Posts tagged ‘maternity leave’

5 months!

So! I have a 5-month-old! And not a lot of computer time! Funny how that goes.

In the last month or two, Baby J has been turning into such a little person instead of a grub. He wants things and grabs them (and then chews the crap out of them). He has one little sharp jaggedy tooth poking through his bottom gums. And, in just the last few days, he has vastly improved his powers of locomotion, to the point where he can slowly and painfully wiggle his way over to whatever he is after. He is driven to practice this locomotion at every opportunity, including while trying to fall asleep, and again immediately upon waking. This last bit has made night wakings a bit more of a pain, but it is balanced out by the miraculous fact that, in the last week or two, J sleeps unswaddled. I was really starting to think I’d one day be swaddling a 7-year-old, but once his movements became coordinated enough that he could roll around in the swaddle, he simultaneously outgrew the need for it. Yay!

Oh, one more baby ability/obsession (for babies are obsessed with everything they do): consonants. One generic consonant. He flaps his mouth wide open and closed like a fish while yelling Bababababa! BA! It’s cute, except when it’s apparent that I am being sternly critiqued. BA!

That, above, is a lot of changes. Who is this kid?! Mostly he’s a lot of fun. OF COURSE I get frustrated being alone with him most of the time (and it’s mutual), and OF COURSE I feel guilty all the time for not being an awesome enough parent, and I do wish there were more awesome parents and baby friends nearby in our lives so we could have more of a little community and see OTHER people more often, but hopefully that stuff will come.

I am enjoying maternity leave a lot more than I expected. The last few years, I was so focused on grad school and on working that it’s a breath of fresh air to have some time. We go slowly and take walks with no need to dress up or impress anybody. I have a simultaneously terrible and wonderful habit of staying up super late after baby and husband are in bed to play music, sew or whatever in the attic, which makes me tired but is good for sanity. I can’t even imagine what going back to work will be like, but time will tell.

Meanwhile, J has learned to take naps that don’t necessarily involve me lying next to him the whole time, but they are by no means long. Which is to say, he’s up!

Rejoining Society

We have a fuckton of houseguests for the next little while. Some friends are coming tomorrow, then Z’s entire family is going to stay for a few days.

Z’s family are lovely, but we don’t have room for them all to sleep comfortably, or all sit in the living room at once, oh my god. Plus, some of them get up at the crack of dawn. Fortunately, they are the sort of people who don’t mind eating delivery pizza. But still, it will be a busy few days.

Then Z is going back to work on Monday. Damn I’m going to miss having him home with me.

So, I guess this marks the end of our babymoon. The first week  home with Z and J was absolutely necessary for my sanity and physical recovery from birth. Then, after that, we have had a few visitors, but mostly hermited together for 2 more weeks. It’s been lovely.

In preparation for rejoining society as J’s primary caregiver for the remainder of my generous 1-year Canadian maternity leave, I have recently acquired some key tools:

  • A SLING to put the baby in so I can carry him while doing household chores and running short errands. He had his first bus ride on Tuesday in the Moby wrap. It’s much easier than wrangling a stroller, at least while he’s tiny and doesn’t mind sleeping in a carrier.
  • A NURSING BRA that mostly fits. My boobs are taking over the world, and they even laugh at the nursing bra I bought when 38 weeks pregnant. Looking socially acceptable in a bra and shirts is still not quite comfortable (the boobs will get used to this feeding the baby business at some point soon?) but I think I’m going to at least be able to pull off wearing shirts the whole time Z’s family is here.  Here’s hoping, because one of the people coming to stay with us is a teenaged foster boy who I barely know.
  • TWO PAIR OF PANTS that mostly fit. Hallelujah! This afternoon, our last before the houseguests descend and then Z goes back to work, I left my boys with a bottle of pumped milk and took the bus to the nearest part of town where there are stores that sell pants. I currently weigh 13 pounds more than pre-pregnancy, but 13 pounds cannot possibly account for the degree to which my old pants don’t fit. I think my hips have changed shape forever. So, I got two pairs of jeans for $20 at the thrift store. It will do wonders for my self esteem to stop wearing threadbare too-short maternity jeans all the time.
Now baby and I need to cultivate a social life for weekday afternoons so I don’t slowly lose my mind. My goal is to arrange visits with all the other new moms I know from childbirth class and elsewhere, as well as with the few awesome friends who are stay-at-home parents of older kids. I have pants, a bra, and a baby carrier. We can do it!