You might have noticed a lack of regular posting – and for that I apologize. Somehow having a little alien growing in your belly distracts you from things you’re normally quite into. I don’t know if it’ll get any better, either. Somehow I suspect that this alien, whom we call the Lentil, will come to dominate most of my spare time. I’m due in April, just as the garden is really starting to wake up and need my attention. But there are lots of blogging mommies out there. And I know there are garden blogging moms, too. So it can be done. It just seems very… tiring.
Any advice from experienced moms? How did having a baby change the way you garden? Or blog? Or both?
As an experienced mommy gardener (I have a four-year old and an 18-monther) I’ll say that you should be OK this year with the gardening – you can garden when the babe is sleeping, or bring the Lentil out in an enclosed structure. It’s once they get mobile and sleep less that things become difficult.
My best advice – master the art of the surgical strike in the garden. Most of my work is done in five minute periods. I’d love to spend an afternoon or whole day working on the garden, but it’s just not going to happen anytime soon!
My boys are older now ( 9 and 12 ) but gardening with a small babe is no problem. We even ran a small nursery here in Squamish when the kids were small – and it worked out fine. Lots of dirt to muck around in and water to play with. Things on the home front suffered, but I assume it was because it felt like one more thing ( tending my own garden ). The important thing to remember is that gardens are highly resilient ( sp? ) and they bounce back quite nicely from any neglect.
Congratulations! What great news. I hope you do manage to keep up the blogging. I do enjoy reading what you have to say (as another East Van gardener who gravitates to modern design :)
My wife and I have two-year-old twins and I agree with Natalie about the surgical strike. I have even gardened nocturnally under the streetlights after bed time. In generally, though, the garden planning is far ahead of the garden doing for this season of life.
I also learned to take note of the toxicity of everything in the yard as there was a phase where everything went into their little mouths as soon as it caught their interest. Not a single strawberry lived to full ripeness this year, but I hope they at least are starting to learn to love gardens and, city kids that they are, where food actually comes from!
Andrea Bellamy says
Thanks Natalie, Melissa and Kevin for your kind comments and suggestions.
I do intend to keep up both the blogging and the gardening, but as I have no idea how parenthood is going to effect me, it’s hard to say now how well I’ll be able to manage. But I’ll try.
Kevin, I was wondering about the toxic plant thing. I mean, I grew up surrounded by snowberries (very toxic) and I managed not to eat them. Do I have to get rid of mine? Hmmm… a topic that perhaps deserves its own blog post.
Hey, congratulations! That’s fantastic!
I’ve been lurking around your blog for some time now, and do sincerely hope you keep it up.
I’m a new east van mommmy as well. (little Indigo is 3 months old) – I think we may have friends in common so we’ll likely meet sometime. ;-) Anyway, I’ve actually started blogging a bit more since the baby – mostly for far away family and friends to keep up with our little world – so I can attest it is easily possible, at least at this stage. ;-)
We still did our garden this year – a GREAT activity when really pregnant, as I wasn’t doing much else. Not the perfect time of year, but there are still things to do…(and get a nice low stool to rest on.) It is mostly vegetables – most of which we can assume aren’t toxic (i hope), and our friends’ toddlers helped us garden all summer long. okay – well ‘help’ is an exaggeration, but they have loads of fun. For sure you should keep it up – I think it is so important that little ones have a sense of where food comes from and how seeds grow. (I’m still amazed when seeds actually pop up and turn into something alive, so you can imagine how awestruck i was at the pregnancy process!)
The suggestion i have is to plan to have a section of the garden that is for play – a small space where you’re not necessarily expecting anything to grow well, and that you don’t have a real attachment to. Make the boundaries easy to follow, and that way you’ll avoid a lot of “please no touch! okay, maybe just dig a little less” and such. ;-)
Good luck and hope to see you around!
Fab news! My baby was every so slightly older than newborn when I started blogging, but I found it was the perfect activity for the end of the day when he was away to bed and I could pour a modest chardonnay and hit the keyboard to spill my day’s musings. As for the garden, well I expend all my energy on other people’s so mine was not so hot to start with!!
congratulations. the surgical strike pretty much sums it up…no more hours and hours spent weeding, digging, and planting. My daughter is four now and loves the garden. I’m not sure that she’s into perennials yet — but ladybugs, butterflies, ants and mud pies provide endless fascination and memorable moments.
Robin (Bumblebee) says
Congratulations on the sprout! Fabulous!
I started seriously gardening post-child, so I have no advice on that front. But my overall advice to anyone having a new baby is to accept all the help you are offered, because you will be exhausted. And remember to keep some part of you for yourself–your own life. You will, I think, feel more sane because of it.
That said, big hugs!
Andrea Bellamy says
Kirstin – thanks for delurking! But I’m so curious now – who are our mutual friends? Great advice, too. I completely intend to get my child involved in the garden and gardening process – I agree, it’s so important for them to know where their food comes from. Maybe I’ll run into you at Figaro’s or our mutual friends?!
Deb – I’m really glad to hear that you still had some creative energy needing an outlet at the end of a day with a child. That really worries me — they seem to be so draining!
Irena – Awww, that sounds so fun! I hope my little lentil is into all that good stuff too!
Robin – as always, good advice! Thank you.
What happy news!!!
Big hugs – I’m not a Mommy, but ALL of my best garden friends are, and two of them have thriving landscape design businesses, gardens, and babies. The kids just seem to add to the fun, since everyone is loopy on sleep deprivation. I can’t think of a better Mom than someone who nurtures gardens into being – what wonderful things you have to share with your Lentil!
Sassy Gardener says
Congratulations Andrea! My sister has incorporated her children into her gardening and has created amazing things…frog ponds and musical bridges and all kinds of wonderful stuff. I can’t wait to see how having a child will influence your gardening and garden writing. Congratulations!
Andrea, I’m not a mom, but I did want to swing by and wish you congratulations! That’s exciting news, and I look forward to hearing about your baby+gardening adventures!
Andrea, CONGRATULATIONS! No advice here (I’m not a Mom) but I do want to say that I look forward to hearing all about how you figure out juggling gardening and mommyhood. :)
Congrats! Exciting news! Yes, having a baby has slowed me down on blogging and gardening, but all is not lost. My baby loves being outside so I used to take her with me in her sling while I watered and did some light pruning. Now at 14 months she goes to bed early and sleeps through the night, so I have blogging time back! Morning naps are a good time for working in the yard now that I’m not sleep deprived, too!
Andrea Bellamy says
Germi: “sleep deprivation” – GULP! I love my sleep. I guess that’s only one of the many sacrifices to come.
Sassy Gardener: Thanks! You know, I’m interested too. It’s all a big unknown at this point!
Genie: Thank you – I look forward to reporting on them.
Kim: When I figure it out – and I’m sure it will be an ongoing process – I’ll be sure to tell you all about it!
Nelumbo: I suppose a shift in priorities is to be expected, and is probably even a good thing… but I am glad to hear you haven’t been completely thwarted in your gardening/blogging efforts. Gives me hope!
hi again – yes – delurking always brings good times. don’t know why i didn’t before. .. i so like reading your blog occasionally.
our mutual friends? i was looking thru flickr photos and came across your name and i think presence at Aaron and Susannas wedding. David and I were there – I wasn’t pregnant yet. I’m not sure if we met or not?….
But in any case east van is small, and i’m sure we’ll run into each other soon.
hope the lentil is growing steadily, and you’re not having a rough go of it. enjoy every minute – even the nauseating ones!
Andrea Bellamy says
Hi Kirsten – ah, yes, that was a lovely wedding, wasn’t it?
I’m long past the nausea, thank goodness! Things are going along just fine – I’m 27 weeks now :)
Ottawa Gardener says
Super big congratulations!!!!