After a long on-call day on Saturday, going to london for HM Ziarah the next day and spending a whole day in Birmingham visiting my sister in law yesterday, you can just about imagine how M and I welcomed the New Year. On our sofa, knackered beyond belief, with a measley blanket between us (our nicer, bigger green blanket was downstairs and we couldnt be bothered to get it). Our balcony windows showed fireworks popping up as the new year approaches and the London countdown was live on TV. It occured to me that yesterday evening was the first new year’s eve that we’ve spent just the two of us.
Call me an oldie, but I would rather be cuddled on my sofa, with my husband, in the warmth vicinity of my cosy house, rather than be outside in the cold or *shock horror* having a late night. Not surprising, we were knocked out within half an hour of the new year.
As every new year comes, I think back of the past year of the ups and lows and my achievements. And all I can remember is the moments and milestones that Zayan has achieved as memories of the past year. I remember the first two, three months of the year as dark and well, depressing. I remember feeling at the end of my tethers and feeling lonely and overwhelmed, taking care of baby Z 24/7. His sleep was a nightmare and he constantly wants to be held. Whilst M took care of him when he’s off, Zayan just wanted me all the time. Separation anxiety came a lot early for him – at four or five months old. And oh how he cried in those days.
But the second half of the year. My sister in laws came over to stay with us and I started working. Things felt much much better and manageable. Then, Zayan got sent to Aita starting August and all this separation anxiety business dwindled down. He got more used to me not there and it was bit heartbreaking at first, but a relief too. I can go to the toilet in peace!
His sleep was still horrendous and I then sleep trained him properly, even though I’ve tried it before with disastorous results. This was probably in October and ever since then, he has slept in his cot all night, occasionally crying and waking up twice a night for a feed. When I say all night, I mean from 7.30 pm to 6.30 am. He would wake up at 5 for a feed and then go back to sleep until 6 ish.
Having a baby has definitely changed me. My priorities have changed. And I think of the consequences of my actions with Zayan in mind. Like being safe in the roads cos I don’t want my baby to live motherless if I get reckless driving.
I asked M today whether he thought parenthood will be as hard as it has been and he said not really. I mean, I KNOW it’s hard but I didn’t know it could be THAT hard. Things are much much much better now. We’re getting the hang of this parenthood thing, though I hear that children have phases and you think ‘okkkk how do we deal with this now?’ But not just parenthood yknow. Being a parent AND wife/husband. Being patient with each other and not getting on each other’s nerves (much). Having quality time just us.
And Zayan, well, I guess all the crying and wailing and screaming is a distant memory now. He still cries and protests but his smiles and laughter is there much more now. He has now mastered the art of walking (and climbing stairs), so he practically thinks he’s unstoppable, swatting our arms away whenever we want to pick him up or hold his hand. And when we do pick him up, the protest and the wriggling!
Anyway, Alhamdulillah for all my blessings.
Sometimes the thought of going back home scares me, cos I’m scared the mentality around me will make me feel like such an outcast. At times, all the keeping up with the joneses and following the new trends and having the new gadget/branded materials gets to me. Like how Longchamp and Coach bags are (?were) the rage and actually i quite like the design but in rebel mode, I’ve stayed away from them. I guess it gets to me cos I feel like we’re living in this sheltered bubble and I wanna point out the big world out there and show the huge rich-poor divide and the sufferings. But who am I to say anything? For all I know, everyone with the Longchamp bags constantly donate to charities and are not really ‘in the bubble’. Anyway, to keep my fears aside, I am reminded of what my brother says when he doesn’t agree or conform with society: I will better and change what is within me and my family.
Gnyt people, early day tomorrow for work.