at midnight, at 2am.
I’ve worked on temporary short-term projects and with some clients for more than a year already. I’ve worked on websites, social media strategies, content creation, photoshoots, editing, ideas generation, writing articles, conducting interviews and other digital media marketing endeavours. Most of it has been related to art, travel and/or small businesses.
I’ve also enjoyed a lot of free time with Emilia during the day. We have slow mornings, enjoying breakfast together, walking through the park, watching the ducks, going on little excursions with friends. I can give her my full focus before taking her to nursery for the afternoon or welcoming a childminder home to play with her while I work.
And now, I’m trying to re-gain some balance, to revive some of my life that exists beyond baby and work, to take time for dinners out now and then, for 20 minutes with a book or a magazine, for my camera and for blogging.
And so, hello. I’m back. Perhaps not as often as before, but I miss this space, so I’ll see you around.
Barbara MacdonaldMay 9, 2018 at 2:41 pm
Welcome back, Emilia is such a lovely name! Looking forward to future posts.
littleobservationistMay 9, 2018 at 2:58 pm
Thanks so much, Barbara! Happy to be back.
Shohail ChoudhuryMay 9, 2018 at 4:03 pm
Welcome back! We missed your posts.
littleobservationistMay 9, 2018 at 8:09 pm
Thank you! 🙂
Adrienne Lee McCormickMay 9, 2018 at 9:36 pm
Hi Steph! Welcome back, and welcome to motherhood 2.0. The balance is half the fun. I once read an article titled “Thanks for not always being there,” on the richness that a mother’s non-mothering activities provide to her children’s experiences, and the importance of modeling care for the self and following your passions. Always.
littleobservationistMay 10, 2018 at 2:34 pm
Thank you, that’s a great way of looking at it, and so very true. Appreciate you sharing that. Hope you are all well!
jodeneMay 9, 2018 at 9:50 pm
Love to see how you and your family are doing! Best to you all (and tell Grandpa Pat he’s quite photogenic with his little Emilia!)!
littleobservationistMay 10, 2018 at 2:34 pm
Haha, I will tell him! Thank you 🙂 Hope you are well too. x