Thought custard

It’s been an interesting week here at the Magpie nest. Baby Magpie has slept through the night several nights in a row. Like most new parents we were waiting for this moment with great anticipation, believing that it would usher in a return to a blessed state of getting several hours of unbroken sleep.

That’s not actually what happened. Instead, Baby Magpie has slept soundly, and I have woken at the times of the night when he normally wakes, and then spent several minutes gently prodding him to make sure that he was still alive. I’m definitely doing better for sleep now, but it’s still pretty broken, and not the step change in my mental resources that I was hoping for.

I was trying to think of something more intellectual for this weeks blog, but I find instead that I have thought custard. My ideas just aren’t running as smoothly as I would like them to. I have found it easier to work on artistic bits and bobs. The paper cut above is the first bit of animation work I have done since Baby Magpie was born, so I am pleased to have managed to get back to that. It’s a little bit of progress, but it will do me for now.

Thank you for reading. I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Stop looking at your phone Mama Magpie

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I have been at my parents house in the countryside this week with Baby Magpie. He is getting to spend some much deserved quality time with his grandparents, and we have left Mr Magpie back in London to do a few of the many little jobs needed in our eccentric house.

In the day Baby Magpie plays with his grandparents and I try to film little bits of him sitting on the swing and that kind of thing on my phone to send back to his dad so he doesn’t completely miss out. In the last few days I have noticed that Baby Magpie will stop smiling or laughing when I get the phone put to film him, and instead looks at me with a serious expression as if to say ‘mummy you are not paying attention’.

A while ago I blogged about being present as a parent, but from the perspective of how it might affect my mental health. I spend most of my time with him at the moment, but the quality of that time is very different depending on whether I’m trying to do something else at the same time or am just able to concentrate on being with him. Often there are things that just need to be done, but I also find myself picking up my phone or computer when I don’t really need to, because it’s become a reflex in modern life to do that. Babies are very clever. He can tell if I am present in the moment with him.

Recently Baby Magpie has been reminding me that putting a phone, even for goodish reasons, into the middle of my relationship with him tells him something about what is important. It’s when I put the phone down and concentrate just on him that he begins laughing and smiling again. 

Thank you for reading. I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Finding stillness, living in the present, and looking after a baby

Here in the UK we’ve been in ‘lock down’ for nine weeks (I think, I have lost count). In the Magpie household we entered lock down with a two and a bit week old baby to look after, and little real idea about how to do that. While this may sound like it is a difficult situation, I think that it has in fact been a real blessing.

Babies grow and change really fast. Everyday brings a new skill, a new sound, a new facial expression. In the last few weeks we have had new smiles and a whole new range of babbling sounds, each seeming to have their own meaning. While many others who are enduring lock down at the moment see the same thing everyday, for us each day brings a new challenge, and a new surprise.

One thing I have really appreciated while looking after a young baby during lockdown in how he forces us to be present in the moment. Everything is literally new to him. He see the light coming through the window, or touches the cat’s fur for the first time, and if we are paying attention we have the privilege of seeing these moments with him.

Some evenings are of course very stressful, if he cries and we are unsure what will help him feel better. Some nights truly are sleepless. However, I still can’t get over our luck, and often look at him and think, with surprise yet again, that he is so very beautiful. It reminds me of the principle of mindfulness, just to sit in the moment and allow ourselves to see things as if they are new.

I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.