It’s been more than six months since I sat down and wrote a blog post. In my head it feels like it was yesterday, but it was in April – a couple of weeks before I gave birth to my son Noah.
Before I became a mother, I told myself that I would make sure to keep time for me during the day. Time to do what makes me happy such as blog, read, write, cook, go on a trip, decorate the house, learn about something new. I wanted to make sure I was not losing myself into motherhood and forgetting about the woman I am outside of my child. Some of my friends laughed a little when I told them I was planning on having a social life even though I was having a baby. “We all say that before the baby arrives,” some told me.
The truth is, the simple idea of being locked in my house for days, weeks, months, without really seeing anyone was terrifying me. I couldn’t picture myself being at home all the time and seeing my friends only according to a strict schedule.
Then in May Noah came into our lives. And indeed, everything changed. I am not going to lie: the first 2 weeks were a boot camp on how to become a parent. Between figuring out breastfeeding, appointments to the doctor, trying to sleep while keeping the baby alive, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else than be at the constant need of Noah. Thank god my parents came over for about 2 weeks and that Jacob’s mom was always near by. For the first two weeks, they ran our errands, did dinner, cleaned the house, made sure we would nap, took care of Noah with us. Our friends also came over to see our brand new baby, showered us with kindness and gifts, and updated us on the events of the world.
By the end of the second week, it felt like we had things “sort-of” under control. My parents went back home and Jacob and I fell into a new routine. And after 5 weeks, we decided to drive to New Brunswick (which is a 12 hour drive if you don’t stop) to visit my family. We could have taken a plane I guess, we could have taken the train, but Jacob and I both love driving (and in the interest of making sure that we also did things that makes us happy) we decided to drive with our one-month old baby. And it was great! We stopped half way to sleep, and we stopped every two hours to feed Noah and change him and make sure he could stretch, but overall it went well! It was a different beat, but we managed to adapt and so did Noah.
When Noah turned 7 weeks, we went camping for 4 days in Sandbanks. We thought it was far enough to be a real vacation, but close enough that if Noah didn’t like it we could easily drive back in 3 hours. He enjoyed it so much that we went back at the end of the summer with some friends and their kids. And again, it was a different rhythm, but we were still outside enjoying the sun, the fresh air, visiting wineries, making camp fires.
And so in the past 7 months, I haven’t blogged. But it’s not because of my child, but because we do so much with him! We went to New Brunswick again at the end of August for my brother’s wedding (yes he came with us), we took him so many times for walks, we took him to the restaurant, we went apple picking, we took him with us to dinner parties (he was 3 or 4 weeks the first time we took him to a friend’s dinner party). And again – we adapted! I breastfed him while chatting with my friends, Jacob rocked him under the stars, we threw a pool party and got him in the pool at two months. And he loves it!
I have to admit Noah is a fairly easy kid. He rarely cries, he loves to be active and stimulated and he loves the outdoors. It makes it easy for us to keep doing what we love as a family.
On the other hand, I also do activities without him. For example, I manage to go to the gym about twice a week and Jacob or his mom take care of Noah. I go out from time to time with my girlfriends, or take a night out with Jacob. It hurts my heart a little when I have to leave him, but I want him to know that he is safe and loved even when we are not together. And to have this time for me truly makes me a better mother and a more balanced person. I am always so excited when I come back home and get to play with him. He lights up when he sees my face in the door and it melts my heart.
What I have learned in the past months is that there is no book that will help you be a good mom. Some of us spend every minute of every day with our child while on maternity leave and enjoy every second of it. Some women will choose to stay inside their home the first months to get their kid into routines and probably feel safer that way. Others, like me, need balance. Balance between the mother and the woman, balance between kid time and adult time. Balance between staying home and being away. I feel like I have found my path, a way where I am a loving and caring mom while being a woman that can still rock skinny jeans and have a cocktail with her friends. Someone who can take care of her son while organising a dinner party at her house.
I guess all I am trying to say is that even though motherhood is probably the best thing that happened to me, I didn’t need to lose myself in it to be a good mother – and that is a choice I made. Find and follow the path that works for you, your baby and your partner. It will lead to happiness, patience and a storm of love.
On that note, I feel like I want to blog again. But I might revisit the content of this blog and give it a facelift. Stay tuned!