Community

My world seems to have shrunk these past 5 weeks since becoming a full-time parent. Our adopted girl, Greta, (not her real name) can walk but is not confident walking outside. Her lack of confidence outdoors combined with the cold weather made any trips to the local park unsuccessful. So I’ve had to think of indoor places to take her where she can toddle around and burn off some energy. Continue reading

Lost and Found

I’ve been wondering how to start writing these weekly posts again after an eight week hiatus and a distinct lack of blogging on my part. It’s been all change on the life-front and in truth, I’m only just now beginning to be able to process all the events that have happened recently.

My first bit of news is that my partner and I have adopted a little girl after a year of going through the intensive adoption process. She has been with us full-time for 2 weeks today and has completely turned our world upside down. As I grapple with motherhood, the focus of my life has completely changed. Currently, theatre jobs are just not possible for me to do. Even the thought of auditioning at the moment seems like a distant dream, ensconced as I am in the world of set naptimes and mealtimes and children’s TV in order to continue a consistent routine for her until she’s more settled.

I used to go to the theatre on almost a weekly basis and regularly review plays and musicals but again, this will have to take a back seat for the time-being. And I accept that, although it is hard at times. Being an actor has been a part of my identity for so long that it’s strange not to have that as my driving focus. However the upsides to parenting a cheeky toddler are immensely rewarding, even if they are challenging at times.

Just before we met her, my father’s health deteriorated. He’d been having chemo and had been responding well but sadly he lost his battle with cancer a few days after the creative world lost David Bowie and then Alan Rickman. My dad had been a fit and healthy man all his life so it was a shock to lose him only a few months after his diagnosis and I still can’t really believe that he’s gone. He hung on long enough for us to send some pictures of our first few days’ meeting our new daughter and that’s been a comfort to me; that he got to see her, even if it wasn’t in person.

It’s been a time of conflicting emotions – profound sadness and joy co-existing at the same time but the day-to-day realities of looking after a little one distract me from my grief, although I am careful not to just dismiss or bury my feelings. One of the things the social workers say about a child who has been placed with their forever family is that no matter how well it all goes or how settled the child seems to be, on some level and at some point they will grieve for all the changes that have occurred. That’s without any of the other traumas that may have happened to them. It’s important to give that grief an outlet. To name it and voice it for them if need be.

So my blog this year will probably feature less reviews and may have more of a slant towards children’s theatre and child-friendly places to visit in London. And I’m sure it will contain a fair amount about the struggle to continue juggling a creative career with parenthood. It’s a whole new world for me. I hope you continue to join me on the journey!