My blog’s been quiet for some time. It’s not because I haven’t had the time to blog. I’ve had the time to tweet, post pictures to Facebook and craft gorgeous snaps of my boys on Instagram. But those are things that take seconds to do … and I like to take my time when it comes to my blog.
I’ve also been busy. Far busier in these 5 weeks than I was in the first 5 weeks of Luca’s life, and it’s SUCH a good thing.
I really struggled with being a mother and being myself, the first time around. I sat at home for days on end before I finally left the house. The first time I left the house after Luca was born (aside from the weekly weigh-ins at the nearby clinic) was 3 weeks after he was born. Three weeks. It was only a couple of hundred meters away from my front door too, to Nice on 4th for lunch with Dave, my sister and Murray for my birthday. It took me three weeks to leave the house and even then I just didn’t feel comfortable being out. I peeked under the blanket covering his pram over a hundred times while we had lunch, barely relaxing enough to enjoy the time with the people closest to me. I was petrified that he would break. That he would be cold. That someone would want to pick him up and that I would have to politely say, no. You can’t touch him. You don’t know what he likes. You might make him sick. You don’t know how to hold him the right way. I was that neurotic. Really. I was constantly exhausted because I wanted to do everything myself. I believed that no one could look after Luca as well as I could. I think that I only let Beauty hold Luca for the first time when he was around 8 weeks old. Really.
When I tell people about my neurosis, they tell me, “Shame Nix, you were a first time mom. Everyone feels that way”, but the fact is that it just wasn’t normal. I had people all around me, offering help and I just flat-out refused it. I blogged more then too, because I never left the house. I was too scared to move, so I boarded myself in, ate too much, avoided people and became miserable. Luckily, Dave brought me to my senses. At around 6 weeks after Luca was born, 6 weeks of my refusing help, ignoring my husband and avoiding being anything other than a mother, Dave told me that I needed to get my shit together. That I was destroying our life. That he didn’t know how much he could take from me. That I was locked up in a little world where just Luca and I existed. At first I was hurt. Of course it was just me and Luca. That’s normal after you’ve had a baby, isn’t it? Well, maybe within the first couple of days it’s acceptable. But not for months on end after that. I am grateful, to this day, that Dave told me to get my ass into gear. That he reminded me who and what was important to me before Luca was born.
That whole experience, the first 3 or 4 months of Luca’s life, made the last 5 weeks of my life, the first 5 weeks of Mika’s life, so much more normal, pleasant and enjoyable for all of us. I have had help from the best of friends and family. I have asked for help. I have accepted offers for help. I have been incredibly grateful for that help.
Murray’s presence during my third day in hospital when I reacted badly to an anti-inflammatory and wasn’t strong enough to lift Mika off my chest and into his cot – invaluable.
Arriving home on the Thursday morning to find packaged meals delivered by Roz and later, Tanya arriving with more food for the first couple of nights for us – priceless.
Being able to hand Mika over to Dave or Beauty so that I could snuggle up with Luca on the couch when he arrived home from school, or to take him out for a milkshake at Mugg & Bean – liberating.
It’s this help that’s enabled me to be a mother (TO TWO BOYS!) and still be myself. To be able to pop out for lunch, coffee, the opening of a clothing store. To be able to spend a day out at Serendipity, with amazing mommy-friends and have conversations (and raucous belly-laughs, thanks Melinda!) about things completely unrelated to kids. Because I know now that, although I love my children with every fibre of my being, it’s important to still be me. To love my husband the way I did before we had two little boys dependent on us. To live and laugh, to be aware of the world around me, to be interested in topics other than how many times a night I am up to breastfeed or change a poo nappy.
All I can say is that I have LOVED these first 5 weeks with Mika in our lives. Yes, he’s still a teeny little thing, so its going to be a while before life (or I) feels more “normal”. But I’m not hanging on every 3am wake up. I’m not losing my mind every time Mika lets out a little cry.
I’m not getting hung up on the small things. I am getting out, getting exercise, getting fresh air and, getting on with life. But I’m back … I promise … and I’ve got lots to tell you 🙂
It’s all just about taking my time.