Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Recipe Rifle is on maternity leave

Okay I admit defeat.

I was going to just stagger along pretending that I hadn't had a baby. But the thing is that she's so DEMANDING. And in the ten minutes per day when I'm not:

- feeding her insatiable little mouth
- wiping her shitty bum
- washing her pissed-on clothes
- expressing
- ordering 8,000 nappies (size 2 already) from Ocado
- staring at my stomach in the mirror thinking "any smaller today?"
- saying "I wouldn't throw a cup of fucking tea back in your face, you know" to my husband

...I am leaning at a 45 degree angle with my forehead against any available wall, making my tragic lunatic face by pulling down the corners of my mouth and rolling my eyes up into my head as far as they will go.

We haven't cooked anything for days. We are surviving on a box of cheese from Neal's Yard and stale crackers. Occasionally I will swipe a handful of dried fruit out of the larder, while my husband tells me for the 6th time that there's more sugar in dates than in sugar (eh?)

So continuing this, for the moment, is just madness. Unless you don't want recipes anymore and just want my thoughts on Infacol vs Colief, NCT classes, Bugaboo vs iCandy and how to get the little buggers to sleep through the night? No? Thought not.

But we're going to have to come to some agreement about maternity leave. Because I know people like you, you're all like "Essssthherrrrr... we valueee yooooooooou. Go and have a good time with your baby and we'll ALL still be here when you come back. We are committed to supporting working mothers and a fair maternity package."

Yeah, like, whatever and then behind my back you'll all be saying how Cupcakes and Cashmere is a way better blog and the thing about Eat Like a Girl is how dedicated she is and how Liberty London Girl never asks for shit like time off.

And I'll come back, all shaky and traumatised and shy from being locked up with my baby for 6 months and suddenly you'll all be friends with different people and having different things for lunch and have formed all kinds of new political alliances that it'll take me months to unravel and I'll be fucked.

But I've got to take some time off, despite all that. So shall we say two months? From now? I'll aim to be back at work on 2 May, the day after my 31st birthday.

This all reminds me of one of my Dad's favourite stories from his days as a high powered City suit.

"Bob and Jim are leaving the office and they're waiting for a lift," my Dad says. "It's Bob's last day at the company and he turns to Jim and says '... and just think, in four weeks everyone will have forgotten about me.'

And Jim says: 'Four weeks? Four weeks?'"

Then Dad usually laughs until he cries.

54 comments:

  1. Good idea, we will miss you. I'll be living in another country when you come back, but I'll still read your blog. I'M THAT DEDICATED.

    xx

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  2. I've only started reading a couple of weeks ago so I'm not one of your "friends" but I will still miss your ramblings!

    Off to go look up all the other blogs you listed above - bit of a self-sabotage there! I bet they're not as good.

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  3. Oh, don't even worry about it! This break is well deserved. Go away and enjoy some time with the mini one. I promise not to read any other food blogs in your absence.

    Bethan x

    PS. The last sentence is a horrific lie. But it's my job....sorry xx

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  4. Esther, I am a new follower of your blog, and a bloody hoot it is too!. Even as a non-mother, your recent posts have had me in stitches (shit, didnt mean to mention those...).

    Everyone is probably telling you to "enjoy the time with baby" etc etc, when really we all know it's effing hard work and you are knackered from trying to do it all.

    So enjoy the effing hard work, and when KC is slightly less hard work, come back to us with new food stuffs and laughs in May :)

    Hugs
    M x

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  5. Why don't you forget a deadline and just see how you get on. You may feel that with no pressure to perform for us, you feel randomly inspired with something over the next few weeks & then we are all surprised and overjoyed when a new post appears!

    If you set yourself a strict date, you're adding more pressure and you may begin to resent us and will leave us forever!.....................

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  6. I just found you, so I have lots of stuff to wade through. Expect to see new comments on ancient posts.

    Two months sounds great - possibly renegotiate at that time. You'll have a much better idea of what life looks like post-baby.

    Courage! She will get you trained... :)

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  7. If you're going off on maternity leave then we should have a leaving party for you, with cake and a nice floral arrangement....and drink....but not for you.....well okay, you can have a small glass seeing as you've already had the baby but are still breastfeeding.
    We'll all write nice things in your Good Luck card and promise not to cheat on you on other food blogs.

    Now go put your feet up while the wee one is asleep and eat your body weight in chocolate. See you in May.

    Angela x

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  8. Enjoy your baby, promise I will come back in two months. Life gets easier honestly, well actually that's not true as I am currently trying to help 15 yr old with Maths and it is all my fault that she can't do it apparently, but it gets different and surely different is better - I think.

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  9. ahhh! i will miss these. have fun with kitty though! xxx

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  10. Oh but they grow up sooo fast.

    I'll be amazed if you stay away as long as two months...

    ps: buy a Moby D, it'll change your life.

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  11. Good call. I very rarely get around to posting and have no baby as an excuse. Have a wonderful time off, apparently it's all coffees and afternoon tea at NCT friends' houses....! Or not, maybe, but hope you get some rest anyway - looking forward to more later in the year, I've really enjoyed your stuff to now. x

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  12. As long as you tweet when you post something, I'll read it.

    Next week, next month, next year. Don't worry about it!

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  13. Don't feel bad about taking time off, looking after a newborn is hard enough without feeling you've got to keep other people happy too (I know, I've got two of the little buggers). And I agree with highpriestess, don't set yourself a deadline, just come back when you're ready. I don't read any other food blogs, just yours and that's because it makes me laugh, so there's no danger of me defecting.

    Enjoy your baby, they grow up FAR too quickly.

    Sarah

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  14. Essssthherrrrr... I never thought you wouldn't take maternity leave. Only return when you're ready. No pressure. You have my undivided loyalty. Whether you like it or not. All the best to the three of you and Happy Birthday for 1 May x

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  15. Come back in a few months when she's on solids and demanding more than baby rice! baby food recipes are most welcome, as even us non-mothers are somehow expected to cater for other peoples visiting offspring in the style of a michelline star chef.

    anyway, buy everything in bulk, off the internet and have it delivered.

    Good luck, and in the spirit of honesty I will be reading some other blogs but yours is the only one I bookmarked!

    x

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  16. and what the fuck am I supposed to do?

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  17. I had a look at those other blogs and they're all shit, see you when u get back, enjoy maternity leave

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  18. How dare you go on maternity leave? And all for a baby as well - thats a ridiculous reason. Now I'm going to have to find another blog to post petty/pathetic/insipid/angsty/sad/shitty comments on about your right to purchasing domestic help.

    "Brian"

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  19. I'm a very new fan too and I'm not going anywhere. I think you should take as long as you like. Also, if you want to come on with a few words to say hi and maybe a kitty-pic, that would be great, but do what works for you and don't pressure yourself.

    Isn't it time GC did a bit of the cooking around here? He could guest blog! xo

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  20. Pretty gutted about this, especially as I've just moved jobs to a company with a fascist internet policy that seemingly blocks everything fun except this blog, so it's become a bit of a lifeline. Roll on the second of May!

    Needless to say, if I were one of your in real life friends rather than a freaky internet fangirl I would offer to babysit/bring you guys some decent food/do a big shop on your behalf. Hope a few of them are inspired to do so after reading your post (which is ace and very funny as always).

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  21. I appreciate this Esther, because to be honest you were making the rest of us new mums/bloggers look useless. Just go to bed. The fog will clear soon.

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  22. I just found your blog about two months ago, you're out-loud-funny, you remind me very much of how I was before my baby - 'this ain't gonna change me'... But, it gets to you in the end - and, no one tells you it's the hardest fucking thing you'll ever do in your life, you'll never have a carefree moment again, all the women you meet at anti-natal and playgroups are an alien breed, and basically you're stuffed 'til your kid goes to school and even then you only get six hours a day to yourself and every six weeks there's a bloody school holiday!!
    My advice?? Get help, employ as many nannys, childminders, babysitters, cleaners etc etc as you can muster...BUT, do try to enjoy it somehow, because it goes quick - my 'baby' is 7 now and I sometimes the time went...oh yeah, probably on the psychiatrist's couch!!
    Good Luck xxx

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  23. Have a good time and see you when you get back.

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  24. I, too, have discovered you only recently and have loved your writing & recipes (top stroganoff). Take your time finding your rhythm as a mum, a wife with a baby and all the other, numerous roles you have. Time really does fly when you have a baby (apart from in the middle of the night when you've fed them, changed them, sung to them, rocked them and they're still wide awake!)Enjoy and cherish every minute, and most importantly ignore eveything everyone else says about what to do! I'll look forward to more of the same whenever you're ready, thanks for now, Tamzin (a complete stranger!)

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  25. Enjoy! I have no idea how you have managed to post over the last few weeks. God the first bit is a struggle but promise, promise it gets easier. Seriously. Mine starting going to sleep occasionally from 11 weeks (after drinking her own body weight in colief) and i had started counted the hours until we reached the supposed magical milestone of 12 weeks. Please, please start a blog on the emotional roller coaster that is pregnancy and early motherhood and all its dubious joys! Can't wait for you to be back - promise you will be back in early June when my new one is due - you got me through the sleepless nights last time! Take care xx

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  26. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.... I only recently found you.... that sounds a bit lame. Enjoy your wee one.... she'll soon be a big one and you'll cry about where the years have gone. Love from the mum of a wee one. PS, I'll miss hearing about your scrumptious husband too.

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  27. Having checked in most days for a year but mostly lurked, i'll miss you! Your my only food blog but I will stay faithful! Have a lovely time with your baby! Xx

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  28. What they said. Especially what Dom said, but...what the rest said too :)

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  29. I will miss you while your away, It always brings a smile to my face when I see a new post. I will await your return and enjoy Miss Kitty as the time really does go fast (I should coco mines just turned 18)X

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  30. Missing you already! Have a good rest (?!) and see you soon.

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  31. If i had a box of cheese from Neals Yard, i'd be taking 2 months off. My baby due in 6 weeks so i'll be just getting back into the swing of opening my laptop when you're back. YAY!

    Enjoy & errr 'sleep when she sleeps' - like THAT ever happens ;)

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  32. Slacker.

    (AND you have a cleaner...!)

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  33. Forgotten in 4 weeks? Never! How could such devoted fans be so fickle?

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  34. I vote that you demand people bring you food. Family members, friends, neighbours, randoms you start screaming at in the street. Scream at them and roll your eyes and they should obey. Some drooling wouldn't do any harm either!

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  35. As one that is incessantly told that I grew up too fast, can I please just request that you don't say this to Kitty 4000 times a day? Other than that, I say through gritted teeth, enjoy her. And you will be missed. X

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  36. Your timing is excellent as by the time you come back I will be at the swollen feet, waddling hippo stage and will be in desperate need of ideas to get me back on track. Or at least to step away from the local bakery lardy cake (LARDY cake for gods sake).
    Now sleep!

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  37. Enjoy your break Esther. Looking forward to your next post when you return. X

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  38. I am a new follow your blog, this is a bloody call it! . I am a very new fan too and I'm not going anywhere. I think you should, as long as you like.

    Kitchen clearance

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  39. Go, chill, get into a routine where you actually feel human and then return! Give me something to read in my forthcoming dismal postnatal days :D

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  40. Thanks for the notification that I have 2 mths to get my act together in organising No2 daughters b'day (2 May)- which usually creeps up and kicks me in the shins.
    We are in anticipation for the foods and thoughts to come... no pressure. x

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  41. I've been reading your blog for about a year, and it's without a doubt one of the most amusing and entertaining things I've ever come across, and I've recommended it to loads of people. I will not be reading ANY of your competitors, oh no, and even if I did I know they wouldn't make me grin like yours always does.
    Good luck with Kitty, already looking forward to your return!
    Clare x
    ps - is it VERY sad that I've marked that date in my diary?!

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  42. You think it's gonna get better? Okay, I won't deprive you of that delusion. ;-) Hee hee. See you when you're back - whenever it is.

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  43. Hope you have a lovely break with your little one, and it's not too tiring! Good luck and I'll look forward to your return.

    x

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  44. There are other food blogs???? Who knew... shall not be adulterous, however. Am here for your uniquely witty writing and will wait. Meanwhile, enjoy baby Kitty and give yourself every chance to relax. Lisa x

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  45. Torn between saying how much Mrs G and I both miss you and looking myself in the mirror shouting "freak" at my reflection for missing someone I've never met! Soppy side won. We miss you - come back soon, keep talking about the baby - its very endearing.

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  46. Looking forward to having you back Esther. Take care & enjoy your time with your little family. Xx

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  47. I think I love you. You've summed up motherhood and postnatal shock (yes, shock, that whole 'So I can't leave the baby in the house alone to buy sloe gin and ice? Not even for 5 mins? Really? But his snow suit is so hard to put on and he is asleep and I used to do things alone AND at the drop of a hat etc etc') perfectly.

    Go and have some time with your poo machine. We will all be here when you get back. We just might be drinking more, but that's okay.

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  48. Are you really not coming back? I do want to hear about babies... love the way you write.

    Take care

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  49. Enjoy the baby and come back soon for your sanity...;-)

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  50. Brilliant blog, hope baby is sleeping better?? I've had four and the first few months are crap with knobs on, but when they're at school it's sooo much nicer ;-) Now what am I going to do until May the which-date-was-it? *drums fingers on kitchen counter and taps foot impatiently*
    Pig x

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  51. We're at the 13 week stage and it does get (slightly) easier. Doesn't maternity leave exist in an alternate time space continuim - it just flys by.
    Emily

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  52. I'll be here no matter what. I don't mind if you take time off from blogging, (as long as you come back, of course) I like reading your blog, always have, always will. Years in the future I'll still be reading it, even if I'm not blogging anymore. I promise. :)

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  53. Missing you! I am ex-pat homesick Brit in Midwest for 21 years. You are my taste of home. Hope things are OK with dear Kitty. I have a soon to be 7 year old little boy. It is a wonderful thing.

    Hope you come back soon!

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