January 8, 2014

taking one on the chin

It's a new year, and so far I've spent it mostly at home in my pajamas. Just when I thought I couldn't take anymore time inside a snow storm comes, and the temperature drops to something crazy like -17. We've been leaving our blinds down and curtains closed in order to better keep the heat in our apartment. Even when I try to just take a little peek outside I can't see a thing since our windows are frozen over with hoarfrost. I imagine this may be a little bit what it feels like to live in a submarine. Today is the last day of the extreme cold snap. Tomorrow we can open the curtains again and see through the windows. It will be warm enough outside to take Ruby for a walk. We both need so much to breathe in some fresh winter air. 

On New Years Day we had friends over for a few drinks and games. Thankfully, Ruby was already asleep for the night and was able to sleep through the noise. So we were really able to just relax, and I got outside for a few minutes with my friend John while he smoked a cigarette. It was freezing but invigorating. I got out again a few days later when the temperatures reached the upper twenties. I honestly don't remember what day that was or where we went. My mind has started to blur the days. We ran a few errands carrying Ruby in the Egro. The sidewalks would not have worked pushing a stroller through the snow. Today we took Ruby to see her doctor for a regular check up. We took the IGO, so I was really only outside for a moment. But it was sunny, and I got some fresh air. I could tell Ruby loved being outside. Her face seemed to light up as we sat in the backseat of the car together on our way to the doctor.

This is not ever how I imagined motherhood to be. To be honest, I never really imagined it much before I got pregnant. I always just thought I would be lucky if it ever happened to me. I'm used to being quite free and unrestricted in my life. I've spent the majority of my adulthood living alone, moving to different cities and a different country when I felt like it. I've had all sorts of jobs, from working for a clothing designer in New York to waitressing at a Vietnamese restaurant in Minneapolis, and I've dated far too many men. So being a mother these last few months and especially in the first few days of 2014 I'm finding it hard to recognize my life. I no longer recognize my body, my thoughts, habits, daily activities, sleep patterns and the list goes on and on. 

Don't get me wrong, I am loving parts of being at home with my baby. Reading her books in our pajamas, making her food that she's just now tasting for the first time ever, listening to her babble, making her laugh and rocking and nursing her on my lap are what I live for. I also understand that that feeling like I'm crawling out of my skin and dying to get outside is a totally normal feeling. It's called cabin fever, and it's just magnified with a baby. I sometimes have to remind myself that I chose this, because I want to spend this time with my baby. Everyone tells you they grow up so fast, and I get that. I've worked as a nanny and have experienced it first hand. 

I am currently struggling with these conflicting feelings of not wanting time to move too quickly and also desperately wishing for spring to come. The days seem to go by so quickly, but this winter somehow already feels brutal. I don't want Ruby to not be a baby before I'm ready. I also just can't wait to take her to the park, and push her in the swings while feeling the heat of the sun. I want to put my hair up in a bun and dress in easy summer clothes. I want to take Ruby with me to meet up with a friend for ice cream. And when summer finally comes I will want a whole new set of things, or maybe things will finally start feeling normal for the first time since becoming a mother.