Friday Records: A Document of Maternity Leave


Records of my time with James Benjamin, my Friday child.

This is an ongoing arts project: text comprised of diary entries, audio and photographs by Lena Simc, artist/mother.

My maternity leave started on 06.01.2014.
James Benjamin was born on 10.01.2014.

Early days are described through James’s birth story and Doubts entry.
First two weeks were spent with the father who was on paternity leave.
It is from 24.01 that I started being alone with the baby, on my maternity leave.
This blog outlines my weeks during my maternity leave. I compile material every Friday.


Extracts from Friday Records

Wednesday 12.03.2014


Doing all of this seems rather pointless, this being Friday Records… but on a day like this, bleak Wednesday, full of fog, it’s somewhat of a survival mechanism.

Wondering whether to go public with Friday Records or not. I love the fact that nobody’s been on the blog. Maternity leave is such a private activity. However, I owe it to myself and community of artist mothers to publicize it. Think, think…

My most favourite present for James’s arrival has been a luxuriant set of eye shadows for me. Niamh is the one I need to thank to. These pastel eye shadows make me want to get up in the morning and look presentable. Towards glamourous motherhood…


Friday 21.03.2o14 ten weeks


My life is far away from the glamour of Yves Saint Laurent.
Insistent crying in the evening. Everyone’s gone to Anfield to watch under 21s. I’m running late, impossible with it all, it feels.
One step at a time…
Sleep, baby, sleep

Someone visited my blog. Might be time to go public. One visitor on 20 March 2014. I am no longer alone.

About Lena Simic

Lena Simic, performance practitioner and pedagogue, born in Dubrovnik, Croatia, living in Liverpool, UK. Co-organizer of The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, an art activist initiative run from her family home. Lena’s autobiographical performance practice is informed b…Read more


More posts by Lena Simic

2 Responses to “Friday Records”

  1. Helen Sargeant

    Beautiful, thank you for these words. I remember those early days and the loneliness that can come with looking after a new born baby. How it takes forever to get out of the house. How a swipe of lipstick a flash of eye shadow, a moment in the shower alone can be such a blessing. I remember the kindness of a neighbour watching Naoise when he was tiny to I could wash uninterrupted, catch site of myself in the mirror. So much motherhood demands giving, routines of care, even the slightest of jobs can require vast amounts of energy. Putting on and taking off tiny clothes around a body that cannot support itself. Pushing the pram, walking, continuing, being outside, being visible not inside the house always made me feel better.

  2. Jodie Hawkes

    What a brilliant record of time. So much detail. Makes me wish I had my own records of time spent with my new babies. It’s all a bit hazy now. Think I spent a lot of it in the park too. No where to go. Got to get out.


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