Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The start of my exhale

My family has gone through a huge shift in philosophy over the past 2 years. Before my daughter was born, my husband and I thought that she'd simply fit into our perfect little lives. I had dreams of taking her out to dinners with us and over to friends' houses where she would simply sleep like an angel while we continued on with our social lives. I was going to dress her up in cute little-people outfits . . . She'd be the perfect accessory.

Not long after she arrived, something inside changed. Maybe it was the postpartum depression that made me look inside of myself more or maybe it was that mystical maternal instinct. Whatever it was, I was forever changed as a person. I see myself so much more clearly now and I'm not afraid to show the world who I am. The relationship that I have with my husband has become so much more true and deep and our vision for our family is so strong, it basically dictates every decision that we make.

A few months ago, I found, almost by accident, a community about 30 minutes from where we now live. As soon as I got home, I told my husband that this was where we needed to live. We had been talking of moving out of our townhouse for a while but this was the kick in the pants that I needed. Our current neighbourhood is becoming an uncomfortable place for us to live in. While it is high-density, nobody knows their neighbours and we feel quite out of place as pedestrians in a world of single-occupant vehicles. We see drug deals taking place regularly and I am sometimes afraid to look out of my front window for fear that someone may think that I see their illegal activities and they choose to silence me in whatever way they can (yes, I may be just a bit paranoid).

Anyways, back to this new community. It's called co-housing. Unlike a co-op, everyone owns their own self-contained unit but there is a huge common living area that is actually USED! There are potlucks a few times a week and a large children's play room. There is a community garden. As soon as a unit came available for sale, I swooped in and made an offer. Then the waiting game started . . . It seems that the market for town homes in my area had plateaued and we were having trouble selling ours. I felt such a strong pull towards our new home that it was painful to just sit and wait. My daughter has already made friends there and regularly talks about the Easter egg hunt that we had there. Finally, today we accepted an offer on our house. We have to wait for all of the regular subjects to be removed, but I can finally start to feel myself exhale and relax into our new life. I feel so much more at peace knowing that we'll be able to settle into our new community. I love that my kids will have children to grow up with that have families that have similar beliefs to us. The smile on my soul hasn't left since I got the news this morning. I can't wait to write more about what I learn about myself just by living some place that I can be me.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Report on my first day back

Our family survived my return to work! I made a quick trip home in the late afternoon to give my husband a hand getting his day started but other than that the day went pretty well. I managed to pump almost as much milk as our son drank at home (I think I just need to make sure that I'm drinking more throughout the day). I did come home with a sunburn from sitting outside in the nice weather though. It sure was hard trying to explain that one to my husband who was busy with 2 kids all day.

The best part of being back at work was coming home. I felt so recharged and I had more energy than I've had in a long time. I think my husband also liked seeing a bit of my old self. I felt so much more capable when playing with the kids in the evening. I'm looking forward to seeing how our lives settle down in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My last day of maternity leave. Ever.

Well, it's the end of an era. Tomorrow I go back to work for the rest of my life (ok, it's not that bad . . . I am planning on retiring sometime). I'm both excited and a bit sad at the same time. My job really keeps me sane. I enjoy the adult conversation and interaction and it energizes me to be more present when I'm at home with my family. However, it's strange thinking that I'm leaving my little boy when he's only 3 months old. He has a great dad who takes excellent care of him, but it just doesn't feel the same.

I am so glad that my husband and I have chosen to co-sleep with our kids (our son usually sleeps beside me in bed while his sister has a mattress on the floor. We plan on getting a king size bed soon so that there's room for everyone). Sharing sleep will give me more time with my kids when I'm at home and I'll be able to answer their calls for help in the night if they need someone.

I am planning on pumping breastmilk for my son while I am at work so that my husband can feed him. Not using formula is incredibly important to us so I am committed to pumping to my heart's content. Of course, he will be starting on solids in a few months so he won't need as much breastmilk, but for now, pumping will be my number one priority on my breaks.

All in all, I am excited about my return to work. Our family has some great dreams which require us to save some money over the coming years. Leaving my babies won't be easy, but our future awaits.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

And then there were two . . .

It's been almost three months since our family welcomed our newest addition, a beautiful baby boy. To say that it's been an adjustment would be an understatement. After two glorious years of being an only child, our daughter has had to adjust to having a new little man in the house. Someone I was speaking to equated it to bringing home a new husband (or wife) and explaining to your partner that while you still love them, this new person is also very loved and will be joining your family. The first couple of months were hard with our daughter taking her anger out on her little brother, but we've been trying our best to give her the attention that she needs before she finds the need to do any harm.

Our family is still marching down the path towards unschooling our children (at least our daughter . . . we'll see how our son's personality develops over time). Along the same path we've discovered the benefits of gentle discipline. We're moving into a community of more like-minded individuals . . . we just need to sell our townhouse and we'll be on our way. I've been doing so much reading, listening and thinking recently that I've decided to get my blog up and running again for a couple of reasons: firstly, and most importantly for me, is to have a place to put all of these ideas for both my husband and myself to look back on when (if?) things slow down a bit; secondly, I'd like to share my thoughts with anyone out there who wishes to read them. I've found a few awesome blogs with great information and I'd like to add my two cents.

On a totally unrelated note, my husband just came downstairs to tell me that earlier tonight our daughter, for the first time, realized that she needed to pee and asked to go on the potty. It's amazing how our topics of conversation have changed so drastically since having children.