The Wokingham Paper

HONEST MOTHERHOOD: The colourful kind

Colour swatches painting
Picture: Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay
Angela Garwood
Angela Garwood

By Angela Garwood

According to my Bounty app we have approximately 21 days till the baby arrives.

And so naturally, given I could go into labour any day now, I have taken to painting feature walls in my offsprings’ bedrooms.

Maia’s wall, which she and I designed together, is complete with a rainbow, shooting star, unicorn horn and other age-appropriate images. (Plus a load of nondescript abstract swishes and doodles I added on a playful artistic whim.)

And, of course, her name slap bang in the centre of it all.

I really threw caution to the wind when it came to the colour palette.

Meaning, there isn’t one.

I waddled into Homebase and, after a moment of hesitation with a rather beautiful animal wallpaper, I began picking up every £1 tester pot that caught my eye. (I had to call my partner and check the sophisticated wallpaper wasn’t a better option, he confirmed it was indeed a faff, and that I’d enjoy painting).

For someone who can often be indecisive in other retail environments, I was pleasantly surprised and rather proud of my absolute colour-related decisiveness that afternoon.

Choosing colours turned out to be a rather enjoyable mission, I felt like a child at a Pic N Mix station. (Or just myself at a Pic N Mix station).

£46 later, I waddled out, excited for my creative endeavours, with a trolley full of pots
of joy and some new brushes.

And yes, the painting is the joy I hoped it’d be. In parts. I do get tired quickly.

Podcasts are put on (specifically How to Fail with Elizabeth Day) and in moments where I need a boost of energy, I down some orange juice and play the Songs to Sing in the Car playlist on Spotify.

Other times, or if I become at all achy, I sit in my nursing chair, scroll through Instagram and eat biscuits for a short while. I’m soon revived enough to press on.

Friends have commented on how late in the pregnancy I have decided to do this.

“Should you be doing that?”, “Is that safe?”

It wasn’t really an active decision, more a compulsion. Like the urge to “nest”. I suppose nesting takes on many forms. Some, no doubt most women, like to clean or arrange their towel drawers. I prefer to paint.

In terms of safety, no it’s not ideal, but I’m not launching up any step ladders, more just trying not to break my six year old’s plastic bathroom stool with the extra weight I’m carrying.

My sudden desire to Michelangelo their rooms hasn’t come out of nowhere. I began discussing the idea of splashing a rainbow of colour onto the walls at the start of lockdown.

My partner bravely entrusted me to go wild on our landing. But the weeks went by, the homeware stores were closed and it never manifested.

Which is probably a good thing because our landing is a smidgen longer than a feature wall and I’d have needed more than £30 worth of tester pots.

 Either way, I’ve got my rainbow now. Two remarkably imperfect, yet glorious children’s feature walls. If you squint, I am convinced they look a bit naff, but friends have assured me this is all in my head and they look awesome.

Most importantly, Maia is very happy with her mother’s artistic outburst. So much so she has begun asking if she could do her own thing on a downstairs wall.

I politely declined her offer.

I’ll be taking a short break from column-writing for the summer, as I attempt to parent two tiny humans. But I am hoping to return in October for more tales of sometimes far-too-honest motherhood.  Till then, follow my Honest Updates on my blog The Colourful Kind or on Instagram @colourfulkind 

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