Featured Musings

7 months

Dearest T,

You are a few days shy of seven months. Time flies. I couldn’t remember anymore how you smelled when you were very tiny. Or how fragile you were. Nowadays you couldn’t keep still. You even refuse the daily naps required for babies. You’re either standing and practicing your strides, chewing everything from tissue paper to your own diaper, shouting at everybody or pissing Mama off.

You are are trooper. We could take you to restaurants, chic or otherwise, to national parks, museums, running routes and even to church and you wouldn’t cry. You’d only fuss when you are hungry. We take the public transport to Mama’s office and you are a breeze to carry. You’ll just sleep or charm other passengers with your smile and curious stare. Your parents would always get compliments about how you’re a sweetheart  and although we are beaming every time that happens, we try to avoid showering you with too much compliments. You are beautiful but just as beautiful as the next baby.

Your motor skills are advanced for your age. Maybe because I didn’t box you, literally. I refused to imprison you in the crib and let you crawl all over our not so tidy house or Mama’s not so clean office. I believe you are strengthening your immunity better this way. You haven’t been sick. And I am thankful for that everyday.

Until the 5th month I thought you were a great sleeper. Turns out you were not. You’ve been terrorizing our evenings since Lola went home. I think she spoiled you too much by dancing you to sleep all the time. Mama and Papa couldn’t do that. You must learn to sleep on your own. We hope to raise you as an independent, strong girl. And we started by giving you your own room.

One day, my colleague called you “princess” and I strictly forbid him to do that. They don’t understand why. You are no princess my dear child. In reality, princesses are of the privileged kind. Wait until you see how much of your future taxes will be paid to maintain the lifestyle of our princesses here in the Netherlands.

Or they are the fragile girls in most fairy tales, who needed a prince to save them. This early Mama tries to teach you to be your own woman. Maybe a bit too feminist. Maybe a little too early. I hope you will appreciate this when you are older.

We also try to keep your wardrobe in neutral colours and with practical clothes. I don’t want you to grow up thinking that your gender must be based on color or the type of clothes you wear. You will have your preferences sooner or later. But until you can choose your own clothes, you’d be dressed in practical clothes, some of which maybe second hand. Because Mama thinks that this whole pregnancy/baby thing is too materialistic and promotes excessive consumerism. I mean, why would you need an expensive Scandinavian cradle you’d only use for 3 months or a €1,300 buggy when I can carry you in a sling? Ah, too many companies are making too much money out of babies like you.

That’s why your crib and first buggy were borrowed, so is your car-seat, your box and most of your toys. For the first five months, you’re wearing pre-loved clothes. Your new clothes were gifts. You outgrew them too fast. Luckily, we could still make other moms and babies happy with them. My love, this is our small effort to lessen your impact in the environment. You are already polluting the Earth with your diapers. Mama tried to use the washable type but she has her hands full already.

Let Mama be honest. Sometimes I still question why I chose to have you especially during the nights when you won’t settle back to sleep and would cry your lungs out. Or when you refuse to nap and not allow me to do what I am supposed to do in the office. I still do wonder what my life would be without you. But that doesn’t mean I do not want you. These thoughts come less and less as we get to know each other better.

In fact, I am beginning to enjoy our time together. How you bury your head on my shoulders or in my breasts when you cannot find your sleep. How you crawl to me or cling to my neck when you didn’t see me the whole day or in the evening when you want to be rocked to sleep. How you smile at me with your eyes. Your crying even have some charm on it. I mean your fake crying because lately, you’ve been doing that a lot.

You know what I love about your most? You keep me grounded. You are my daily reminder to watch my behaviour because whatever I do, you’ll mimic it. I am kinder because of you. I am more patient than before. I don’t launch into warfare with your Papa anymore no matter how angry I am. You make me a better person, or at least you make me strive harder to be a better person.

It had been very hard my love. It is difficult to work full time and not leave you in a nursery. And with Papa’s new job, it is more tiring than ever. We don’t have a nanny. Heck, we don’t even have a microwave or a dishwasher at this moment. Sometimes Mama just want to throw all the dirty dishes away. Or the dirty clothes. Or you when you are having your bad days.

The nice thing about this motherhood thing is that I chose it. I chose to have you. So no matter how difficult it becomes, we’ll carry on (with help from our family and friends of course). We’ll get through it laughing, crying and with so much love.

I love you.

Mama

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Sabine
    October 12, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Such a pretty, honest and recognisable post. Can i ask how you do the working fulltime with no daycare or nanny thing? We are struggling with two days daycare and mama and papa days but too much work lying around…

    • Reply
      The Weekend Traveller
      October 13, 2017 at 10:51 am

      Thanks Sabine. I’m very lucky with my company because my boss allows me to bring her to work. She comes with me 2-3 days/week to the office. I have one Mama dag and my husband also have one Papa dag. We try to cram all household chores in the weekend or during Mama/Papa dag. We have zero social life though because we reserve the weekends or the evenings (kid goes to bed at 7:30 but we come home between 6-6:30pm) as couple time or for family. So there are always dirty dishes in the kitchen and clothes to be washed or ironed. I think what helps us is that we don’t have a television and there are rules on the use of the telephone so we could avoid wasting time. It’s a struggle and sometimes I ask myself if maybe it’s wiser to put her in daycare. But it’s a commitment. Zoals wat wij in Nederlands zegt, gewoon doorbijten.

  • Reply
    Sabine
    October 13, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for your reply! I would highly recommend daycare if that is an option moneywise. Its a lifesaver for us because of pure worktime but also for his development, he goes twice a week and loves it (playing with other kids arts and crafts and school rules). But then again: if it doesnt feel good then dont. You guys are doing great, don’t be hard on yourself over dishes or a dirty house. I gave that up when my son was born, who cares haha!

    • Reply
      The Weekend Traveller
      October 13, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Day care is definitely in the planning. We’re just waiting until she turns 1 (at least), when she can already “talk”. All this news about abuses in daycare scares the hell out of me. 🙁

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