Monday, October 12, 2015

Then and Now, from No kids to two!

^^ 2008 ------------------------------ 2015 ^^

the funniest things (sometimes even the most brilliant things) come to mind just before I nod off to sleep, does that happen to you? Last night I was thinking of all the changes that has happened in our married life in the past seven years. Of course there were trials that even to this day create a rumble of unhappiness in the pits of my gut, there have been some events where I'm still left wondering how we made it through, and of course so many more, way more events that i'm thankful for (Happy Thanksgiving Canada!) and even LOL to myself because they're still funny even out of context.

My recent reflections were of how some of my activities of daily living have changed since the kids were born. I remember I had a tearful meltdown when Max was born as I transitioned, well more likely Mourned, the loss of the life I had known for 29 years. With #2, there was no mourning period once she was born (admittedly, I was afraid to lose the 1:1 relationship I had with Max because I imposed a loss on him by having a #2, but that's different). Maybe because I was getting sleep? Maybe because I wasn't the only one with kids anymore and have my own crew to play date with? And/or maybe because I now realize that I never really lost Me once the kids were born, I just needed to give life some time and then proceed to incorporate my interests (new and old) into my new normals. Things take a lot longer to happen these days, sometimes the universe is telling me that it doesn't need to happen (don't hold your breath, girl!), but wow the process of accomplishing those tasks came with some interesting turn of events, especially with children around! For my friends who are reading this, I 100% am convinced that kids enrich our lives. Big things! Small things! The small small things! Life has been so much more meaningful- get past the stress of how the baby is going to fit through that vaginal canal (lol).

How's that Blogging going? 
  • before kids: I wasn't into blogging that much but i had a lot of time to do it if I wanted to invest myself in it. I did read blogs, some parenting blogs, and judged a lot of moms on their chosen child rearing practices because I wouldn't do that myself if i were a mom- y'know, someone with no actual experience, only theoretical.
  • 1 kid: I blogged! took lots of pics of my #1 and blogged my experiences of new motherhood. I found the time when he napped and I love reflecting on my experiences today.
  • 2 kids: ive barely blogged since she was born. Ive also got a pathetic amount of pictures of her (compared to #1 at this age), which I regret daily, but the idea seems to just evaporate from my head to come back later on in the day. I'm currently blogging on top of our electric fire place mantle as my body is rocking her to sleep because she stirs awake if I sit. 
Did you take a shower?
  • before kids: uninterrupted long cold or hot showers to my liking.
  • 1 kid: when he was a baby, his car seat would be in the bathroom with me as he cried while i took a shower. he eventually was ok with me not holding him and i was able to have beautiful long uninterrupted showers to my heart's content.
  • 2 kids: the older one and I shower together so I can multitask! He still doesn't let me wash his hair. Mikkel is with husband crying 90% of the time, therefore my showers are brief (like 5 minutes or less) and I shampoo my hair every 3 days instead of daily (I shampoo my bangs daily though). Surprisingly, my hair looks better since I stopped shampooing daily!
What time do you wake up?
  • before kids: bed around 11ish, woke up beside my husband on the king bed anywhere from 930am-1045am
  • 1 kid: i did all the night care, so I co slept with Max in his room on the double, and husband slept by himself in the king (or slept with the cat actually ha). wakeup time around 7-730am maybe? earlier and multiple times, naturally, when he was a baby. Consistency and restful sleeps came after about 2 years of age
  • 2 kids: husband is now sleeping by himself on the double bed in Max's room, and Max, baby, and I are sharing the king in the master bedroom. I'm literally sandwiched in-between two kids, but we all are sleeping well, which is by and large paramount for all our sanity! My husband wakes up in the 930 time range, while the kids and I start our day off around 730-8am range. 
How is your overall alertness and functionality?
  • before kids: sharp and patient. quick to respond to emails, texts, calls. Took a lot of overtime shifts at work!
  • 1 kid: semi sharp, not as patient. didn't kill anyone at work (just kidding!). Increasingly poor responder to emails, but quick on texts, filtered calls. No overtime shifts at work, and didn't care about it.
  • 2 kids: ive lowered my expectations on a lot of activities of daily living. I think I'm alert enough for basic needs and demands, especially from a toddler. i'm lower on patience department because toddlers really push your buttons, trying to work on this actively. I'm semi- quick on texts and will always respond within a couple of hours, poor on calls (who calls nowadays?) and filtered based on caller ID, and I've been finding myself reading emails and not replying or completely forgetting about them (oops)
What about leisure activities?
  • before kids: anything I wanted with no curfew! I did a lot of shopping and zigzagging around vancouver doing aimless activities
  • 1 kid: although I was not limited to staying at home all.the.time, my me-time was limited to when Max was sleeping in the stroller (approx 2-4pm). I had peace and quiet, and I could try on clothes if we were at the mall! He was a super stroller sleeper, we were out and about often!
  • 2 kids: I'm lucky if I can get us organized before 11am (unless it was a school day, then it's early, but bare basics). Most of our activities involve going to the park and empty construction sites, superstore, dollar store, and just walks around east Van. If I do happen to go shopping, we're in and out before Mikkel's next feed (usually asleep in carrier) or before Max's nap, whichever comes first. Short times shopping = excellent money saver (oh and the fact that I can't try anything on because Mikkel is on the carrier!). Online shopping is my thing nowadays.
On eating out
  • before kids: no budget, ate whenever, wherever, for as long as it takes for everyone to be physically and socially satiated. 
  • 1 kid: had to pack food for Max, and as he got older, made sure it was at a (mainly family friendly) restaurant that had something he would eat, like french fries! If we were going to metrotown, we always HAD TO eat at Opa because he loves their calamari and rice haha
  • 2 kids: eating more at home for dinner. Max knows what McDonalds is now (aiya!), and I have to meet a bedtime routine so we're usually not eating out after 630pm. There's definitely more carry out food happening here if we were to not eat at home. Mikkel is usually on the carrier so I'm holding a plate or a napkin over her head as I feed myself so food won't spill on her lol
How do you shop for groceries?
  • before kids: I could spend hours upon hours at Superstore
  • 1 kid: I could spend hours at Superstore with Max, but that's because he has to see the candy aisle, the toy aisle, have a tantrum here and there that I need to talk him out of
  • 2 kids: I personally wouldn't do a superstore run with both kids at this time. there's no room for 2 on the cart for one, and I don't want to deal with the chaos of an unhappy Max (because I'm not buying him a toy) and a crying baby if it were to happen. So far, I've been lucky and have had opportunities to shop with just Mikkel, on a carrier, for an hour or so at a time. We've gone for brief, express line shopping as a trio without incident though.
Do you exercise?
  • before kids: shopping is my cardio
  • 1 kid: shopping is my cardio, but while pushing a stroller, and also after i've exhausted the kid by going to a park prior
  • 2 kids: baby wearing is my cardio and strength training
Do you see your friends often? 
  • before kids: almost monthly get togethers. No curfew! My shift work schedule is usually why socializing was affected
  • 1 kid: I brought Max along 98% of the time. Usually lunch outings, It took about 30 minutes for him to warm up, but he enjoys seeing my friends and they enjoy seeing him. he's super well behaved!
  • 2 kids: lots of preplanning and advanced notice for get togethers. limited to lunch outings (of about an hour or so) and sometimes my condo for environmental comfort. Often they are play dates so I don't have to entertain Max and can tend to the baby. For now, limited to my neighbourhood so I don't have a crying hungry baby on transit
How's your relationship with your husband?
  • before kids: great! normal! we did things separately, but together. Down time to chat each night.
  • 1 kid: fought a lot at the beginning because he was completely not up to par with new duties of parenthood. As Max grew up, he finally knew what to do with his child and was useful to me as a parenting ally and partner.
  • 2 kids: more helpful because Max needs him too, and also because Max is more functional and independent, they both can enjoy each other's company and play like boys play. He's not THAT active with Mikkel yet, but she's still a fragile baby. We don't have much down time together as a couple (or peace and quiet for that matter), but we all come together as a family at some point during the day and spend time in the same room (albeit watching TV or on iPad but whatever!).  Sometimes just being there is enough. Just someone getting the groceries for you can be enough. Just someone taking out your rambunctious child to burn energy is enough. Thankful for my husband's physical presence or i'd honestly go mad! 
Well there we have it, a brief summary of my new normals. I definitely didn't say any of this was easy, but wow have I grown up from my life being about Me, to now, Us (cliche)! I can't even imagine my life without these 2 children tearing up our house, so thankful for them, and love them so much. 

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