punk phd / feminism / motherhood

Tuesday, July 07, 2015


So on the 10th May at 11:26AM we welcomed into the world Islay Rosa and here we are just over eight weeks later. It's been a bit of a blur with sleep deprivation, lots of learning curves and plenty of emotions going on. For the first few weeks I carried on tutoring and did some exam marking...PhD completely on hold. One of my supervisors when I said I could catch up on PhD work whilst on mat leave warned me that my brain would turn to mush and I didn't believe her at the time but I really get that now. Even typing this is a struggle but this is what I need to start doing, writing again. So for the meantime this blog can help me in doing so.

And here they are then, some initial thoughts on motherhood (and yet another angle for this blog to incorporate...)

Suffering from the Gender Blues (or Pinks)
Before Islay was born I was adamant that as far as possible we'd avoid overly stereotypical gendering with things like clothing and toys. This was helped by the fact we did not find out her sex whilst I was pregnant, meaning people were limited in terms of buying things to stuff that was neutral. And then wham! Islay was born, the pink clothing gifts streamed in and I was almost getting used to dressing her along these lines. But now she's getting bigger and I'm actually getting the time to buy/chose some of her clothing myself we're trying to get away from the pinks and 'girly girly' clothing. But then today, Islay was mistaken for a boy TWICE and I got kind of upset. Why would this upset me so much? In some twisted way do I associate girls with being 'pretty' and I was upset that my baby was seen as boyish, read: cute but not 'pretty' cute? Even saying it like that sounds kind of silly! But reality is, people look for cues when it comes to babies when determining if they're a girl or a boy and the biggest cue is clothing (especially since babies lack hair!) Typical I would get upset over people not immediately knowing Islay was a girl based on her clothing when in a weird way that was the very thing I was probably trying to achieve.

Identity Issues
The most difficult thing for me so far (aside from the lack of sleep) has definitely been regarding my identity. I've found it really difficult because in a way I've become 'Islay's mum' and lost other aspects of myself. I struggled with this loads but I'm starting to come to terms with the fact that these other aspects are not lost, just having to take a backseat for a while. And I'm trying to get little bits back here and there. I think it's been particularly hard as I've always been that person who took too much on and enjoyed being under pressure. It's a completely different change of pace which I've found really hard. But I'm starting to relax into this new life and keep reminding myself that I am 'doing' plenty even though it might not feel that way at the end of each day. Plus, whilst I don't want it to be my only identification, being 'Islay's mum' is by far the best one and my love for motherhood (and her) grows by the day. So here's to plenty more motherhood (+feminist +academic) blogging in the future! <3

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