Having a new baby in the early eighties, had lots of drawbacks, such as the Cold War and all it’s effects and complexities. Worrying about how to cope as an individual was bad enough, then suddenly having an infant to care for took the anxieties into another level.
Added to this, imagine, immediately after the birth of the much-wanted child, your husband became unemployed. The complication of financial problems, no car, no means to buy the hundred and one things, a new baby demands.
Not having a car, meant lots of walking, which, in turn helped the little one to sleep. Miles travelled, pushing pram, in January, to go shopping, visit friends and family.
The new-born safely wrapped up, cocooned in blankets, face just visible peering from the hand-knitted hat. Shopping tucked under the pram, buying cheap cuts of meat and learning how to make it last for more than one meal.
It became a challenge to survive, almost a pleasure to manage a week’s money successfully. Being able to pay the rent and have enough to pay a bill occasionally. Although, memories of a long walk to the parent’s house, in order to have a shower, as we couldn’t afford to switch the heating and hot water on. Being cold indoors was normal, having survived childhood in the sixties, with no central heating and just a hot water bottle to cuddle.
Memories of making Christmas decorations that first year, from cardboard, paper and glue, Blue Peter style. Buying clothes from Jumble Sales and making them into clothes for my toddler. Finding toys and books, for the tot at Boot Sales, which were the new way of discovering bargains, why did they always start at the crack of dawn?
Overall, coping with hardship, which it certainly was, I recall warmly and with fond memories.
330 Words Sandy Bryson