Thursday, 23 January 2014

A Medium World

It's happening again.

The 'I-have-no-career-angst.'

For a few months now it wasn't such a big deal.  I was kept super busy whether I liked it or not and while I would occasionally think about whether I wanted to be a 'stay-at-home-mom' (*gasp*) I didn't have the luxury of lingering on the thought for too long.

I was having conversations/complainings with other mums and I didn't feel left out of the world. Amazing how pooping, eating, sleeping, playing, teething can make you feel included.

But now that time is coming to an end.

I always knew it would.

Now the conversations are about going back to work, conversations with bosses, nurseries, nannies, child minders, work clothes, commuting. And once again I am no longer part of the world.

My world has suddenly shrunk down to Mr. Man and our little routine and our little life.

Sometimes I despair. Days when nothing keeps him entertained and I haven't peed on my own in weeks and I'm wearing the same outfit of stretch jeans, slippers, and ill-fitting jumpers for the fifth day running, I despair. When I realize I haven't had a conversation with anyone over an age counted in months for an entire day, I despair. When I occasionally meet new people and they inevitably ask 'what do you do?' and I watch their eyes search for someone else to when my answer includes the word 'kid,' I despair. Sometimes I even feel left out of my husband's life. I am so focused on this little human I don't have the energy left for anyone else, my husband and myself included. And I despair.

If having this little guy has taught me anything it is that life is dynamic. It will change and shift and drag you along. Sometimes kicking and screaming, sometimes unknowingly.

Sometimes I long for the luxury of lingering over a cup of coffee (okay, every morning) and being part of a bigger world of having a little something for myself of being able to carry a conversation that doesn't deal with stages of human development.

And then my son gets bored of his current toy, climbs into my lap and snuggles in to suck his thumb and watch some cartoons.

Maybe just a medium world, then.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014


Friday was a good day.

It was a good day in that nothing-special-happened-but-life-is-good way.

Naps went well. (This element is always a factor in whether or not a day is 'good' or 'rough.') We played easily with no forced engagement on either side. I got some chores done and managed to do something for myself during naptime. I ate regularly and even missed my son a bit when his nap ran long.

It was a good day.

I didn't once reminisce about my life pre-baby or wonder what it will become. I wasn't planning beyond the next few hours and I think I even smiled a bit to myself.

Life was good and I enjoyed it.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Returning to you

On the first day of this year I took a bath.

A bath.


I was probably only submerged for as long as it took to fill the tub (these free-standing claw-foot tubs are fabulous but take ages to fill) but it was long enough and hot enough to activate my deodorant.  I read a three page article while bath toys trapped in their mesh bag floated at my feet and the IKEA crocodile bath mat embedded squares in my soft backside.


Next week my little boy will be eight months old.

Eight months.

That time is marked by a visible increase in my silver highlights and eye cream consumption.  The majority of which can be attributed to a *lovely* sleep regression four months ago which lasted six weeks and probably took six years off our lives.  There is nothing more soul-destroying than your baby waking up five or six times a night (each wake-up lasting about an hour) for weeks on end.


If you pick the right time, which is usually just about the time you seriously consider going on holiday and leaving the baby to fend for itself (I mean you're pricing up tickets online serious), it isn't too bad.  I mean it's never easy to listen to your child cry, we went in periodically to sing and pat and say 'there, there,' but when we finally decided to go for it, it only took two nights.

You may have noticed I stopped writing about four months ago.  Coincidence? I think not.

However lack of sleep is the only culprit.  The halt in writing also coincides with an identity crisis.

I didn't make many declarations about the kind of mom I planned to be before Pruin was born.  I figured I would lessen my inevitable mommy-guilt.  However, one thing I did declare was to not loose my identity in my child.  For example, I would never make any 'profile photo' a photo of my son.  I would not refer to myself as Pruin's mom.  It's a small thing, but it felt important to me.  It took me until after the regression (almost five months) to allow myself to put a photo of my son as a background on my phone.  Which still seems silly as I see him every waking moment of my life.  However, when those waking moments are a little too much it is nice to have a reminder that he is cute sometimes.

I can hear all you parents laughing at me. Go on. I will probably do the same to those that come after me.

What I realize now is that it is impossible to not loose yourself in your new baby.  Especially if you are parenting without any family/friend help.  Not because they are too cute and squishy and wonderful (which they are when they are sleeping) but because they require every ounce of your being, body and soul and mind.  I don't want this space to turn into constant complaints about the slog that is early parenthood but in case you haven't experienced this particular life experience let me just cut to the point and say it can be pretty grim and at times even the smiles and giggles and amazing moments of watching this thing become a person aren't enough to keep you going. When you're shaking with rage and exhaustion at 4am, a smile is not enough.

But time ticks away and suddenly it's time for the next step, whatever that may be, and you find some more energy and patience as you dive/stumble into this next phase.  You have new things to stress over and the list from before seems to take care of itself as you obsess over purees or crawling or whatever.

It's at this point that you also realize that it might be time for you to take some time for yourself.  Get that baby out of the baby bath and into the big tub so the possibility of taking a relaxing grown up bath is actually a reality that won't require shifting too much baby stuff.  Take back that glorious free-standing tub.  Go out and face those changing rooms and get yourself a pair of jeans without elastic tummy panels. Yes, I'm still wearing my maternity jeans.  I haven't been able to face a changing room and discovering that my shape has forever changed and I no longer have any idea which brand of jeans, let alone size, will now fit.

But I made myself find the time to write and I took a bath for purely relaxation purposes.  So that's something.