If We Were Having A Coffee, I Would Tell You...

27 Sept 2022

Coffee catch up

As I write this, it is raining for the first time in months and months. Properly raining; dark skies, continuous downpour, fresh air! The improvement to my mood is quite something, for just a bit of rain. It’s Autumn lads! The return-to-Hogwarts, light-the-candles, hunt-for-autumn-leaves feeling is here and, if I’m brutally honest, I feel a sense of relief that summer has ended. It’s not that I’ve not enjoyed it, but I am usually done with the heat and humidity long before it’s actually over, dreaming of fresh air and not living in a permanent state of stickiness some time around the end of July. 

Blogging has been somewhat sporadic this year; full-time parenting is relentless and intense and I’m still trying to find that elusive balance that allows me time for such things as sitting and writing regular entries in this little online diary of mine. So, if you’re still hanging around these parts, imagine this post to be us sitting down with a coffee and cake and having a catch up. Sorry about my baby crawling on the table and waving soggy breadsticks in your face. 

If we were having a coffee (and cake!), this is what I would tell you…

That summer was challenging at times… The lack of sleep and the heat, which caused baby boy to suffer with eczema and heat rash, meant that sometimes summer felt like I was wading through treacle. The week the terrifying, record-breaking heatwave hit was a particular low point. I famously dislike high temperatures anyway but as every summer goes by hotter than the last, my anxiety over climate change jumps up higher and higher along with the temperatures. We spent the two 40c days in a dark house, everything closed, singular fan pushing warm air around and desperately trying to keep a baby cool. We succeeded; aside from a few hot and bothered moments, he remained relatively chipper but I felt mentally frazzled and physically like I was being baked in an oven. I struggle to get my head around the fact that it hit 40c in the UK and have spent a lot of time since worrying about what kind of world my son is going to grow up in, whether I can continue justifying things like flying to myself any longer and what other changes we can make to our lives to at least feel like we did everything we could for him, and his generation.  

But before I make this a really depressing catch up, summer was also full of good stuff… my mum and I spent a good chunk of it becoming regulars at our local cafes (to the point where they now know our orders) and wandering around the river. I have had countless coffees and afternoons with the lovely NCT girls. Gary and I celebrated our anniversary with a delicious meal, beautiful sunset and a rare moment of baby free time! The extra long jubilee weekend had sunshine, village parties and cupcakes and then we headed for a luxury stay at the child-friendly Ickworth hotel. My friend Becca and I tackled the hot, step-free-access-my-arse tube with two babies (at one point, I had a baby on each hip whilst she carried prams up the stairs) so we could go and spend a very lovely afternoon in our friend’s sunny garden, drinking bubbly and catching up with the girls. We got a free trip to London Zoo where my friend Beth and I brought parenting chaos. There was excitement over a real-life Sophie-the-giraffe (if you know, you know), nappy changes in inappropriate places and a toddler being headbutted by a goat. We had a lovely trip to my dad’s where we walked in the Peak District, celebrated my friend Lizzie’s 30th with a trip to Superbloom and afternoon tea at The Shard and a couple of delicious veggie BBQs on hot days. Baby boy played in the paddling pool, my step-dad managed the BBQ whilst stood in the pond and I made a very delicious (if I do say so myself) burnt Basque cheesecake. We’ve enjoyed several afternoon/early evenings in the local craft beer spot with my parents, I met my sister at Kings Cross for a very nice lunch at Caravan and we took a spontaneous day trip to Kings Lynn (wouldn’t shout home about it but it was nice to have a change of scene). We also had a very nice day out on the Norfolk coast, wandering up and down Brancaster beach followed by a Sunday roast, a trip to Broadstairs in Kent for a wedding and I spent a lovely afternoon in Cambridge with my friend Becca eating takeaway pizzas by the river whilst two babies crawled over us and stole pizza crusts. Despite the challenges and sleep deprivation, I feel I made the most of having a whole summer off work. 

Coffee catch up

Baby boy… is crawling! Really fast! He has two teeth! His laugh is the best noise I have ever heard. We now have raspberry blowing competitions. He does a little excited wiggle when I get out his bedtime-book. He likes sharing a cold glass of water with me and gets excited when he sees me pouring the glass. His eating is much more established, but we really sense he is a food-is-fuel type person which, as you can imagine, baffles me (aside from watermelon and cucumber which he seems mildly addicted to). His hair is blond, his eyes are dark, his little legs are tanned from sticking out of the pram parasol all summer. We suspect he isn’t that far off walking. He really likes banging his wooden maraca on things. He is a joy. 

But he has also refused to take a bottle since May and it’s relentless. Don’t get me wrong, despite all the struggles, I want to be breastfeeding but there are days where I desperately wish I could pass the load onto someone else. By this stage, I imagined having more options for date nights, snippets of time to myself and, well, just a tad more freedom really. All babies are different, I know, and I know more balance is coming soon but wow it’s been intense at times. 

That we just got back from a holiday on the Yorkshire coast… and, surprisingly, I actually did feel like I’d had a holiday. There is an element of same-shit-different-place when holidaying with a baby in my opinion but equally, exploring new places, the sea air and my parents on hand to support all enabled us to get that holiday feel. 

That I am attempting to do Bake Off Bake Along This Year… yup, I’m still slightly obsessively baking and I’m using Bake Off (yaaaaay Bake Off is back!) as a way to challenge myself. I’m doing it in a very casual fashion, going on theme rather than copying specific bakes. I’ll let you know how it goes. 

That we are planning for my return to work and baby boy starting nursery and I am (mostly) quite excited. Don’t get me wrong, I’m also emotional and a tad apprehensive but I’m also on board for a life with more structure and balance. Whilst I’m definitely not emotionally prepared for my baby to turn one and I wouldn’t change the memories of this year, maternity leave has felt like living in a slightly strange bubble and going back to work/munchkin starting nursery feels a little like returning to the real world and the opportunity to establish a new normal (sorry to use that phrase) which I'm really looking forward to. In the meantime, I plan to make the most of these last three months of mat leave.  

I have been doing all the talking! Tell me, how are you? How’s your cake? 


  1. I am sooooo excited for you to regain some of your freedom baby! 👏 rainy zoo trip was pretty banging (literally) 🤣