I can’t believe we’ve had a baby for 9 months! We have a photo of us all after being home from the hospital for 24 hours. My husband and I took the photo because we couldn’t believe we’d kept a baby alive for a whole day. Now that single day has become 275 days. It still feels a surprise sometimes that she’s ours. We get to congratuate ourselves that we’ve got through so far, and wonder who pressed the fast forward button on it all.
Our daughter is a busy young lady, cruising around our furniture, chatting and squeaking, eating food, and generally making our day a little bit brighter every time we turn around. I feel grateful every single day, and I try to take the advice of people as much as I can, to enjoy every minute. It’s terrible advice really, because who enjoys a baby shouting in their ear whilst they go to the lavatory? But every time I notice that I’m not enjoying myself, I remind myself to reset and I do my best.
Baby being alive aside, there are other big things going on right now.
I need to tell my old job I’m not going back after maternity leave. It’s not the right job for me just now, and I want to spend time raising our daughter and looking after our family. I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to have the option of being a stay at home mum. But there’s something putting me off phoning my old manager and having that conversation. I’m not entirely sure why. Society not viewing childcare as work? Me not viewing childcare as work? Fear of relying on my husband financially? Fear of a difficult conversation? Whatever it is, I need to dig as deep as I can and have that conversation. I know I’ll feel better once I have.
All this means that overall I’m feeling really tense and anxious, and it comes out in different ways. I find myself jolting awake in the night with anxiety dreams, where I feel like I have to make quick decisions and I can’t, and then I wake up panicking. I can’t concentrate on anything. I can’t calm down enough to sleep unless I’m touching my husband or our baby. Both of them like being touched sometimes but I’m not sure either of them like it all the time. I snap at my husband when he says something obvious. I keep busy when I’m alone or my thoughts spiral out of control and into ugly places. And when all else fails, I go out and I walk. I’m grateful for the walk 1000 miles challenge and the 1000 hours outside challenge for the extra prompts to prioritise being outside and moving my body. These were part of my intentions for the year and are serving me well.
I’ve been trying to make friends with other mums more, as I’m not going back to my old job, and adult company is a good thing. It is hard. Other parents are weird. We are probably even weirder. The pandemic and restrictions means we’ve missed lots of opportunities to meet other parents in normal ways. We don’t parent in the same ways as a lot of other folk we meet – and children and parenting seems to be all anyone ever talks about. Sleep training, not sleep training. Baby led weaning, puree. How you manage weaning mess, which classes you go to, whether you use the wonderweeks app, whether your baby hits developmental milestones or not. It feels relentless and our answer is always different to other people’s. I keep trying and showing up and smiling anyway.
Anyway, that’s what we’ve got going on right now.
Lots of love,