Into the Abyss

Whew! Parenthood is magical…but it’s not easy.

For years, we’ve always wondered why couples disappear into an abyss for the first year of their child’s life. Ignorantly, we thought they were cocooning because they couldn’t bear to be away for a night without baby. Like most things in life, it’s impossible to understand without walking in their shoes. Now we have. And we understand!

While we have done our best to keep at least a chalk outline of our past life in play by hiring sitters, we’ve spent most of the last 10 months figuring out a new rhythm as a family of three. But, just when we figure things out and get into a routine, everything changes. For example…

  • At three months, he slept through the night for a week solid. We smugly thought we had ‘this sleeping thing’ licked. Then, teething began and we traveled to the States, back to 3 hour spans.
  • At six months, we had breastfeeding down pat. Then, we introduced solids (highly recommend baby-led weaning) and changed our eating habits to accommodate W’s allergies (peanut, soy, milk (and milk products), tomatoes, kiwi?, strawberries, eggs). This was a biggie. We’ve completely overhauled our diet. As a result of this and breastfeeding, K’s back down to her wedding day weight…and sneaking cake to keep from disappearing.
  • At seven months, G’s job was a nightmare. In preparation for launch, he had to work night and day for a couple weeks, leaving K at home with W 24 hours a day, just when W was going through teething (again). We were all spent and grumpy as a result. We didn’t recover until Christmas.
  • At eight months, he was mobile and began to move his toys about our tiny flat. Nothing would stay (does stay) where you leave it. Trust me when I say that this is a HUGE milestone for parents who have a slight control-freak bent. 🙂
  • At nine months, K increased her workload from 1 day a week to 3 days a week. Now, there’s less time for her to pick up the toys, wipe food from the walls and sort out allergy-friendly menus.
  • At ten months, W routinely reorganises drawers which can’t be childproofed. Finding tights and tube cards is now a bit of an ordeal which involves searching under the bed and squinting in dark corners for 5 minutes.

It’s worth it. There’s no disputing that. But it’s these little things which have soaked up the time that we used to use for blogging. Well, this and the fact that I now send G hourly emails (when I’m with W and he isn’t) complete with photos and comments from W regarding what W’s up to. And photo uploads for grandparents via Mobile Me have taken time, as well. Alas…here we are.

So. 10 months in. How has parenthood changed us.

For me, K, motherhood has made me more laid-back (to some extent). My feeling is, why fret about things I can’t control? Though, I still fret about things out and about in places they shouldn’t be (like the plastic storage containers and mixing bowls in the middle of the family room/dining area because W’s keen to play with them….or vitamin bottles in the hall because W likes the sound they make). Overall, our small flat is beginning to feel way too small now that W is mobile. Come on Spring park-weather days!

I still, generally, do my hair and make-up. But, I no longer wear dry-clean only clothes. And, at times, I am one of those embarrassing moms who have food on them! I could change, but our washer/dryer takes 4 hours; I figure getting dirty comes with the territory. And, finally, I see way less of my friends as they’ve either moved, or leave drinks by the time I’m able to switch with G and make my way out…with a few exceptions.

I’ll have to let G weigh-in independently on how fatherhood has changed him…

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