Wednesday 30 January 2013

A milestone

Last week Rainbow did his first headfirst charge into marble (a fireplace, he's tumbled over from sitting onto lots of non-marble things :-) ) thankfully with no ill effect -that wasn't fixed by mummy milk, anyway.
This week he's got his first cold. Boy, is he miserable- we've had our first repetitive bouts of screaming and crying- that milk sadly doesn't fix, it just starts him off coughing when he's sleepy. He's fine, well enough for a little smile at a friendly face, but not the laughing contagious giggles we've become accustomed to. He's even managed a 2 hour nap - absolutely unheard of, but then the girls don't often play out for that long and leave him in peace.
He might be under the weather, but while playing he ended up moving himself about a metre across the floor in a very short space of time. He can't crawl, doesn't know how to roll, but he can still move himself- arrghh. We are going to have to get another level of awareness of 'things dangerous for Rainbow' pretty quick.
This cold means rougher nights though- he would normally stir a little, sleep feed and not really wake until morning. The snot means he is woken by coughing each time he's in lighter sleep, which is fairly horrible and has him screaming lots of times in the night. Which means I'm not sleeping much either.

I'm loving that Rainbow is growing more interesting, so much more personality and much more interactive. I'm shocked at how quickly time is passing by, how he's changed so much in such a few short months.
Life is utterly brilliant, exhausting and full at the moment. I don't think I've felt happier and more tired. We're not doing anything amazing, but having two adults at home full time is brilliant. Homemaking  while home edding (for us) is much more than a full time job for one- with two of us sharing it we get little chances to have brief spells of 'me time'. Its amazing to live it, feel it and realise that what makes being a parent so hard so often is generally the lack of another pair of willing hands. Its having the time and energy to do things, like get the house up for sale, having homemade lasagnes stashed in the freezer, important things that otherwise wouldn't happen yet.

It felt so different when I was home full time while the girls were tiny, and DH worked part time- the balance was different and the amount of energy it took from me to keep things ticking over was draining. I suspect DH may be in the more draining role at the moment, from his having to take the lead while I was pregnant and ill- I haven't taken on everything I had been doing in the past. But that seems ok, I take on different aspects of activities with the girls, and I still have a lot of energy wrapped up in Rainbow. I can see very clearly that if DH was working right now, that I would probably be swathed in depression, and probably be desperate to return to work. Being pulled in such different directions (heck, just one child can be too many for my mental health at times!), I feel I really can see why so many mums have some level of depression. I have a very supportive, hands-on DH, a wonderful neighbour/friend who the girls love too, as well as friends we see most weeks who keep us sane. Sometimes the dark side can seem pretty near, and I feel I have wonderful support around.No wonder parenthood, usually managed by one at home at a time, can be such a struggle.

I was reading another mums account of how its hard meeting the needs of other children, running the home, a DP out at work and a baby who needs a quiet place, a stationary mum for an hour a time for a feed- and how impossible that is for that Mum. My life is very different,wouldn't suit many,but I'm thankful that I can make space for Rainbow to nap on my knee, feeding when he needed, for 2 hours. That he doesn't always have to fit around everyone else all the time (yet!). It might not be exactly what I plan to do for the afternoon, but everyone else's needs were met, my needs (apart from the loo trip!) could keep. I had a great productive day a few days ago and got a weeks worth of fun stuff, list ticking jobs and activities done, so an afternoon centred on baby seems pretty fair. A quiet few hours for Rainbow, just when he needed it, seems to be helping him fight his germs.
 Don't get me wrong, sometimes I resent it to the gills, I feel so trapped.  I have learned over the years to say to DH when I'm starting to struggle, state what I need (usually an hour or two without anyone touching me). I definately feel more 'touched out' in a morning after a busy night feeding, which often feels invisible 'work', compared to the practicalities of laundry washed, dried, sorted and put away, the mechanics of washing up. I enjoy these tasks sometimes for the visible productiveness- I have actually DONE something today that I can touch and see.DH seems to quite like them too, or maybe its just an obvious chore. I have much less competition for vacuuming, thought Princess has been doing a bit of that recently. A healthy growing baby is my other task, but he is there all the time, I don't see the growth -well, the growing out of clothes suddenly hits me one day, its not a daily something I can see for myself and take satisfaction from all the time.

I've got back to my sewing class, which has been a huge step for me. Its a couple of towns away, for 2.5 hours. I hadn't left Rainbow for that long until the first class. I couldn't leave him too far away either- the family drop me off and do something or visit friends a town away, so it is only the 2.5 hrs. I am ready to leave him for this, but only just. I marvel at how I could leave the girls for longer at a younger age (though this was with our trusted neighbour/friend) and how I thought it was ok, and the reasons I could leave them...but I guess my parenting instincts have evolved. It took a bit of thought, and the realisation of my class starting soon, so Rainbow had his first hour with our neighbour the week before my class started. It was very odd realising this was the first time we had left him without both DH and me, but te time was right for me, I could do it without worrying. It was much easier to load the van with furniture without having to keep an eye on him, and I found it reassuring Rainbow was with his big sisters who are so helpful and caring with him.

Hmm, this is a bit more rambling and thought-full than usual, I might have a rethink and delete later.

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