Monday, October 20, 2014
Here we go.
In the last 19 weeks, I have learned that even the smallest victories of parenthood can equal a feeling of great accomplishment.
There are some days when I feel like Supermom, who can literally do anything and everything. Then, there are other days, when I feel like I could have done more not only for Silas, but for myself. You know, like leaving the house, or having dinner prepared, or drying my hair (there is still no excuse for not having a shower in my house. Put the baby in the damn crib for 5 minutes, ladies. It won't kill them, but no one wants to smell like old breast milk or have constant bedhead, amiright?)
Luckily, these days are few and far between, and it's okay to have them. I think it's important to acknowledge that parenthood comes with a learning curve - learning that it's not about you anymore, learning to be unselfish with your personal time and space, learning that it's okay to do a little less on some days, and conversely, learning that doing too much can sometimes backfire and bite you in the ass.
Silas is 4 months old. He's become this small human, no longer a lump of newborn squishiness who will sleep all the time or lay complacently on our chests while we continue to enjoy our leisure time. He's a little boy, with a personality all of his own. He's happy, most of the time. I am so grateful for a happy baby. When he cries, which is relatively rare, it's due to being hungry, or, as I've learned, overtired. The only other time he cries is on longer trips in the car, as the car seat is a now device of torture and mire to our baby, apparently. This can usually be rectified by having one of us sit back there with him and hold his little hand, look in his eyes, and be with him as he realizes that all is well, and the car is a fine place to be lulled into sleep, for a time. There is never so sweet a sound as the silence that follows after a baby screams for any length of time. Sweet sweet silence.
I love being a stay at home mom. I will consider myself this until I have to face the day when I must go back to work. I'm not going to lie, I'm dreading this, even though it's 8 months off. I feel better about my days spent with my son than I do selling hair products. It's not that I don't enjoy, value, or appreciate my job. It's that I feel like I have a real purpose here - to shape MY human. To teach him new things, guide him and help him grow. This feels like real life, and a life I wish I could continue to have with him until he has to go off to school (sniff sniff). People often say that they were ready to go back to work after a time....I am not there yet, and I don't know if I ever will be. But I will go back, because that's the reality of living in an expensive city and having mortgage payments and a desire to travel and have nice things. We both need paycheques until we win the lottery.
I am proud of the way that I have adapted to motherhood. I feel like my learning curve, so far anyways, has been pretty excellent. This is obviously part luck of the draw - Silas was not colicky and has a nice, generally unfussy nature. I have a supportive husband who loves being a dad, and who is more than capable with his son and his own learning curve (has not referred to looking after Silas on his own as "babysitting" for example). We have supportive grandparents all dying to get their hands on the baby, and who I know would take him if I needed some time away from him. And trust me, grandparents, that time will come.
But I also know that I can pat myself on the back because I feel like I've done well. I will be the first to admit that as his birth approached, I was scared. Scared less about the birth, and more about the what was to come after. And then it happened and you just....do it. I feel like being a mother has come naturally to me (go figure, as some of my friends call me Mother Hen). The sleepless nights, the sometimes crying baby, the endless loads of laundry, the naps, the developmental milestones, etc etc etc.......I rock at this. I rock at this because I have confidence and support of my husband, family and friends. I rock at this because I just feel with my whole heart that THIS THIS THIS is what I was made for, and this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my life right now. This little boy has made me, someone who always felt content and whole, even WHOLER.
And it's because I feel accomplished in the little things, on a daily basis. This is something I lack in my work life and my "before" life. Every single day, I feel like on some level, we have small victories. Being in sales, you have good days, and you have days where you question your existence and wonder what the hell you're doing. Being a mother, you have good days, and you have bad days, but you never question what you're doing, because you know it's all part of learning and growing. It's okay to make mistakes and to try again tomorrow. There are no sales targets, and your bonus is a smile and peaceful reflection over a cup of tea and a baby who went down gently for a nap. And I say gently because as of 19 weeks in, getting Silas to sleep is a gentle process. We don't cry it out because there is no need for it. If he is truly tired, he will sleep. It's pretty wonderful. Nighttime is a breeze in this way.
Silas is napping in his crib right now for the second time today. This is a small victory. Even though just after typing that sentence he woke up, I was able to put him down again without nursing, just some rocking. These crib naps are a recent development, as we've moved away from napping on our bed, and me side nursing him to sleep. I'm still working on consistency, but we're getting there. It's a learning curve for both of us - him learning to nap in his crib during the day, and me learning to be consistent and get ahead of his tiredness. I'm aiming for naps around 9:30ish, 12:30ish and again at 3ish. Of course, this all depends on when he wakes up and what we're doing but I'm trying to add a little routine into both of our lives because I hear that's what kids like. It's kinda tough though, because then you feel housebound, but naps can also be on the go, so a stroller nap or a wrap nap is still a nap in my books, so long as they happen. However, as the days get more drizzly and cold, I have a feeling we'll be more housebound anyways. This whole attempt at a routine probably couldn't have come at a better time. Thanks for being born in June, son!
I do feel victorious when I do get out for several hours a day, though. It's good for both of us to be in the fresh air, and/or in the company of other people and babies. These days, though more physically exerting (obviously I walk everywhere I go), are the most mentally rewarding and I feel totally "on top of it". More tiring are the days when we stay close to home, weirdly enough. Silas needs more entertaining, wants to nurse more, and I feel the need to do the chores (boooooooo). However, if we can get some good naps, and do the grocery shopping and dinner prep, it's a victory nonetheless. This is what today has looked like so far, and here I am with enough time to write a blog post. I'd say that's winning enough for a rainy Monday.
Yes, there are days when I feel frustrated and rundown and tired and annoyed. Yes, there are times when my patience is tested, and I have reacted rather than acted. I'm human, and I will have these moments of weakness, of selfishness, and impatience. However, I'm learning to rise above them, and to catch myself and love myself and give myself both time and credit and five minutes of fresh air, or a shower, or whatever I need to feel recharged. In moments of impatience, I remind myself to slow down. In moments of frustration, I remind myself to take a breath. In moments of selfishness, I remind myself to be giving. I remind myself that these moments are precious, all of the moments. There will be a day when my arms won't be wanted, when my scent can't calm, when no one calls out for me in the night. And I remind myself to be present and calm and grateful for all that I have.
And this is a victory too. To be aware of my "flaws" as a human, to simply do my best, to know that my best is enough and that I am enough and that one day I'll get a full 8 hours of sleep again.
Silas at 19 weeks: loves being tickled, being sung to, putting his hands on daddies and my face (HILARIOUS STUFF!). He is a great party date. He smiles a lot, and is learning to hate tummy time just a little bit less as the days go by. He goes to bed between 8:30 and 11, generally, and will sleep anywhere from 4 - 6 hours in a row, then another 2-3 hours in a row. I usually only have to get up once a night, but the last few days it's been twice a night (teething? A wonder week?), but these nighttime nursing sessions are down from 45 - 60 mins to 20 - 30 mins. I feel lucky that I have a pretty good sleeper on my hands, considering he is exclusively breastfed (another small victory!). He finds getting his diaper changed pretty funny sometimes. He likes looking in the mirror, and will smile at his reflection and mine. He'll play laying on his side, but hasn't rolled over yet. He's officially OUT of his swaddle and into the sleep sack (I maaaaaay have jumped the gun on buying a gimmicky thing called the Magic Merlin, which just arrived today....oh 3 am online shopping, you got me).
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
I'm thankful for being able to share Thanksgiving with my baby and my family. We had a lovely weekend that included lots of eating (lunch at Pag's, dinner at Marion and Aren's, Tapas Bar and the real feast at my parents house...I think I made a food baby this weekend 😕). James got some surfing in, I got to relax at the mineral pools at the Oak Bay Beach with my mom, and we hiked Mount Doug . It was an excellent long weekend.
Silas is starting to notice what I'm eating. I'm excited at the prospect of giving him food at Christmas . It will be fun to watch him try new things. And maybe a bit terrifying for me.
Silas is still super into his hands - they are the tastiest! He is also into chewing on my hands aaaaaaand sometimes my face. This would maybe be gross if it wasn't my baby but I love it.
The wee man still has a case of the sniffs but seems to be okay otherwise. I try to get him down for naps during the day...these can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours. No rhyme or reason. So naps are a work in progress, but nights are still going pretty well. He usually wakes up around 3 and again at 7 (give or take), so it's nice to get those 5 or 6 hour stretches followed by a 3. Ahhhhh sweet sweet sleep.
No more rolling since the two rolls a few weeks back but lots of kicking and the ability to move around a bit. He is getting stronger and stronger. He loves to stand on his legs....I'm borrowing a jolly jumper soon that I hope he will enjoy.
What can I say? Life is busy and fun with the little apple of our eye. He's 18 weeks today!
Monday, October 06, 2014
We went to a lovely wedding up in Ucluelet this past weekend. We were more than happy to celebrate the marriage of Marion and Aren, two friends who have become quite close with us in the past couple of years. They are a stellar couple, fun and easy to be around and we wish them all the happiness in the world.
Silas was, as usual, an amazing wedding guest. He slept through the ceremony and remained entirely chill, with small naps, until midnight, when we could finally convince dad to leave the party.
I explored Ucluelet on foot with Silas the next day while James surfed o lb his new board. We enjoyed breakfast at The Blue Room and a great shopping experience at Pena (where I treated myself to some new duds).
Our baby is rad.