Dear diary… 13 months old

Dear diary,

Our daughter is thirteen months old! She has upgraded her walking to running and climbing, and her ‘point’ comments have become demands and requests. She’s taken the leap to walking on the ground outside when we are out and about. She’s also been cutting all four back molars, which has been intense for everyone.

I’ve been struggling with some horrible intrusive thoughts this month. I’ve had them since our daughter was born. They arrive from nowhere and seem to take forever to go.

Overall for our family, this month has overall been a month of ‘settling in’ to our house and our area. We’ve been to the local farm, we’ve been putting in some miles on our local walking routes, and we’ve been getting to know all the local neighbourhood dogs and cats.

Intrusive thoughts

I’ve had some horrible intrusive thoughts this month, which I’ve had since our daughter was born. They seem to fit the clinical descriptors for postnatal OCD. They arrive from nowhere, refuse to leave, and are very upsetting.

The intrusive thoughts seem to happen more when I’m already very tired or worried about things, and are based on real things we do and places we go. This month, the thoughts have been around killing our daughter by accident: getting her caught in our sling straps and strangling her by accident, tripping when carrying her in my arms on concrete steps and dropping her, falling down the stairs at our house when holding her.

I’m not really sure what to do about these horrible thoughts. Currently I talk them through with my husband. I don’t really want to take medication, but it doesn’t seem fair to burden my husband with listening to them – often over and over again. It also makes me frightened it might happen again worse in the future. I’d love to wake up one day and have them gone.

House: settling in

Our house is well and truly not unpacked yet, but each day we are getting more and more in the swing of things.

It’s been September, and that has meant a very real ‘back to school’ air to the last few weeks, even though no-one in the house is back to school. Nonetheless, we’ve caught the new year energy and used it to build and plant vegetable beds in our back garden. We’ve planted potatoes, carrots, radishes, and salad leaves, and hoping to plant lots of other things come the spring.

I’ve also been trying really hard to get into a good rhythm for the week. This feels easier said than done sometimes – balancing out and about time against the simple time at home I know we need. Toddler and play groups are starting back up so we’ve (I’ve) been challenging ourselves (myself) to try out a number of the different groups. These groups have been hit and miss, with some feeling over- or under- structured, and some just bizarre.

Our cloth nappy explorations have progressed – we’re now part time cloth nappy users, which feels great, as it wasn’t an option in our old house. We’re currently using them about half of the time. I love seeing them all hanging on the line, and know that each nappy that we wash is another nappy that isn’t in landfill. This wasn’t an option in our old house.

I’m trying hard to keep order in the chaos of our house by ‘going hard’ at one room each day. The kitchen is exempt from this, as it seems to need ‘going hard’ at daily!

Routines and rhythms

This month, our regular rhythms and routines include

  • Sourdough bread, which we continue to make weekly, using our own recipe and more recently, the recipe from Elaine Foodbod. We’ve learned that our oven cooks unevenly (it’s hottest at the front right corner, coolest at the left back corner), and cooking loaves inside a cast iron pan seems to balance the unevenness this out.
  • Sprouting seeds. We are growing Vogel Wellness Mix on the kitchen windowsill, which is getting along beautifully.
  • Reading stories. Our daughter’s current favourite is Dogs by Emily Gravett – she loves the rhymes and the pictures of the different kinds of dogs. We’ve added going to the local library each week to our weekly routine, and our daughter thinks it’s great! She loves books, and gets giddy at seeing the number of books in the library.
  • Nap and nighttime. Our nap and bed times are hit and miss this month, but we are doing our best to maintain rhythm and routine: putting the blinds down, shutting the door, and laying down for a cuddle with teddy. We’re trying to add having a story into our nighttime routine.
  • Getting out and walking, as part of the walk 1000 miles challenge. We’re currently up to 735 miles, which I’m really proud of. Our daughter comes with us, in her Tula carrier, and this month has started walking by herself a little. She’s getting on well with her Step on shoes; and we like these too as they fit into our jacket pockets.

Anyway, that’s what we’ve got going on right now.

Lots of love,


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Mother of a baby girl, born in July 2021. Finding my way with it all. Recipes, parenting, and walking.

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