City: Ramsgate, Kent, UK
Day: Single teen mum, breastfeeding peer supporter, amusement park ride operator
Night: Tired mama who’s losing out on more sleep by trying to fit in “me time”
Some mornings I try to keep my son Elijah on my boob just to get 10 more minutes, it’s like snoozing a human alarm clock. We get out of bed around 9 and we bathe together, then we go downstairs. He watches Peppa Pig, while I make breakfast. We then go back upstairs and get ready for the day, it depends on the day before but occasionally I wear makeup, other days we’re basically in our pyjamas.
On Tuesday mornings me and my toddler go to a breastfeeding drop in our local clinic and I volunteer to give women advice and support when it comes to infant feeding. We usually walk there or take the bus; I would like to say that’s me being ecological but it’s because I can’t afford to drive!
During the day we usually have some kind of class/activity or social event to do. I try to go out at least once a day, whether that’s to volunteer, go swimming at our local pool, have a play-date or going to the store for milk. I think it’s really important so that I don’t become depressed and lonely.
Lunch is always a funny one. I rarely get to eat myself but that’s just part of motherhood I guess! If we’re out of the house, I pack a lunch for both of us before we leave, that way I can be more cost efficient. Having lunch at home is my favourite though I try and get Elijah involved helping me prepare what we’re eating even if he gets impatient and takes a “snack” from his box instead!
In the evening, once it’s time for dinner, my mum is usually home. I still live with my mum despite having a baby of my own. It’s been a long time since we were able to have dinner like a family since it’s always been just me and my mum since I was about 7. Now, dinnertime is something I look forward to where the three of us can sit and chat about our day. I’m really grateful for that.
Around 9 o’clock, I take Elijah up to my bedroom. He has his own room, but we’ve been co sleeping ever since he was 2 months old and we both get more sleep that way. I put on a bedtime show, get us both into our nightwear and then I breastfeed him to sleep, it’s the perfect way to end a busy day. Most nights I leave him in bed and come downstairs to get something to eat and just hang out and sit on my phone for a bit, that’s what I’d call “me time.”
Weekends are usually spent at home for Elijah while I am at work. I work part time as a ride operator at an amusement park. My mum takes care of Elijah while I’m at work and so far, she’s taken him out cherry picking, to the park and other fun activities, so they aren’t just in front of the television all day.
High Brow Ritual
I like to keep myself educated on social issues and the world around me by going to slam poetry events, listening to podcasts, reading articles or revisiting a few of the books I own about women/black empowerment. I think it’s really important to be aware of your place in the world and all the intersections you belong to and learn from that.
Low Brow Ritual
Something I can be seen doing every night is browsing online shopping sites and putting hundreds of £’s worth of clothes and shoes and accessories into my basket — and I mean properly mulling over what I want and if I’d wear it... and then closing the app soon after. Repeat.
I try to keep up with self care, like taking care of my skin or my hair, but life is short and it’s hard with a toddler who needs you all the time. Maybe I haven’t showered for a couple of days, but at least my son is clean and fed and happy!