Every night I go to bed, I have thoughts swirling in my head. Things to do. Scrapbook pages I want to create. Gifts I want to make. Skills I want to learn. And, of course, daily happenings that I don't want to forget, but invariably will by tomorrow morning, only to pop up in a random thought weeks down the road. So, here I am. I may use this blog daily to empty my head and heart before cuddling up in my duvet, or as it may be, I may write in it once a month. Who knows. It is for me, but perhaps something I write or learn may spark a fire in someone else. Perhaps it may quiet a mind or make you feel like you are not alone out there. It is for me. But perhaps it is for you.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A New Chapter

Kai turned 5 and has started Kindergarten.  Nico is 12 days old.  Thanks to my amazing husband, I am actually awake enough to write.  To say it has been an interesting few weeks is an understatement.  I remember so much about having a newborn baby, yet at the same time I seem to remember so little.  So much is the same as with Kai, yet so much is amazingly different.  It makes me wonder how much my two wonderful boys will share in terms of appearance and personality.

Thus far, despite their almost identical appearance and appetite, Nico is as chill as Kai is excitable - both in the womb and out.  However, I don't mean to go on about comparisons as much as reflect upon the change this will bring to our lives.  Already I have noticed how much more accepting I am about the time and attention demands of a newborn that so easily frustrated me the first time around.  The 45-minute rocking that leads to a half hour nap, with a wake-up in the middle.  The continual cycle of feed, rock, short sleep, soothe.  I suppose I have gotten used to the constant needs of a little boy with Kai and have become much more relaxed myself in all areas of my life.  I am also becoming more willing to let go of the way things 'should be.'  Not completely, as I am a personal of routine and schedule by nature and like things organized and predictable, but I am learning.  Whereas with my firstborn, his constant needs frustrated me and made me feel trapped, I am learning that for this year, the only job I have is to be a mom.  To enjoy hanging out with my boys, whether that may be continuous hours of holding Nico while he sleeps or taking some time out to have cuddles or playtime with Kai.  It is rare to get such focused time and although I am used to multitasking and having time for myself on a nightly basis in some form or another, with Kai about to start full days at Kindergarten I will have time to enjoy the warmth of a sleeping baby on me without rushing to get things done.  I am trying to remember that everything else will wait until my wee one learns how to sleep alone and play independently for short periods of time.  With Kai, I wanted to rush to have some sense of control again, but perhaps this time I can surrender to the roller coaster ride of parenting a newborn.

Another huge area of awareness for me is how much community support makes a difference.  I have always valued my family and friends, but with the addition of a baby to an already incredibly active 5 year old who is used to being the center of our lives, I treasure every meal that gets dropped off at our house and every offer of a play date.  In fact, I wish I had had a second child before my friends were all having theirs, as I definitely did not understand the simple ways that I could have made their days smoother.  To all my incredibly thoughtful friends and family, thank you so much for all you do.  I love you all so much.

While being grateful for those living outside my house, I would be enormously amiss if I did not pause to appreciate my incredible husband.  Throughout my pregnancy he allowed me to take care of myself in so many ways.  I went to multiple yoga classes every week, had time to go for dinner and dates with my friends, I traveled and every weekend, he took Kai on a lengthy adventure to give me and my growing baby time to rest.  I feel so much stronger physically, mentally and emotionally after birthing Nico in large part due to Marc's willingness to let me do what I needed to do.  In the past few weeks he has also taken on nighttime feedings and supported me in my decision to bottle-feed, in order to preserve my physical and mental health.  As anyone reading this probably knows, I struggled with both unbearable pain breastfeeding and with postpartum depression after my first child. Although few people seem to really understand my decision to use formula with Nico (and for some reason, people seem quite comfortable making a judgement), Marc has supported me 100% as he understands my decision was made with my family in mind.  I could never express how much this has meant to me.

This is a time of change for Kai as well.  Ending daycare, starting Kindergarten, house renovations and a new baby brother all in the span of a few weeks.  All things considered, he is handling it fantastically well.  Yes, he feels a little house bound and is having to adjust to entertainment from the couch while we feed Nico.  Yes, he is not listening as well and his behaviour has become increasingly rude and defiant.  The number of times he has muttered 'stupid' to himself and ignored what we have told him to do can no longer be counted on both hands.  However, he has been an excellent kid for so many years, allowing us to almost completely skip the terrible twos, threes and fours and dramatic tantrums that I often hear about from my friends.  He has always been happy, enthusiastic, easygoing and easy to distract.  As much as we are frustrated by him right now, he is just as frustrated with us.  Perhaps it is my experience as a teacher or a the new found sense of calm that yoga has brought to my life, but I have faith that with some time, a lot of love and the continuation of clear values and boundaries, we can all work through this transition together.


  1. Ah Christine, this is so beautiful. Yes, the learning how to be a mom continues on for life. As much as they continue to learn and grow, so do you. As much as they have to adjust to the world around them, so do you. You are a terrific mom and those little boys are so lucky, as are you! Enjoy the moment because it turns into a lifetime really, really quickly! I am so proud of you and love you too!

  2. I wish I had this to read when Oliver was just a few months old. You reiterate many of the same thoughts and feelings I had, but instead of calm, frustration was felt during those rocks/short sleeps/crying wakes. I fear having a second baby as the first was so hard. I look forward to reading your journeys and learning from your words and experiences.

    1. Steph, as we know as teachers, learning occurs in a variety of ways at many different rates. Being a mother has made me a MUCH more compassionate and patient teacher and person in general. Don't worry about a second child now. You will know when and if you are ready. Being a mother has it's challenges the whole way along, but you grow in confidence and experience, and let go of so many expectations along the way. Feel free to call or text me any time you want to chat or just vent...I have been there and will not judge. Come for a visit and a playdate while you still have precious mat leave time!