Being mummy and being Neon

I am not yet ‘mummy.’ Of course, I am a mummy but baby-Neon is still in a ba-ba-ba, da-da-da phase of communication. I think it’s extremely important to remind yourself who you are as ain individual before you become ‘MUMMY!’ A transitory label can become permanently inked in the skin if you’re not careful.

Going over a little bit of oft-covered ground (by myself and countless other parents) I want to emphasise that I like – no, love! – being baby-Neon’s mummy. But I took a hit to my individual self just as I was starting to like my individual self. Being me makes me a better mummy. Having time away makes me a better mummy. Doing things that are not related to being a mummy makes me a better mummy. But to just delineate life into baby parts and non-baby parts doesn’t solve the problem, it accentuates it. Then you’re still being defined by mummyness (or daddyness) for half – or more likely more than half – of your time. Integration between the two parts is what makes life successful.

That’s not to say that there aren’t some bits that should be kept in a separate box. Work, for example, is something that most people keep in a separate box anyway, and trying to create cohesion between the baby/non-baby parts doesn’t have to mean that all the boxes are ripped open. I work on my PhD while baby-Neon is asleep, or with Mr. Neon or Neon-Nanny (yes, I get a nanny one day a week to work on my thesis, and I know that I am unbelievably lucky to have this). But, I would never take baby-Neon into class or to my tutoring sessions.*

I sound very much as though I have the whole business of being me and mummy sorted out, hut the truth is I don’t. I don’t think anyone does because we are all changing all the time, even in minute ways. And, baby is changing too, and her needs and wants are changing. I once described it as a constant battlefield between self and mummyness but it’s not – it’s a painting that is not quite finished and needs constant tiny adjustments. Or, it’s a dance.that weaves and sways as the music changes. It’s a beautiful, exciting thing. At least it should be. And, at least most of the time.
It’s about buying a child seat for your bike but still allowing yourself to lament the days of solo riding.

*Incidentally, this is the issue I have with the ‘breastfeeding in Parliament’ and similar debates. A man would get lambasted for brining a disruptive infant into his workplace. The breastfeeding isn’t the problem.

Posted on-the-run on my HTC One X

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I am not a fashion victim, but I am something.

Fashion victim, so Wikipedia tells me, is a term claimed to have been coined by Oscar de la Renta that is used to identify a person who is unable to identify commonly recognised boundaries of style.  I don’t think that describes me, but I also don’t think that the term fashionable or stylish describes me either.  But, I think I would like to be more stylish.  One of my biggest problems is that I have no idea exactly what I have in my wardrobe and the bits that I do have lack any kind of cohesion.  I always say that I am going to buy base pieces but of course it never happens.  Instead I buy neon pink dresses from H&M.
Because of this, and because of my desire to actually be a little more stylish and because I recently purchased my first pair of skinny jeans, I want to do something about this.
Running has changed the way I feel about myself, and it has changed the way I look.  I have lost weight – I am no where near where I would like to be or where my ideal weight is, but I’m already lighter than my just-pre-pregnancy weight.  I’m only a few months away from turning 30, and I think it’s time to throw away things I have been wearing since I was 15 (yes, it’s sadly true that I have things in my wardrobe that I have been wearing for 15 years and have made the international move with me… ho hum, I am a fashion-something).
The plan, then.  The plan is to  actually go though my wardrobe and document what I have.  And then figure out what needs to go, what should stay, and what needs to be added.  So that’s what’s going to happen this week – so watch out.