It was just over four months ago that you came to live in our home. It was just over four months ago that you came to live in our hearts. As I type, you snooze in the next room, but out of sight is never out of mind when it comes to you. I think and worry and wish constantly. When you sleep, I have to supress the urge to pick you up for a cuddle – waking a sleeping baby is of course not a wise move. You wake enough on your own anyway. And as I feed you in the wee hours of the night, I stroke your soft skin and hair, I gaze lovingly at your round cheeks.
Our love affair, like all between a mother and child, is one for the ages.
Sadly, I know it won’t always be this way. There will be times when you try my patience, as you become a defiant toddler and a rebellious teenager. There will be times when you may wish you got a better, ‘cooler’ mum. But my sincere hope is that these times are brief, and that your father and I are able to build a strong foundation, so we can weather those tough times together as a family with relatively few bumps. We’ll do our best to teach you the way, and to set you up for success in all that you do.
My wish for you is a simple one. That you will be happy, live in the present, and enjoy every moment of this precious life.
If you are happy, and you are kind, that is how I will measure my success as a mother.
It was 10 months ago that I wrote that I was trying to have a baby. It was nine months ago that I wrote that I was pregnant. And it was 15 days again that we brought our darling son home from the hospital. It feels like life changed over night, but this perspective reminds me that it wasn’t over night at all – it’s something we planned for, and which built over time.
While I was pregnant, nine months seemed an awfully long time to have to wait to meet your baby. Now I see that time is reasonable; you need it to prepare for the immense change and challenges to come. Who knew that something seemingly so natural as breastfeeding could be so tricky, or that the two most important words in my vocabulary would become ‘breast compression’? Who knew that in the first two weeks alone, we would change well over 100 diapers, and not mind one little bit? Or that we would find it fascinating to discuss the contents of those diapers, and would worry when our baby slept MORE than before, rather than bemoan the lack of sleep?
We have so much to learn about this parenthood gig, and I’m looking forward to each aspect.
I have only known for two days, yet already I find myself liking this thing growing inside me. The Internet tells me that it’s the size of a sesame seed. The Internet tells me there’s a chance (anywhere from 10 to 25 percent, depending where you read) I might never meet it. And that makes me sad.
I know it’s early days, but I wish I had some symptoms (not sickness, please) just to assure me that everything is okay. Still ‘baking’ so to speak. It’s only six weeks and there’s no scan until 12, so does that mean six weeks of worrying and wondering? Any tips for what to do in the meantime to relax a bit (normally I’d say a glass of wine, but…)
I’ve been away for awhile. But I’ve been thinking about this post, and feel compelled to write. I’ve just eaten a late dinner (prawn pizza), gulped a couple drinks (alcoholic and non) and swallowed a prenatal vitamin. It was three weeks ago that I made that change – one little blue pill for one ginormous pink horse tablet. And it was strange for a moment there, but it also felt right. It’s time.
My friends and I have had this talk more lately. There’s already a whole herd of little nippers running around our feet at barbecues. And those of us without, well, we’re starting to look at the tykes with less disgust and more adoration. And oddly, the men folk are too.
It’s not about the pills though. It’s about more than that. It’s really about the sex. Those moments in the bedroom (or on the couch, or against the shower wall – whatever you may fancy) have served a lot of purposes over the years. First and foremost, enjoyment. But also distraction, relaxation, therapy and communication – they’ve brought us closer together, they’ve helped us to patch up fights, take our minds off stress or sadness occurring elsewhere in our life, even perhaps keep our bodies fighting fit – it does burn calories. They’ve provided hours and hours and oodles of fun. It is only now that we begin to see the other, some may say greater, purpose behind it all.
I swore that I never wanted it to become a chore. That I never wanted sex to begin to create stress rather than take it away. So we’re relaxed about it, but I can already see how it becomes hard for couples who try and try to get the timing right, who wonder, ‘did it take that time’ as the months drag on. We’re in for a wild ride – in more ways than one. I plan to try to sit back and enjoy it all.
Okay, let’s get to the point. Yesterday’s post. It wasn’t just about perfection. It was about the put-upon wife and the hen-pecked husband. The cliche that I so desperately do not want to be. And it was about my fear that stereotypes exist for a reason. That we fall into these roles so naturally, by virtue of who we are as man and woman.
I do naturally look after others. I clean the house because I like it tidy. Even when my husband leaves dishes in the sink. In the bathroom. On whatever surface may happen to be closest.
My husband does like a drink or two, or 10. He does like to have fun with the boys at the footy. It comes to him without any pre-meditation because it is who he is as guy. That is not to say he is not an amazing husband – he most certainly is, and I feel thrilled to have found him.
But how, oh how, do you navigate these differences? To, say, get me to loosen up and live a little, and get him to pick up and give a little? I suppose couples spend a lifetime figuring this out. I just don’t want it to be a lifetime of bickering.
Advice welcome. That is all.
Early on in my interview-ingenue days, I remember getting tips on how to prep for all. the. hard. questions. And I remember people telling me the pat answer to the classic, ‘what is your biggest weakness’ being some sort of perfectionism confession. (I’m too detail oriented, I get too wrapped up in trying to get it right, I never know when to say ‘good enough’). It seemed like a fine idea at the time. I did consider myself a perfectionist. I always wanted everything exactly right, in every sphere of my life.
But now, as the person now doing the hiring, I can tell you how crap these formula answers really are. The people across the table just want to hear the truth – good, bad and ugly. Second, though, I can tell you that I have, finally, once and for all, learned to let go of my perfectionist ways. The truth is that ‘perfect’ – in work and in life – just doesn’t quite exist.
Life is messy. It is mean. On many days, it is not what you signed up for. But then, on other days, it is much more. I have been coming to this realisation over the past several years, as I begin to experience life at its fullest (and sometimes crappest), following nearly three decades of a charmed existence that did not force me to face these realities. A more perfect union? No, your marriage will not be. It might be a more better union, but there are not degrees of perfection (just a grammar peeve) and even if there were, you’d be lucky to reach the penultimate peak, much less the pinnacle. And it is only when you can let go of the myth of perfection, I believe, that you can start to accept the wonderful and good that comes instead.
Laid up at home with an unfortunate injury (let me state for the record that fingers and blenders do NOT mix, and ask for forgiveness of any typos as I do my nine-finger touch typing), I have a lot of time with my thoughts. (And a lot of time with Pinterest, but that’s another story altogether.)
This week was my third anniversary in Aus, and I think I’ve finally moved past that ‘adjustment’ stage. I feel happy, settled, loved. And as such, it’s now time to enter an ‘improvement’ stage. Less about where I am and more about who I want to be. So, I’ve registered for a photography course. (Let’s hope my finger is well enough to shoot pics in one week’s time…) And I think this site will become more about my adventures in improvement, my thoughts on the world, etc, and less about dwelling on my living situation. Now I just need to post more regularly.