The difference between parenting and motherhood:

Since Henry was born I’ve been thinking about the difference between parenting and motherhood. i didn’t look in the dictionary, I don’t really want to know the official meaning of the words. I just feel they are so different, that I keep trying to put feelings, thoughts, even facebook posts into two boxes, one labelled motherhood and the other parenting.

Here’s how I see them. Parenting is how to educate your child. Focus on the child’s educational needs – good manners, playing games, discipline, make sure they are clean, safe, fed, the homework is done and so on. Something my husband will share with me, after all, he is also a parent.

Now, motherhood, that’s a completely different story. This is something exclusive to me. Rob will never know what motherhood is because… well, because he is a man, so he will experience fatherhood. Motherhood is how I feel about being a mother: fear, happiness, love, doubts, insecurities. No doubt many men have these same feelings, and Rob does so too, but our view of the world is different because of the different roles we play. There is also the biological, tribal, all female thing, I don’t know how to explain. That bond that women have for having gone through the challenge of becoming mothers (whether through pregnancy or adoption), that links me, to my mother, my grandmother and all the women in my family.

I had my parents staying with us for 3 weeks and my motherhood clan theory was proved right. My mum gave me a lot of advice and some criticism as well (of course), but more than anything, we shared the experience of 35 years ago and now. I felt closer than ever to her when I said that breastfeeding is being an almost endless source of frustration for me, and she agreed. She had exactly the same problems when I was born. That gave me not only comfort, but also confidence to know I’m doing the right thing and am not the only one to struggle. In fact, it made me stronger as a mother and as a daughter because now I know my mother and I are even more alike.

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

…the morning, actually. Christmas Eve 2013, 7a.m. I was working in the sterile unit in the manufacturing pharmacy, preparing cytotoxic drugs for chemotherapy, so when my period was late I rushed to have a pregnancy test done first thing in the morning, just in case. The chances of being pregnant were minimal, but better safe than sorry. And there it was: a blue, not so faint, little cross. I was surprised, scared, happy, confused, still sleepy.

My first reaction was to call Rob and let him know. I would see him that evening but I didn’t want the principal pharmacist at work to be the first person to know the news. So I called Rob, apologised for waking him up and informed him I was pregnant. Or at least that was what the pregnancy test said. He said something like “Good, come home after work. Love you”. I think he wasn’t awake enough yet, but at least I  officially told him first. I also called my GP and booked an appointment for that afternoon. I wanted to be sure that I was going to be a mother and needed to talk to someone who would give me a straight answer and not make a big fuss about it. The GP said that my pregnancy test (a Clearblue) was accurate enough and he felt confident I was really pregnant, so he was sending my details to the hospital where I worked to be contacted by a midwife. Yes, that simple. To this day I don’t know if this was the reassurance I needed, but I guess there’s a bit of a cultural shock there (I’ll come back to this point in the future).

It was my Christmas present. I told my sister and them my parents, who told my other sister. In Brazil we celebrate Christmas eve more than the actual Christmas day, so the timing was perfect. The next day we told Rob’s dad and his wife, during our Christmas lunch.

So, with so much going on already (work, college, NVQ, travelling with my parents, moving back in with Rob and redecorating the house),  I  also found myself getting pregnant. And just before that I had proposed a fundraising campaign to the people from the spiritist centre and they accepted it. I had too much on my plate and had to leave something behind. The blog went first. Then facebook was off for a while. Once I finished my fundraising Easter bunnies, crochet was reduced to a blanket for baby and 2 little dresses for friends who got pregnant at around the same time. Oh! and I learned to knit -properly- and made 2 vests and a pair of socks for baby.

2014 flew by so fast, I almost didn’t see it. I finished college, and NVQ, left work on a full maternity cover (yay for the NHS), had the most wonderful baby ever and now, almost 4 months after Henry was born, I’m trying to catch up with life. Starting with the blog. If things go as I plan (don’t hold your breath) I will be cooking, sewing, knitting and doing LOTS of crochet, taking photos of everything to share here. I also want to share my struggles through motherhood and parenthood (which I think are different things) and any useful ideas I find around the internet. Wish me luck!

A little abandonment

It’s been a long, long time since my last post. I’ve been trying to write drafts for posts, take photographs of my crochet, then edit the photos with the poor knowledge I have, make new things, finish the ones I’ve started and prepare for Christmas. All this while working full time, worrying about my NVQ and college. I have one assignment to hand in each week until we break for Christmas. There’s no time to do it all, so unfortunately the blog is staying behind.

I have also the mission of preparing myself to move in with my boyfriend, and that includes redecorating his house to make it ‘ours’, fight for my doilies and flowers and the right of having something pink (or mauve, or rose) in at least ONE room in the house.  Last Saturday we were looking for tiles and bathroom fittings. Luckily we have agreed on the tiles (style, colour and everything), which is a big win for both of us.

I won’t have as much time to prepare all the crochet I wanted for November and December. The idea was to have enough stock and in enough variety to open a little shop with my sister Annie and sell the surplus of our hobbies. Hopefully we will manage to do something to at least start, even if we don’t sell much at first. To me, at this point, it is more a matter of finish something, whatever it may be.

I always fought the idea of having crochet as a business, as source of income. Selling the surplus of my hobby is not necessarily a business, because the production will be defined by what I want to make and when, more than by a market demand (at least that’s the idea). I know that from the moment I fell the pressure of having to make a crochet item I don’t want to make, or when don’t feel particularly inspired t crochet, then it will cease to be a pleasure and it will become a chore. And i have enough chores for now, thank you.

So step by step, trying not to leave the blog behind, lost and in the darkness, I will do what I can to keep blog and crochet up to date, and finish all the obligations of a student and health care professional. Wish me luck!

It’s autumn

Well, it is autumn for about 3 weeks now, but London has been sunny and warm(ish), which is as unusual and wonderful. My orchids have flower buds and look very happy outside. Until this evening. The wind is blowing like a jet engine and one of the plants jumped from the box where it lives, so I carefully accommodated the poor thing on the floor and I hope tomorrow they haven’t been all blown to the other side of town.

On another note, I’ve been busy later. I had a very, very, veeeeeryyyy boring piece of work on Law and Ethics in Pharmacy to finish and I still have college work to do but who cares? crochet is a lot more interesting (anything is a lot more interesting than homework, if you ask me). I’ve made a few things and if I don’t have to chase my plants in Whitechapel I will post pictures of everything. So fingers crossed.

Yarn bowls

I typed ‘yarn bowl’ on Etsy… why did I do it??

They are SOOO GORGEOUS!!! I want one with my name and one it flowers and one with butterflies and one that says ‘crochet’ and one that says ‘knit’ in case I really fall in love with knitting one day…

Have a look for yourself. I’m sure they will look wonderful as centre-piece on my coffee table. When I have a coffee table and a living room to go with it, of course.

Re-blogging: Homemade Christmas Ideas | Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

Homemade Christmas Ideas | Handmade Scandinavian Christmas.

 

I don’t need to say much. Just have a look at the first picture, on top of the page. Those tea lights with knitted covers are so simple, but the effect is cosy, warm and I love it. Maybe I’ll get my needles sorted and try something simple to brush up my knits and purls.

And the crochet napkin rings can be done in a snap.

That’s why I love Christmas. There are so many things that can be done for this time of the year. People may celebrate it for religious reasons, just because is on the calendar, or because they really love Father Christmas. Whatever the reason is, there’s a different feel to December, just because it’s Christmas time. And we have excuses to do things we otherwise wouldn’t.

To find motivation…

Sometimes I have a peek at people’s profiles on Ravelry. Just for the fun of it, ecause they use a different word and I want to know where they are talking from or, most likely, to check if they are talking about double crochet stitches or treble stitches (for the non-crochet readers, they can be the same thing or not, it depends if the person is talking in American crochet terms or British terms). By peeking I mean I just hover my little arrow over their avatar, not a full check. It usually gives me more information, like the number of projects people have.

Now, I know each person has a different relationship with her/his hobby. Some people have more timethan others. And some may have more motivation than others. I just found someone with 250+ projects. I didn’t check her projects page o find out if they are all finished and if they are all tiny and quick or even if they are fibre related. That’s not my point. My point is that there are people out there who just do A LOT of crochet. And some knit, too. And bake. And have children. All at the same time! 

Then why not me? I confess I’m struggling to blog, to crochet and even to cook. Sometimes I’m super motivated but too tired. Or just relaxed and feel fine, but then I’m rushing somewhere or have something  more urgent to do. And when I have time and am relaxed I’m not motivated. 

I don’t know what this people with kids, dogs and full on hobbies do to keep it all up to date, but I do need to find something that motivates me. There is not much I can do about work, college and other commitments, so it is just motivation left. And don’t take me wrong, I love my crochet, i have lots of ideas and things I want to try. I just can’t seem to get myself to do it. Perhaps now that the nights are drawing in and I can have lots of tea and hot chocolate I can increase my levels of activity.

Of one thing I’m sure: last year I produced a lot more. My life has changed a lot in the last year, but I think the changes made it better, more comfortable in a lot of ways. So surely I should have been more successful, right? Maybe I should include other achievements and see if the new point of view cheers me up a bit.