While I was pregnant I looked forward to my maternity leave. I held an unrealistic expectation about all the free time I would have, all the hobbies I would be able to pursue. My garden, long walks by the river, pickling, preserving, creating crafty shit like beeswax wraps. I was quite simply – a damn fool.
I look back at the naive pregnant me and I scoff. Free time? Free time? What the hell is free time? Those 40 minutes while Ziggy is sleeping where I manage to do the dishes, pop on a load of washing and possibly comb my hair? I barely have time to do the basics like shower and eat, let alone pursue hobbies. Yes, reality has smacked me right in the face.
So when friends and family said to me . . . you should start a blog (having up until now been sharing the ups and downs of this journey through my personal Facebook page). . . I ignored them. Where the hell am I going to find the time to sit down and create a blog. Write content? Post photos? Keep it going for more than a week. Not to mention I am one of the most technologically challenged people you will ever meet. Domain name? Web hosting service? 50GB or 150GB? These simple terms made me break into cold sweats. I can barely operate Spotify, let alone start up a website and create a blog. I am as technically able as I am coordinated. If you know me, you’re laughing at me right now. And you’re wondering how the hell I got this far.
Thank god for Google. And lovely live chat operators. And You Tube. Although to be honest – it’s been a week of reading and researching and all I have managed to do is confuse myself even more.
Today I thought fuck it. Let’s just dive in and give it a go.
So here it is. My own personal piece of the interweb to burble on about the roller-coaster that is raising our son – Ziggy. He’s 4 months old as I type this (and he also just spewed all over my knee, an aromatic chunky one, nice work kid) so I have a few catch up posts to do to get you up to speed. This is wonderful as it means I don’t need to come up with any new content for a while and given that this kid is on a sleep strike and thinks that 2 hour cat naps during the night are an acceptable length of slumber, that’s fine by me. (Edited . . . at 10 months old, I’ve realised that this is not a sleep strike, this is our reality).
So welcome readers, (readers? who am I kidding, welcome Nana and a handful of my Facebook friends) and thank you for coming along on this journey with me. I will do my best to be as honest and open with you about this journey as I can. Possibly too open and too honest at times. Apologies in advance for the swearing (sorry Nana) and the occasional typo (sorry Mum).
Holy shit I’m actually doing this.
EDIT: It’s been nearly 7 months since I started Raising Ziggy and I thought – you know what, it’s time to update my ‘about’. Because now I have more of an idea about what Raising Ziggy actually is. When I started, I didn’t. I just wanted a little space in the interweb to share our experiences and I didn’t really have any clear direction on what this all was. And Ziggy was only 4 months old, so we had a lot of learning to do.
And then as I started this journey, my eyes were opened to all the information that was out there for parents. The good, the bad, the scary. For me, a lot of experiences being shared were things I found impossible to relate to. No one talked about how normal it was for their baby to wake up all night every night, no, instead I came to the conclusion that my baby must be a ‘bad sleeper’.
No one talked about how they would share their bed with their baby to make it easier to boob all night long, oh no, instead I realised our bedsharing decisions made me an ‘irresponsible’ mother.
People raised their eyes at the way we feed Ziggy (baby-led weaning), the nappies we use on Ziggy (cloth during the day, disposable at night), the swimming lessons (who needs those at 3 months old), the babywearing (how will he ever learn to do anything if you carry him around all the time).
I have heard terms like hippie, unconventional, crunchy, different all used to describe how we raise him, because what we do is not mainstream.
Luckily I have a partner in AJ who is as committed to our parenting decisions as I am, or it would have been very hard for me to carry on with such conviction.
And then, through friendships I made and people we met, I realised that we are not alone! There is a big group of mums who parent this way but are too scared to say so. Who lie to Plunket, who bend the truth when talking to their families. Who dread the ‘how is he sleeping’ questions because they then feel they need to defend their baby.
And I thought – yay! There are others like me out there! It renewed my drive to keep on with this blog business. To be the pebble in the pond and share what we do, which may not be the conventional way, but is a way nonetheless and if I can help one other mum out there feel better about the choices she is making, then I’m on the right track.
So if you want to come and share the journey of a family that isn’t exactly mainstream, and a mum who is very laid-back and probably drinks too much wine (which is possibly why I’m so laid-back?) – then welcome to Raising Ziggy.