Sunday, June 05, 2011

Off The Bookish Path - A Personal Reflection

My life finally seems to be settling into a routine of sorts. I have been back to work for three weeks now. It was easy to some extent to jump back into the job even after so many weeks away. I had forgotten all of my passwords, of course (thank goodness I had written them down!), and my boss was promoted during my absence. Other than that though, work is work is work. I am fortunate to work in a field and with people I like. That has made the transition from being home with my baby back to work a tad easier. But only just a tad.

I miss Mouse terribly but am glad she at least is able to spend a few weeks in her father's care. My husband, Anjin, is wonderful with Mouse and she adores him. She has us both wrapped around her little finger just as it should be at this stage. I think the hard part will come when she does start daycare. We are very confident and happy with the person who will be caring for her while we are at work, but it doesn't make it any easier to be away from her for those few hours during the week.

The other night my husband commented how Mouse will soon be three months old. "We're going to make it," he said with relief. It's been a challenging three months in more ways than one. I have a few more gray hairs and the dark circles under my eyes have become a permanent fixture. Despite the not so good parts, there is so much about being a parent to a newborn I have come to love.

My heart melts when Mouse smiles at me. Her smile is more than just the upturn of her lips. It lightens her entire face and she throws her body into it. I love her squeals of laughter. Then there is cuddle time, especially after mealtime. She can sit (she hates to lay down unless she's sleeping or during feedings) for long stretches, silently taking in everything around her. At other times she is in constant motion. She loves to use her legs, kicking and stomping, trying to stand and walk. How could I not feel a swell of love for her when she grabs hold of my finger and won't let go? She isn't the biggest talker, but when she does talk, I always pay attention. I love it when her face scrunches up in frustration only to ease back into contentment when I reassure her I am there. I could gaze at her forever when she is sleeping, whether she has an arm thrown over her eyes, propped under her head or her hand under her chin. Oh, and I can just give her kisses and kisses and kisses . . . The list could go on forever. I am sure I am not the only mother who has taken pleasure in such things. How can we not marvel at the beauty and gift of trust our little ones give us?

As I've said, it isn't all sunshine and bliss. As many of you know, children are hard work. Your life isn't your own--at least not in the same way as before. Finding time for me and anything not baby related is quite a challenge. Add to that the occasional heart wrenching crying when nothing seems to console her, initial breastfeeding difficulties, the sleepless nights and the postpartum depression among other things. Suffice it to say, I am adjusting to parenthood and all its ups and downs.

The other big topic in my life right now is the move--and the new house. It was literally down to the wire, our buying of the new house dependent on the sale of our old house to the city. Somehow everything came together, but not without a lot of teeth gnashing and hair pulling. Then the move. Even with movers doing all the heavy lifting, it was an exhausting experience (I got over my fear of nursing in public quickly, let me tell you. Fortunately, the movers worked around me as best they could). My husband and I had been in our old house 10 years, and so it'd been a while since we last moved.

I love the new house. We are still getting to know the neighborhood but so far are happy with it. It's relatively quiet and, while I know crime can happen anywhere, I do feel safer. It took the cats awhile to adjust but they seem to be settling in well. It was touch and go there for awhile in regards to Anya. My dog Riley would be happy anywhere as long as I am there. The baby's presence has been hardest on him, my attention focused mostly on Mouse. My husband and I do what we can to make him feel loved too, but I know he feels a bit neglected. He pretty much ignores the baby at this point. She sure does love to watch him though. She's just beginning to take an interest in the cats.

Our new house is on the other side of town. It's farther away from the mall, bookstores and post office. It's farther away from a lot of the places we like to frequent. On the plus side, we are having fun exploring our new area when we can, and I live closer to my office now.

When I think back to where I was a year ago, I never imagined my life would so drastically change in such a short time. We were still trying to get pregnant and, as far as we knew, the city's plans to displace us and many of our neighbors were still just in the planning stage. I am in a totally different place than where I was back then--both figuratively and literally speaking.


© 2011, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

27 comments:

  1. What a delightful post, Wendy! I was right with you in describing your love for Mouse. And, yes, there are the not-so-good times that come along with raising children, but the love will only grow. I'm so happy for you in so many ways. Enjoy! :)

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  2. It's amazing how much can change in a year - and how some years so much can stay the time. I hope it's all up from here. :)

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  3. Wendy, thanks for inviting us in to have a chat. That's kind of how this seemed. I can imagine you sitting with your little Mouse in your lap, her squealing and waving and you telling us about your new house and all that has gone on getting you guys there.

    Children are such a joy. I think of joy as something there in good times and not so good times. Our daughter is still the light of our lives - even all grown up. We wouldn't have been the same people without her. Take care and be kind to yourself - don't push things too much. Look for the joyful moments, even in the middle of the night or while little Mousie vocalizes her displeasure. LOL

    Hugs and thanks again!

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  4. It's funny how life can do that full circle thing without you even realizing it. Oh the joys of new parenting...soon you will be sending her to her first day of Kindergarten! Savor the moments..I loved your post!!

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  5. Loved this post, Wendy. You've had so much to deal with the past year, and it's really nice to see you coming through on the other side. My own mice are now 15 and 18, with the oldest heading off to college this fall. I know it sounds trite, but the time has just flown. Every minute has been delightful, so you have much joy in store.

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  6. It is so nice to hear about your life and to know that while you have had quite a year of changes, everything has turned out for the best. Enjoy your little girl since as you already finding out, they grow up too fast!

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  7. Thanks for the update Wendy.

    The full-body smile! Is there anything more delightful than being greeted by that?

    Glad to hear the back to work is going well. (I think the maternity leave in the US is terrible! Don't get me started.) How wonderful that Anjin gets to have some time with her.

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  8. It sounds like everything is working out well - I'm so glad to hear that you love your house. I hope that the continued adjustment with work and daycare is an easy one.

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  9. I loved this post, Wendy! I'm glad that things are moving on well and smoothly for you. I'm also glad that you've found someone suitable who'd take care of your little one while you and your husband are at work. :)

    By the way, how many months of maternity leave is entitled for a working mom over there?

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  10. Loved that you shared the changes in your life with all of us. It's great to see the progress you all have made as well.

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  11. What a lovely post! It's one you both will cherish when she gets older!

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  12. I remember how easy my son was when I had him and how I thought I was the perfect mom who knew exactly what to do. And then I had The Girl 5 years later and boy, did she tell me otherwise. You'd think I would have known more, but no... I felt like a new mom and she was such a difficult kid.

    I say that, because I can so remember those first 3 months, how tough they were. For me, the toughness didn't end until she was four!

    I'm so glad Mouse is settling into her routine and that you are happy with the house. It's beautiful!

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  13. I loved reading this more personal post, Wendy. :) And your words made me remember how precious those newborn days were - mine are long behind me, with my youngest at age 9. :)

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  14. Aw, Wendy I'm so happy for you! :)

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  15. So nice to hear that you are doing well. I've thought of you and your little mouse often. I remember those first days with a new baby and they were so hard and, at the same time, so rewarding. And that was 35 years ago but I haven't forgotten; it's that intense!

    Your new home is beautiful!

    Thanks for this beautifully written update. Someday you'll have to read it to mouse!

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  16. Glad you're getting settled in. That was quite a busy year!

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  17. I'm so glad you're settling in -- so many changes all at once, but it looks like it's all going to be good.

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  18. Those first few months are rough but they are SO worth it. :) I'm so glad that you're getting settled in and adjusting to your new life. I hope the transition to day care goes smoothly when it comes.

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  19. Your reflections on your time with Mouse are wonderful and heartwarming. I can imagine that time seems to be flying by with her, so take all the time you can to enjoy it. I am also glad to hear that the move went well and that you are all safely ensconced in your new home. I know how hard it can be to move, and I am glad that you are past that point. I am also glad that getting back to work has been relatively pain free and that you are finding it easy to just slip back in to the swing of things. Here's hoping that things stay right on course for you and your family.

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  20. You're doing a remarkable job dealing with all this change!!! Just looked at pic of the new house and it's beautiful.

    Glad you've found a daycare situation you're comfortable with. It's prickly at first, but when the baby enjoys the sitter, it makes things much better. You'll see. :)

    Hang in there, mama!

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  21. I could stare at my kids for hours when they sleep as well...it can take your breath away. I'm so glad to hear that you are all moved in and doing well. And thanks for sharing this post with us!

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  22. So happy for you! You have a lot going on right now, but it sounds like you're managing fine. It really does get easier.

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  23. A lovely post. Glad that everything is going well if not perfect :)

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  24. Oh Wendy--this post made me cry! It is so evident the deep deep love that you have for Mouse and it is so touching. Of course it helps that I'm experiencing many of these same emotions right now.

    I read your post on postpartum depression a few weeks ago (on phone so I didn't comment), but it was a wonderful post and I commend you on your bravery on speaking about the subject. I read it during the third week when things were still so tough and I cried all day long and it was helpful to not feel so alone. So I thank you for that...

    Hugs Wendy.

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  25. You have had quite a year, Wendy!! I'm so glad that you are movied and life with Mouse is good. It sounds like she's hitting her milestones early. Gage didn't start hitting most of his on time until about 6 months. Enjoy motherhood :)

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  26. You have had a very tough and long year...but a joyful one too. I'm so glad everything has come together for you and I bet Mouse is adorable!

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  27. All things came to pass and I'm so happy for you, your husband, your baby girl and your furkids now that everything is settling down. I love this post! Your baby is beautiful!

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