Monday, 3 August 2015

So Far...



Motherhood. I haven't thought about it for a while. Have stopped observing myself going about the daily routine. I haven't clocked off though, still there amid the breakfast making, the tooth brushing, the reading, the spelling, the tucking in of the duvet at the end of the day. I am still very much her mummy; it's just I haven't asked myself how I'm doing in this job - the decliner of wants, the administrator of can't haves, the peddler of pleases and thank yous - for many, many months. I can only guess I'm doing okay, I guess.

And now the summer holidays. Play dates. Summer camp. Crafting anxiety (on my part). I took her to the hospital the other day. Glue ear. In the right one. She's had it for over a twelve months now, and I've lost count the times I've had to slug gloopy yellow antibiotics down her throat. She had a hearing test. The specialist deemed her hearing fine, although he agreed her canal looked dull. So there won't be any grommets yet, and instead we will have to battle on with pain killers and antibiotics every time her ear becomes infected which seems to happen at regular intervals of six to eight weeks. In the mean time, she's started pulling faces, scrunching her face as if about to sneeze, or tasted bitter lemon, to get, as she says, the gunk out. The specialist said she's trying to pop the pressure. Apparently research suggests blowing up a balloon with a nostril, and with a special nasal piece, is good for glue ear. Handy - we have a glut of bright water balloons stashed under the sink...

I have lived life internally this year. Not introspection as such, more a bombardment of characters and narratives and finely-crafted sentences. The novel has been the entire focus which in one way is good. I have shut my self away, got on with it, completed a third draft, and in the process raised £350 for The Birth Trauma Association. I am going to The Writers Festival for the second time this September in York. Two years ago I only had thirty thousand words to my name, this year I go with a more completed product, and maybe I will feel more confident in my one-to-ones with agents. Afterwards, a full and proper edit, further polishing, and then it will be as complete as it can be; I may even have a finished novel by the end of this year. A couple of weekends ago, in a gauzy field at the Latitude Festival, I was struck down by an idea for a new story, another novel sized adventure. The idea came from the sparks of another idea I'd had - a dystopian that needs a lot more work and research. This new story came complete, the characters fully formed, and I'm itching to get started. It's set in the Lake District (any excuse for a trip to one of my favourite places) and is another coming of age story. I love coming of age stories as there are no full stops, life a continuum, a cloud that puffs and flattens and dissolves at the end.

Motherhood. No, I haven't thought about it much at all. As I write this, there are mothers I know who are struggling with their daughter's diabetes, or in unparallelled shock their child has gone. I feel blessed, lucky for the luxury of not having so many worries about her. I only have the one girl. It's easier with one, especially now she's through reception, all dancing, all swimming, reading and writing. Sometimes I feel a fraud, that I'm not in the same league as those mums who are harvesting two or more, or those who are battling on their own with little or no support. Yes, by comparison, I have it easy, have time to roll out the yoga mat or have a mandala inked on the top of my foot, or my hair chopped every four weeks and highlights painted through. I am in a privileged position. I am time rich, a fortunate woman. And that is why I know I must get back to work, live a life in the external, to observe the everyday as well as the gallivanting images inside my head.

32 comments:

  1. I've not been here for a while but as always you inspire me to write more. I think the feeling of being a fraud is normal to many, when you compassionately see those around you who face greater challenges. Even I can feel that, knowing the huge dilemmas others face. Believe that having that inyour conscience is what makes you an emphatic and honest human being. good to read a post from you again and I'm so happy to hear news on your book. xx

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    1. Lovely to hear from you! It's quite difficult not to compare yourself to other mums sometimes and see what's on your plate by comparison. But then I have to remind myself that we all have our own struggles in uniquely different ways. Novel is coming along well (I hope!). X

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  2. Oh the poor thing, blue ear sucks, Kitty suffered with it for a few years, her second lot of grommets fell out a few months back and touch wood she seems to hear ok now. Frustrating for them.
    Did you enjoy Latitude? It's one of our faves here. I look forward to hearing more about (and then of course reading) the novel.
    I hope you get the balance of living externally back soon m'lady x

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    1. Blue ear - love it! I'll call it that from now on! And it does suck - it causes Little A a lot of pain. I hadn't realised that grommets could actually fall out - hopefully Kitty is over it now. Latitude was great, and the weather perfect - lots of lovely sunshine. I felt so relaxed the whole weekend. Slowly getting the balance back.... X

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  3. So very lovely to catch up with you. Sorry to hear about little A's ear trouble, such a horrible, painful thing. Hope the cycle is broken soon.

    Glad you feel that some of the mum pressure has eased - though have found as the kids get older there's always something new to deal with lurking round the corner... But now you have settled into the school stage, there is more space, and sounds like you've absolutely made the most of it. Fantastic your first novel is almost finished and even better there's another one bursting to get out!
    Brilliant you're going to the Writers Festival again too. You have invested such a lot
    in your wonderful writing this year, and I'm sure it's going to pay off xx

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    1. I've bought some new 'tools' for when the glue ear recurs again - a special nasal balloon and an ear dock - hears hoping! And hopefully she'll grow out of it in the coming years.

      I have worked very hard on the writing this year, and cross fingers it pays off at some point, and if it doesn't, my typing speed has become a lot faster LOL. I am very much looking forward to the Writers Festival, and meeting a few friends there too - it will be the highlight of my year. X

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  4. Hello OM! Great to read you again. I have missed your posts. Sorry to hear about the glue ear - but good news that no grommets required. And a new tattoo - I can't believe I missed that! It sounds as though you are going great guns with the novel - and fabulous that you have an idea for number two already. Success awaits. I am sure of it. xx

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    1. Hello lovely! Hopefully she'll grow out of the glue ear, and I've bought some new tools (a nasal balloon and an ear dock) to help with it - I want to avoid antibiotics as much as I can. The novel is nearly there but still needs some tweaking - I don't think it will ever be 'finished' but will have to put it down at some point. Whatever happens, I will definitely self publish it. X

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  5. Try an eardoc for her ears - the minute willow gets a cold or is a bit off, I stick it behind her ear. It helps if I'm too late as well. Her ears are much better than Max's because of it & I don't need to keep having anti biotics.

    Well done on your novel - very exciting!

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    1. Hello lovely! Lovely to see your face on here. Since your advice I've bought an ear dock and a special nasal balloon specifically for glue ear - hears hoping it works.

      Thank you! :o).

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  6. Lovely to read about what you have been up to, Sarah.
    Sorry to hear about your daughter's ear troubles, I hope it will improve very soon. A big hug to her (and to you).
    Lots happening on my side, so taking what is probably my longest blogging pause ever!
    I will be back late September with updates.
    Enjoy August. xx

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    1. Hello lovely! You sound like a very busy lady and I'm very interested to hear what you've been up to! Hopefully her ear will improve as she gets older :o). Big hug to you too! X

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  7. So lovely to read a post from you again. I had been wondering what you had been up to. Very inspirational - good luck with all your projects. And I hope the ear trouble subsides soon xx

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    1. Hello you - so lovely to hear from you :o). What have you been up to? What are you doing these days - any inclinations to blog again? Hopefully her ear will get better as she get's older... X

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  8. So nice to see you here for a catch up, what a bummer about your little grls glue ear, I hope she outgrows it. Have a fab summer, Mich x

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    1. I hope you are having a lovely summer too. About to go on my holidays now. I have since bought some non invasive things (a nasal balloon and an ear dock) to help with her ear which should help prevent us from having to use antibiotics every single time. X

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  9. I love it when your blog posts fall into my inbox, they always make my day. Bless your little one and sorry to hear about her ear. It's difficult when they get something continuously. I am always excited to hear about your writing and really hoped to get down to the literary festival this year, but alas I won't. I do hope to go the Edinburgh book festival. I love hearing about your work and hope to join you soon. You're an inspiration x

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    1. That's so kind - thank you :o)... It's been a while. Yes, she's had glue ear for a while now but I've found a few new solution which might help to keep the antibiotics at bay, and hopefully she'll grow out of it too. I'm really looking forward to the Festival of Writing but nervous too - hope you enjoy the Edinburgh book festival. Thank you. X

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  10. I miss your posts but know that you are working on more wonderful things. I'm so sorry about little one's ear. I'm rarely sick but when I'll, it tends to be with an ear infection so I know how disorientating it can be. It's awful, poor thing. And you, you are absolutely no less of a mum because you have just one child. We all have the most important role be that to one or five. But yes, the chance to have more frequent haircuts would be nice ;)

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    1. I'm hoping to blog a bit more over the autumn. From what I've witnessed, glue ear is very unpleasant - I'm hoping it will disappear for her over the next few years, and in the meantime have bought some new solutions to help with the discomfort. And you are right, I am still a mum regardless of the amount of feet at my ankles! :o)

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  11. I also have one daughter who has mastered reading, riding a bike, swimming. I am totally in awe of mothers bringing up a bunch of kids - it has been hard work with only one! I also feel the hardest things are covered. I know things get more emotional and and comlicated as they get older but it's the hands-on I found so tiresome - showering and dressing two of us, taking her absolutely everywhere and having to stay there with her, not being about to take the rubbish out because I couldn't leave her alone. The independence she gained over the past year has changed everything for the better and I too am now looking for what I can do for me. Good luck with yours. xxx

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    1. Thank you very much..... I can only imagine how much harder it's been for you though and the very little rest, or breaks you've had over the years, and how intense that's been. But so glad to read that now she's getting older and becoming a lot more independent, you are finally getting to have some time for yourself! And what are ou planning to do with your time? X

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  12. Hello lovely. My, how your writing has changed! It was brilliant before, but I notice the shorter sentences and different flow. Good on you for growing so much in such a short period. So pleased your novel has come and it's very exciting to see you have a new idea for another. Sorry litte A has been under the weather but inspired to read you're coping well and enjoying as well as appreciating life :) XX

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    1. Hello my dear :o)..... I think this post was just where my head was at at the time of writing it, but good to see my voice is evolving. I'm hoping Little A will grow out of it in the years to come and in the mean time I've bought some less invasive solutions for the problem - here's hoping that they work. I starting to feel nervous about my novel and the Festival of Writing! X

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  13. I do like coming here for a read - your words are so beautifully crafted. I am looking forward to your novel being published: good luck with the agents.
    As a mum of an only child, I do know what you mean. Now I have let my boy go off into the world on his own, I often just sit and think about his childhood and I feel reassured I gave him the best start in life. Well, he was, and is, loved and treasured so much.

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    1. Thank you very much :o). If neither agents or publishers like it, I will definitely be self-publishing it - so watch this space. Being a mum to one child does come with its benefits, and it does give me more freedom, and like you and yours, I hope she feels very loved and treasured - she certainly gets a double dose of attention! :o)

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  14. Another novel? This all sounds very intriguing, not to mention exciting. I am in absolutely no doubt that you will succeed. Best of luck with everything. I love that you keep dipping your toe in here every now and again. Thanks for updating us. x

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    1. Yes - another one, but I need to get the first one finished before I can start it: in the mean time, I'll simply let the ideas circulate around my head. Regardless of what happens with agents etc, I will self publish. I aim to do some more toe dipping in here over the autumn! X

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  15. Just popped over to see if you had been about, and voila! So sorry to hear about the painful ear, that sounds terrible. Very exciting news about the new novel though, good luck with it all! :) xx

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    1. Yes! Here I am! And I've managed to publish a couple of posts - I've actually missed the old blog and the community, so I'm hoping to be more active again over the autumn. Fingers crossed foe the novel but regardless of what happens, I will be self-publishing it! X

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