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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Finally, some downtime...

My friends would know that the reason why this blog has been quiet a while was because of a major life-changing event. This was the birth of my first child, whom I have nicknamed #hamstercheeks for the Internet. 

Everything they have ever said about how much it changes your life has turned out to be true in some ways and not in others. It is true that I paid a lot more attention to what I did and ate just before and mostly after birth, because of breastfeeding. It is also true what they say about Mummy-brains. Maternal instincts kicked in strongly and I was Googling websites like Baby Center and What to Expect for all kinds of baby info, much to the consternation of my husband. (I have been dubbed Tigress Mum for that matter)

It is also true that there no such thing as a Super First Time New Mother. I learned this the hard way after the confinement nanny left and was giving myself all sorts of mental breakdowns thinking of the work that had to be done to keep Hamstercheeks alive, clean and healthy. I also learned the hard way that there is no shame in shamelessly asking for help whenever you need it. I do not need to compare yourself to others nor care about their opinions. 

So making decisions now boils down to answering 2 questions:
1. What is good for #hamstercheek?
2. What is good for me?

For example, take the hiring of a maid. I had all kinds of doubts and questions about hiring a maid at first but it turns out some very major ones had to do with what I thought of myself and what others would think of me. Am I a weaker, less capable person for hiring a maid to do things that I could do myself? Would others think I was a weaker, less capable person for doing so? 

In the end, I decided the mental breakdown and physical exhaustion was not worth it. One, yes, I am a weaker person because I am not SuperMom and nobody is. I cannot simultaneously hold multiple roles of Mother, Wife, Cleaner and Person all at the same time and it is not to mine or my child's benefit if I play a lesser part in each role. So chuck out the role of Household Cleaner and outsource it. 

And in a funny way, once I accepted that I was not SuperMom and that I (like every New Mother) needed help, the universe went out of its way to give it to me. A maid arrived in record timing and so far has turned out to be a good learner with a pleasant personality and also able to handle the baby much more patiently than me. The grandmothers adored their new grandson to bits and were quick to take on babysitting duties. So in fact that week after the nanny left was a relatively painless one since most of the work was done by Grammie and maid. 

Was the move good for #hamstercheeks? I think it did him no harm to be spoiled by Grammie for a week. Also, he can now count on always having clean laundry and bedding thanks to the maid. Was it good for me? I would think so, since now I can focus on his cries for food and attention without fretting that the house would fall apart. Also it's good to have some company in the house other than the baby. 

We do have our good times and our bad ones. On good ones, I find myself able to read, write and watch TV in relative peace and quiet, and even blog a lengthy entry. On bad ones, his cries drive me bonkers and the husband will return from work to find me almost in tears. And since this is a good time, I can say, well, that's life with a baby. Or rather, that's just life. :) 

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