Category Archives: Motherhood

You can always learn a thing or two…

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Today, I learned that…

…babies don’t just cry. If you have no other answer, try body contact.

…JB doesn’t go to sleep in her own bed (yet) because she can’t cuddle as closely as in my bed.

…just a little contact with the wrong people can rile baby up to no ends.

…being strict is the toughest thing in the world. Good thing I didn’t become a teacher.

…I forgot so, so very much about being a child. Time to relearn to build forts, pet cats, read books.

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Umm, that’s me?!?!

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“huh? what did i want to write about here? any ideas? I guess about the different roles I am taking in life and how I need to get them together. Or how being a mum just seems so weird.”

Well, from the above notes for this post, you can pretty much tell the state I am still in. Although I have found my way into this new role called “mum”, I still feel like there are just so many things that I need to get together all at once.

Particularly now that I am kicking this business off the ground (like, literally, July cannot come fast enough), my head is spinning with ideas, things to remember, tasks I have to get done, more things to remember, etc. Sometimes it is so much that I need to sit quiet for a minute to even remember what I was doing that moment. I lose track of so many things that I have a tough time to remember which ones I actually did remember. There is pure craziness in my head.

One of my friends told me that I was “overwhelmed” with everything. He meant it not in the way that it is too much for me and I cannot take care of everything and my body and mind just stop being receptive. He meant it in a way that despite me being able to take care of things, I am going into a state similar to shock – functioning, but nothing is actually being processed.

Being a mum is the most wonderful thing I have and yet, I feel like if there wasn’t all this other stuff that keeps my body and mind spinning, I would lead a rather dull life. But this is only because I am in this rather constant state of not-processing what is going on. One of these days, everything will burst out of me, hopefully in a moment of quietude and solitude. Then, I will cry.

I am not sure why, but for a few days now I have had the urge to cry it out. What is a rather detrimental process for babies seems to be a solution to this state of shock I feel I am in: letting all the stocked up emotions go by crying them out of me. It is an odd feeling for me because I am not sad in any way. I feel happy in my head, but the connection to my heart somehow is obstructed and I feel that only a good cry will help get the obstacle out of the way and reconnect brain and heart.

What was I going to do?

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Well, I think it is time for a new post today. As I am amazed by what happens in my head, I will today write about maternal amnesia.

Here is what happens: It happens multiple times a day. I lay down to nurse Lily and as soon as she is drinking like she won’t get anymore until next week, my mind starts to wander. I think about a million things I want and have to do, most of which I would love to just get done – yesterday. So, one thought leads to another and by the time Lily is falling asleep because her belly is full and round like a disco-ball, I have a list of about 15 to 20 items in my head, anxious to jot them down. By the time I unwrap myself of Lily and sheets although, I have forgotten everything. Well, if I am lucky, I remember one or two items of my list. But everything else, gone. Just gone. And it won’t come back until I lay down again.

What is up with that? Maternal amnesia? Well, more like total black out caused by movement. Does my mind work better horizontally these days? I recall from my pre-pregnancy life that my mind often would go wandering for a few minutes after I lay down to sleep. But then, I could make myself remember the next morning by suggesting to remember them at certain moments of my morning routine, e.g. when I put tooth paste on my tooth brush. Works splendidly if you ever REALLY have to remember something. But even this little trick doesn’t work with everything now.

The whole problem with this is that I have a hard enough time to step away from my beautiful baby girl to do something other than play with her and cannot spend most of the time I do just watch her from afar wondering what I was planning on doing when I left her side. All my other mental functions still are top-notch as you can tell by the three-line sentence I just popped out. Not even one comma (can that be right?). English disease for ya.

Anywho, what was I saying? There it is again! I also felt like I should mention today that I have still to figure out how to dress. I am currently debating whether to go to Erfurt next week for some shopping or if I should just wait and see if there is some kind of light turning on above my head, solving all my dress problems. There was another thing I wanted to mention, but that is gone with the wind of maternal amnesia.

Finding a life post-pregnancy

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Today, I went shopping. For Lily. Not for me because I have no urge whatsoever to do so. I shopped for Lily. After I had all the stuff I could find for her at H&M, I decided to look for something for me. Some inspiration. Well, I found that I really am at a loss as to who I am – in my closet and my heart. It doesn’t mean that I dread being a mother or anything like that, I just now realize that I have to redefine, so-to-speak reinvent myself.

I love that! I mean, who gets to find themselves all over, redefine who they are, what they do, where they live, what is important to them? I realized that lately I just love to wear skirts which is something I never liked because I didn’t like my legs. Well, not that the looks of my legs suddenly are much less important. But wearing skirts is really awesome. So, here’s my project for the rest of this year: Find who I am, what my life is and how to live that together with the wonderful baby, friends, and family I have.

So, back to the fashion issue. In the past years, I have had lived a very individual style that ranges from sporty to classic. Now, fashion trends are just so out of line that there is no way I will ever be able to find something in stores like H&M at the moment. The 80s made great music, but they’re just not cutting it as fashion era. It seems like boot-cut jeans are TOTALLY out of style which makes it hard to shop for pants. Leggings are not something I wear apart from underneath my pants in winter. And the last time I wore something layered was on a vacation in Portugal in 1995 or so.

Now, where to shop if not at fabulous H&M which has sponsored at least one piece of my outfits over the past ten years or so? Still does if I am wearing socks these days. Well, the United States had some wonderful alternatives – TJ Maxx, Marshalls, etc. Well, in Germany the idea of selling overstock at a lower price isn’t really getting around this fast, but wonder: TKMaxx a.k.a. TJ Maxx exists! Sweetness. So, one of my next trips will be to Erfurt to find some clothes. I sure need them. Pregnancy hormones caused some serious illness of judgment last summer…

So, hoping I will find some clothes, I now have to solve the mystery of what do I do best and right? What makes me happy and where do I want to live?

Currently, the plan is to find work opportunities first and then pick a location out of the job / self-employment options. The plan is to move by next April or May. What entails a position that would make a mother of one with a love for international people and travel, different cultures and languages happy? Tough question to answer. Best would be self-employment I think because as my own boss, it would be much easier to figure out how to take Lily or when to go on trips.

Well, LinkedIn distracted me and made me get some motivation. But, tiredness is getting onto me now which means the pursuit of finding the new (and maybe old) me will have to wait until tomorrow.

Raising a daughter

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So, the last few days I have been thinking about how to raise Lily. It’s not an easy question to answer for me because I do not believe in raising her by setting rules she has to follow. Much rather, I would like to her to develop her own views on life and deduce the guide lines she will live by from them. This is where my problem lies: how to teach an infant or toddler to think critically?

Seems like that is not possible. I mean, it’s hard enough to teach American college students how to critically think, why would my (probably terribly smart but infant) daughter figure it out? Well, yesterday a though popped into my head that may be the solution to me trying to wrap my head around this: what if a child would be raised by compassionate guidance rather than strict rules?

I know this sounds rather non-conformist and anti-authoritarian, but why not try? The thought for sure cannot be new, nannies exist for way too long that none of them wouldn’t at some point have said, “Okay, do it your own way, I don’t care.” So I am going on a new quest of trying to find out how to raise my daughter without turning her into a robotic self-destroying individual like parents all over the world try in an effort to create, independent, efficient citizens. Sounds a little bit like Brave New World to me.