It has been 3 months since baby Squeakers arrived. While I couldn’t be happier or feel more blessed, it has been quite a juggling act. I am lucky that Cubby is 5 years old and is more independent; however she has greatly regressed since Squeakers made her appearance. She can no longer do things that she could previously do such as eating, toileting, falling asleep independently and brushing her teeth. She frequently exclaims, “I need help! Mommy do or Daddy do..” I know that this is to be expected, but it is wearing on me. When I had Cubby 5 years ago, the house was quiet and calm for the most part when she was napping. I had time to eat, shower, and do a quick load of laundry.Now, I am multi-tasking, always on my feet and the only time I sit is when I am breastfeeding Squeakers. Trying to balance my time between an active 5 year old and a 3 month old has been challenging. Not to mention that my once modern and stylish house has become cluttered and looks as if a family of hoarders lives here.
It has been hard to let go of many things; hard to let go of having some sense of control over my life; hard to let go of my previous schedule and daily routine; hard to let go of thinking that I can have some daily quiet time alone with Cubby; hard to let go of the fact that I don’t have time to cook my usual healthy meals; and hard to let go of the quiet time in the evening catching up with my husband or watching our favourite shows uninterrupted. The main feeling is the sense of loss of control over my previous scheduled and structured life. But don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for little Squeakers and the joy that her smile and cooing brings to me every day. I couldn’t picture my life without her – it’s like she has always been here.
This time around, I initially felt less stressed and overwhelmed because I knew what to expect. However, as the third month has approached, I am starting to get that slightly anxious feeling again. I know that this is partly due to the fact that life has been in fast forward since Squeakers arrived. First it was planning and carrying out Cubby’s 5th birthday party. Then it was planning and carrying out my husband’s surprise 40th birthday party. Then there was a family wedding and out of town family visiting. Now, we will be travelling to England for another family wedding. Busy busy!
Last week I attempted to venture out to H&M to pick up some clothes for the trip to England as none of my post pregnancy clothes from last time fit me. What a mistake! Squeakers was fast asleep in the stroller and I had to wait in a long line of people to get the large change room. Kids were running around and yelling and I was crossing my fingers and hoping that Squeakers wouldn’t wake up. I got in the large change room and began trying on clothes and of course, within 5 minutes, Squeakers was awake. I took her out of her stroller and fed her in the change room as that was the only private place that was available. I could hear the long line of people waiting for the change room.
Just as I finished feeding her and burping her and was about to put her back in her stroller, she vomited the whole feed all over herself, myself and the floor. I was mortified. I used her muslin blanket to clean her up and held her on my shoulder. I walked out of the change room and approached the H&M staff member to inform her that my baby had vomited in the change room. All eyes were on me and my drenched vomit stained clothes. I felt like a leper, like suddenly I did not belong in this store any more. The young staff member rolled her eyes and looked grossed out. I asked for napkins and proceeded to bend to wipe the floor while holding my baby. I was embarrassed and exhausted. Who was I to think that I could venture out in public? I quickly exited the store and went directly to Carters. I felt comfortable and at home here. No one gawked at my vomit stained clothes. There was a bathroom with a change pad so I could clean up little Squeakers and a glider chair and ottoman so I could feed her again. I told the sales associate at Carters about the day that I was having and she sympathized with me. I felt better and drove home.
That was my last adventure out of the house alone with Squeakers. Other than that, we have tried to keep Cubby busy over the last few weeks so that I could spend time with the baby. She has been in parks and recreation day camps and my husband had taken a week off to take her to local attractions such as the CN Tower, Ontario Science Centre, Casa Loma and Ripley’s Aquarium. She is enjoying her time being busy and active and away from me. We have been like oil and water for the most part; partly because my attention is with Squeakers and I am breastfeeding every 2 hours and partly because I am constantly nagging her and telling her “don’t touch the baby”, “don’t smother the baby”, “let the baby sleep”, “shh.. quiet voice, the baby just fell asleep”, “Cubby stop yelling, use your inside voice”… the list can go on and on. I have attempted to give her a bath or read her a book every now and then, but I have to admit that my frustration tolerance has been quite low with my lack of sleep. I am looking forward to the day when Squeakers can sleep through the night and I can be a rested mom again. Until that day I am taking every day as it comes and learning to be a good juggler, which definitely takes a lot of practice!