Honest Motherhood: Baby’s First Snow Fall

My latest column for Wokingham Today:

We’ve very nearly made it through January. This in itself might not appear to be much of an achievement but when you add lockdown, homeschooling and bitter frosty temperatures into the mix, you’ve got yourself rather a mean feat. Thankfully the weather Gods saw we were struggling and gave us a sprinkling of magic over the weekend, to lighten the mood and shake things up a bit. About time. I, along with everyone else, had been longing for a change of scenery, so when I opened my curtains on Sunday morning to a beautiful icing-sugar-coated scene, I was very very happy. It was like waking up in another world, absolutely enchanting. I did feel, for a brief moment, like a child again. My partner took Maia, the actual child, out first thing for various obligatory snow-based activities, whilst I caught up on sleep before joining them later (I love snow as much as anyone but I love sleep considerably more). 
Snow angels, snowball fights, and some time spent posing for photos next to various impressively-built snowmen – none of which were Maia and Joel’s. I hear they attempted a snowman of their own, but gave up when it dawned on them how long it would take. Maia much prefers to lob hefty mounds of snow at me anyway. 
“Please not when I am holding Leo, Maia!!”
“SORRY MUMMY!!”. 

We took Leo out of his pram so he could see the snow properly (or rather, so we could take better photos) and make proper use of the snowsuit he’s been wearing for months. It was a delightful day and a welcomed respite from the monotony of lockdown life. 

The days can be tedious, so to help keep my brain in order, I’ve introduced a new element into my routine: cardio. I put it off for months as part of my “I’ve only just given birth” list of things I cannot do, but now that Leo is nearly six months old, I don’t feel the birth excuse carries much weight. Spurred on by my partner’s decision to start exercising again, I too have begun pounding the pavements whenever the opportunity arises. (I say this because for me to be in a position to go for a run, Joel must either be on his lunch break or have finished work, Leo must be settled and the weather must be reasonable. No rain, snow or gale force winds.) If all boxes are ticked and I do manage to get outside, I absolutely relish the thirty minutes alone. I feel good about myself, in control and brimming with positivity. I tell myself I am going to do this every single day, rain or shine. I begin thinking of fitness targets and general big life goals. Then I don’t see my trainers again for at least another week and I regretfully go back to square one, where my only target is to get through an entire song without stopping to power-walk. Well, every little win counts. 

From one little win to another, I received an email from Maia’s headteacher a few weeks ago to inform me that Maia had been awarded “Home Star of the Week” for her beautifully written story. I of course read this as: “You, Angela Garwood, have been awarded “Home-Teaching-Super-Star-Mummy of the Week” and felt rather pleased with myself. Pleased is an understatement, I was quietly thrilled. And by “quietly”, I mean I told anyone and everyone the amazing news. The story itself was co-written, and I’d propelled her along to actually finish it, so it felt right that I should award myself some kind of metaphorical star.It’s a chilly and challenging moment in time, so for getting through January 2021, gold stars all round. 

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