There was a lot of activity for the last few weeks- starting mat. leave, anticipating the arrival of babe, the induction, the delivery, the homecoming, the visitors, etc. But now we seem to be settling into normal life as a family of five. Generally my days are starting to follow a pattern. The mornings are filled with feeding Lex, changing Lex, feeding Pay, getting Pay dressed, feeding myself, getting myself dressed, then feeding Lex again, then starting lunch. After lunch we generally go on an outing to the park or something to break up the day. Home by two to feed Lex, put him in the swing. Nap time from 3-4, then wake up and start preparing for supper. Not very exciting, but it there is a certain niceness to having a routine. We are even starting to get Payton into a routine of going to bed at 8:30 so that I have some quiet time in the evening. She has been adjusting well to it, amazingly enough.
For myself, at first I struggled a bit with the fact that all the excitement was over and suddenly it was just me alone with three kids and not very much social contact. But I am finding ways of keeping busy- visiting with people, even just going to the park, talking on the phone, internet. It helps to set goals and make plans- having things to look forward to so that the days do not seem so monotonous. I have eleven months of mat leave left and lofty goals:
1. Complete my third novel
2. Continue to try to publish my second novel
3. Try to publish my short story.
4. Take a scrapbooking class
5. Complete a scrapbook for Lex detailing the pregnancy, delivery and early days at home
6. Enroll Payton in dance lessons
7. Paint the upstairs bedrooms
8. Cross stitch something for Lex
9. Take a trip to Calgary to visit Nadine (with Lex)
10. Get involved with the writing community here in Saskatoon and network with other wannabe writers.
Having these goals saves me from insanity. Going from career mom to at home mom is a big change, and I sometimes find the days tedious. There is something rewarding about doing laundry. I love the smell of fresh laundry. BUT, that being said, doing laundry day after day is not very fulfilling or exciting. And speaking of laundry, the other day when I was folding my... shall we say... unmentionables, I noticed (and don't ask my why I read the label, I'm honestly not sure) that on the label it said "wash in cold water, tumble dry, do not iron." And I thought to myself "What kind of a person would iron thier underwear?" But then I started to wonder, is it just me? Am I the only one who walks around in wrinkled panties? I don't even own an iron. I would need to get one. But anyways, what I was saying was that laundry is rewarding in a way, but I need something more... more fun, say. A way of expressing my creativity and also a way of meeting other people with similar interests. It's not easy meeting new people, though. Its something I'm simply not good at. Once I went to a drop in Aquafitness class, thinking I would meet all these other people and I would go every week and have all these Aquafitness friends, and we would eventually wear matching outfits and advance to Synchronized swimming. But, when I went it was mostly fifty something year olds in bathing caps talking about thier bone density and mammograms. Needless to say we did not forge a lifelong bond and my dreams of synchronized swimming went by the wayside, like so many of my other dreams (the chicken farm, or life on the road as a stand up comedian, for example). I'm not sure if I expect much better at Scrapbooking lessons, but a girl can dream.
Anyways, life with three kids is good. I am enjoying it for the most part. It is not glamorous, really, and for the most part I walk around in sweat pants and milk soiled T shirts doling out Apple Juice and wiping noses, but I remind myself to enjoy the little things: the sounds that Lex makes in his sleep, a quiet moment outside with a book, the smell of Lex after a bath (I could sit and smell his head for hours. It's utterly intoxicating.)
But for now, I must go and do the laundry. Again.