Thursday, March 10, 2016

3 things I wish I haven't done after giving birth

Now, with the kid approaching fast 6 months and me a full time stay at home mom, things look much settled into my life: I have a predictable schedule, when I can organise my time and my tasks and also have some little amount of time for myself and my writing gigs. But it was not always like this, and when I look back in time to the first four months of life of my son, I see a very different picture, with many hectic episodes if I look more clearly.
One of these days I did a retrospective overview of my last months and found out that there are some mistakes that I wish I haven't made. But as it is nothing to be changed, at least there are some lessons learned to be took into consideration a next time.

1. Going back to full-time work two months after giving birth was a big mistake.
The physical recovery went very well and within weeks I lost the few pounds added during pregnancy. My health situation was good - except a little anemy - and the little boy was also doing fine. The German law do not let new mothers work in the first two months after giving birth, but after that, it is up to the employer and the mother to find a better work solution. I was so happy to be able to go back to work that I almost scream 'Yes, I do' when asked if I can return after two months.
What happened? I was doing my work as usual, accomplishing my tasks relatively well, but with a high price. I was going to sleep late because I always had things to do in the house, woke up around 5 o'clock, feeding the baby and sometimes also cooking for the rest of the day, being at work around 7.30 and working till around 15.00 and coming back home with shopping list done, for cooking, cleaning, bathing the baby and keeping good company to my bf. During the day I also had to solve various domestic issues!
The result: After two crazy months, I realized that all the hassle is not worth my effort and energy. The job I had was nice, but not exactly the dream job, and the financial remuneration was not extremely high. With no real chances to improve my professional status - because it was nowhere to go up in this cute small family company - I took the dramatic decision of leaving and using the chances of one full paid year as a stay-at-home mother.

2. Throwing up parties after parties
When your kid is born in other country than the one where your families are living, expect a lot of visits and celebrations and late evening meals and long Shabbes meals. 
What happened: A week after I returned the hospital with the baby, we started to invite people almost every two days, and many guests and relatives on Shabbes. We - particularly I - wanted to impress everyone with my cooking skills and great cakes and many meals. I was also doing a lot of shopping, going from a special shop to the other for specific products and spices.
The result: Burned out. Completely. Because it was not only about cooking and shopping, but also about setting the meal, cleaning the dishes, cleaning the house, staying awake to make conversation, taking care of the baby at the same time.

3. Missing the chance of at least one hour for myself
My bf stayed at home full time with the baby for two months, the time when I was at work. After a busy pregnancy and a post-pregnancy even busier time, I rarely had time to go out alone or just take a breath on my own for a couple of minutes. Every time I was going out I always had a to-do-list with me and I was rarely able to meet one of my friends or go without a specific reason. Now I am alone with the kid for couple of weeks more and I am in the same situation when there is no way to leave the house unaccompanied. It is a nice company anyway so nothing to complain about. But...
What happened: Sometimes it was enough just to go out of the house, in the garden or till the corner of the street without nothing to do or to think about. Just like this, walking slowly, breathing deep the fresh Berlin air and coming back.
The result: Right now, I am waiting for that time to come back again, when I can go out on my own for a short walk. Promise that the next time will better use my time!

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