So fall is upon us here in Vancouver. The leaves are turning colors and there is a crispness in the air that cannot be denied. It started awhile back and is now in full swing. We have had some days like today where the sun is shining and it makes for a glorious fall day. Other days it is gloomy, gray, wet, cool and to be honest, a little depressing.
Fall has often been one of my favorite times of year as it signals colorful landscapes and “back to school” feelings. The chance to “start over” with a new year of school, brand new corduroy pants, a fresh pencil case and new protractor. 🙂 As an adult, I am no longer going back to school, but it brought fresh fall fashions with gorgeous fall colors, warm cozy sweaters, tall boots and still… those great new corduroy pants!
But now with my daughter, I am realizing how much it is also about change. For whatever reason, the other seasons bring about changes, but never so much as fall does for me. It signals the coming winter. And so many changes in my daughter’s life. She’s 9.5 months old now. She is truly crawling now on all fours and not just “army crawling”. She is sitting up on her own (and getting there by pushing herself up off her tummy). She is pulling on furniture and things and finding herself standing (with a little help from the furniture). She is off exploring on her brand new adventures. The toys that once preoccupied her well are now often left lying where they were and she would rather find a leaf on the floor that the dog tracked in. She would like to cruise on into the kitchen and inspect the dog’s food and water dishes. She wants to go places!
And yet she is also right smack at the beginning of separation anxiety. It is a strange push and pull. Let me go explore Mommy! Look at me Mommy! I can stand! I can crawl! I can go places! No, Wait, Mommy. Don’t leave me here in my Exersaucer while you use the bathroom. I HATE being alone… I am going to sob great big crocodile tears until you come back even though I can still see you. Nope, peekaboo is NOT going to cut it. I want to be held. NOW! I don’t care that you have dishes to do. Can’t you see I hate being ignored even for a minute??
Sheesh! We Mommies know NOTHING some days!! 😉
Oh yes, so the seasons are changing and so is my daughter. But then so is my relationship with my hubby. Babies are truly tough on relationships. I can understand this so much better now from the inside than from the outside just reading about it. It is all such a balancing act. There is limited time in the day and limited energy in Mommies and Daddies. And so many things to do. Chores to be done (the never ending laundry, dishes, vacuuming, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, beds to make, garbage to take out, diapers to wash, recycling to be sorted). And never mind the time caring for a baby takes. Bath time. Meal time. Cleaning up. If only the dog would eat fruit it would make the floor clean up easier! (insert cheeky grin here). She’ll eat the peas and corn and carrots but heaven forbid she should scarf down that mushy banana that I will inevitably step in and make even messier – le sigh.
So we have had a bit of a rough go at times. I’m not going to lie to you. Co-parenting and finding your footing together as Mommies and Daddies is tough work. But luckily we have come through some rough times and are on better footing now. I am going to make a concerted effort to get out of the house on my own at least once a week for awhile and let Daddy and baby bond together. They need that time without me bossing them around (it is hard not to point out how I do things and therefore how I think they *should* be done, so it is just better for me to leave them to it so that I don’t interfere). I know in my heart of hearts they will do just fine and that Daddy’s way may be different than my way, but that it is OK. Still, it doesn’t hurt for me to disappear so that I’m not tempted and frankly I need to learn to let go a little bit of that control in any case. I think it is good for everyone.
So I went shopping on my own this weekend! It was amazing. I got a new pair of jeans that actually fit (I’ve lost too much weight running after my almost 23 pound baby) and some new long-sleeved t-shirts for fall. I felt like a brand new woman with my fresh fall clothes and a chance to just be ME again. It was amazing. And wouldn’t you know it? Baby Bean slept for 1.5 hours while I was out. Lucky Daddy!! When I came home I was actually singing again as I cleaned and put away the dishes from lunch. What a lovely chance for some renewal.
I really hope we can keep up this new way of being together. I found a part of myself again this weekend. And in doing so, I KNOW that I became a happier person in the process. That allowed me to reconnect on a much more positive level with my hubby and that is such a blessing to me, my hubby and our child. That alone made me want to continue with our new way of being.
Time will keep on moving on, and now I feel like we are moving ahead in a positive direction. There is light at the end of the tunnel and we are working together as a team again. What a relief. I’m still not getting more sleep, but I know this too shall pass. One day in the not so distance future she will sleep better and so will I. Then perhaps I will miss our nighttime snuggles. But hopefully, we’ll just make up for it with daytime snuggles and it will mean I am getting more sleep so all things will not make me as melancholy as they do now living with sleep deprivation.
So here is wishing all of you parents out there a fresh start like we have had recently. I’m turning over a new leaf! And it feels pretty good. Just need to keep the momentum up now to make it through the next school year to come.