february: hello & goodbye

What is there really to say about a month that begins and ends in the blink of an eye? I know Februaries are literally shorter than any other month of the year, by only 2-3 days, but they feel so much more abbreviated than that. Four Mondays and four Saturdays – it’s all so coordinated, yet nothing much happened this February.

So this might be a botched attempt at writing about it, but still, I’ll try.

I had a good month: not great, not bad, just good. I worked hard getting back into the groove of things with my job, figured out a rhythm and routine with Laith so I could focus. I have been determined to get Laith to learn how to sleep 30 minutes for his naps, and it’s working well, so I can at least count on some rest during the day. I’ve had a few honest conversations with other mums, which has been nice, even my own, who gave me the great advice of getting out of the house more.

Technically, this is a March detail, but on the first of the new month, I did just that – a little day trip, just me and Laith, and it was wonderful.

So maybe February was short for a reason, a stepping stone from anxiety into prosperity. Putting the trauma of motherhood behind me and beginning on a new chapter of this season – actually enjoying every moment, like everyone advises.

I read a poem in February about an old lady using a Zimmer as she passes a young mum pushing a pram. She says to the mother – who is stressed, weary, and on the brink of tears – “those are the days”. It changed this mother’s perspective, and it changed mine, too. I’m already looking back on Laith’s first few months, missing that version of him so much. I don’t want to feel like that about his entire first year. I want to be present in these moments and remember everything about them: the details, the feelings, the way he moved me.

I’ve been off my phone a lot more in February, actually deleting distracting apps at the weekends in an attempt to remain more focused. It’s been wonderful, and I’m aiming to continue that for, well, ever.

What makes a good mother? I think a good mother is one that loves her child, supports and guide them. It doesn’t need to be the mother who does everything “right” – makes all the meals from scratch or never utilises screen time or doesn’t use a dummy. A good mother is the one who builds up her child but also builds up herself so that she isn’t living at her limits forever.

That’s also what February has been about. Getting out of the house, with or without Laith. Going to netball on a Monday night. Going for a picnic, just me and Ali. Walking around the fields, just me and the dog. Coming back to my baby so I can be more present, more in the moment, less tired, less bleary-eyed.

I’m constantly learning right now, and after a couple years of feeling stagnant during the pandemic, this does all feel quite overwhelming, almost strange, to be challenged on an hourly basis. But I know that these are the days that are shaping me, shaping Laith, and shaping the way we work as a family.

So, thanks, February. An hour ago, I thought – what were you there for?

Now, after writing this out, I know.

Books I Read:

Since originally, the point in these posts was to summarise my reading, I shall leave you with the four novels I read in February:

  1. It Ends With Us by Collen Hoover: This is about a girl who enters a new and unusual relationship that turns sour. I think this was an important read, but the writing style was not for me. It ripped me from the emotional narrative too many times.
  2. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman: OH MY GOODNESS ME MY HEART BURST. This is possibly THE cutest book I’ve ever read. The graphic novel format definitely aided that because Charlie’s little face is soooooo precious.
  3. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle: My first Sherlock Holmes book! I really enjoyed it. The middle was boring, but I loved how the mystery + Sherlock Holmes was written.
  4. Vox by Christina Dalcher: Uffff, I really didn’t enjoy this. The premise and world-building were fantastic, but the plot wasn’t that gripping. The pacing and writing are what really threw me off, though.

I am finishing the month in the middle of “The Fixed Stars” and “The Inland Sea” which I am both enjoying.

Also – I watched Tick Tick Boom this month which was amazing and may have been the artistic highlight of my month (maybe life).

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