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administering a dose of reality every four hours until unrealistic expectations subside!

April 10, 2012

While I was pregnant, I had my postbirth days planned out. I had planned to be well organized and Azaan and I would go everywhere together.
Mondays would be “shopping day.” I would shop for food and other supplies.
On tuesdays, I would teach English for two hours. Before working, I was volunteering at Exodus Refugee Immigration INC. I loved teaching English. The teaching coordinator would email me the lessons and I could modify them at my leasure. I would bring in lots of objects to make the lessons as “hands-on” as possible. sure, there was some discomfort due to the blind issue. They didn’t know enough English for me to adequately describe the complexities of my blindness. Sometimes nonverbal language such as hand motions and picture sharing was a problem. but, since I could not see, I would ask them to describe everything, which actually improved their English. Thus, I really enjoyed teaching and thought that it would be nice to get back to this volunteering opportunity, since I was not working. Azaan could just putter along with me as I taught. And, I could actually use him as a great conversation tool. Many of the women had children and/or babies of their own, so it could be a point of similarity.
Wednesdays would be our “just relax at home day.” I figured that we would need this day just to chill out and wind down.
thursdays would be our “go to work and have lunch with Abu [Daddy] day.” DH works at Bosma Enterprises. He is a computer instructor. He also goes out into the community and assesses company computers for accessibility. You would be surprised at how many programs are not accessible, even with screenreading software. He makes attempts to render them accessible so that the company will have no reason to discriminate (at least technologically speaking) against possible blind employees. I thought that I would … … maybe, go to work with him in the morning, volunteer (doing whatever the coordinator needed) until Lunch time[with breaks to feed baby, obviously] and have Lunch with him.
Fridays would be “go see my friend,” day. I would go see J., a lifelong friend and her children. We would talk, maybe do a bible study or play music and she would get to hold the baby. She has four children, the youngest being 10yo, but she wants another. so, I can kind of give her a baby fix until she has her own. Some Fridays, we would go to the Mosque for their potluck and I would not have to cook. Eventually, I would feel comfortable bringing a dish that I prepared and others would find it enjoyable. I imagined that I might have more in common with the sisters, now that I also have a baby.
Sunday, I might even find a welcoming church to go to. This would mean, spiritual growth, christian fellowship and hopefully likeminded connections.
Sad to say, none of this has panned out yet. I had planned to start this routine after 8wks. But, as of 18wks, I have not started it yet. Reality has kicked in.
1. I’d be spending $30 in transportation fees weekly. We have not even gotten all of our doctor bills paid yet
2. Much of my/our day would be spent on paratransit. did I mention that Azaan does not like his car seat??? check out an earlier post called “the short trip to crazy,” . And, should I really be making him ride in that thing for about three hours per day???
3. Even if I put the baby in a carrier, I still have to carry the car seat. when I taught English, I liked to bring food items and other things to make the lessons more lively. I can’t carry everything. And, if I am going to be out, I’ll have to carry an additional bag for the baby. That is just too much stuff! If I had my own car, it would be one thing, but… … just thinking about it makes me anxious. The packing alone would make me tired.
4. I have to pump every four/five hours. This won’t work well if I have to spend lots of time on public transport. It is sometimes hard to find a quiet secluded place to pump and Azaan is not a doll, he sometimes wants to sit or lay. Furthermore, if Azaan gets fussy while I need to pump, how would I contain and satisfy him??? Sometimes, when we are at home, if he is fussy, I can lay him in the boppy while I pump (although he tries to pull the pump cords). But, in a strange area, it would be much different. If I am out and need to pump, there is usually a family member who will occupy and be responsible for Azaan until I am finished. My point is that navigating these pumping situations is much more difficult in strange surroundings. And, I can’t always hope that “someone” will “take him,” while I pump.
5. While one of the sisters promises to come and see me (on facebook), I still have not gotten a visit from her and no one has ever called to offer to take us to the mosque. Only one brother, AKA the Shaver, has even seen the baby. His wife is a christian and does not go to Mosque. I think that it is safe to say that we have only made one lasting connection from the Mosque — and right now, he and his family are enjoying a visit to his home country, Gambia.
I did think about trying to find a Mommy group” so that I could find a diverse group of Mommies to hang with. But, the packing, transportation, fussy baby, carrying all that equipment might not result in an inclusive experience and I am just not sure if I want to take that gamble!
Anyway, Of course, I do remember having children. while I was pregnant, my rationale was: “I am older now and wiser and might be able to juggle my baby and my work more gracefully.” After all, I have seen mothers who are out much more than I am and seem to manage their trip, work and baby quite well. I only suggest doing “one thing” per day. I have seen mothers doing four/five things each day. So, I thought that I wasn’t being “too ambitious.
and, I do admit that we survived my daughter’s wedding(wrote a post, but am not posting it until I get a few pics). I did have to be MIA a few times to pump. And, at the end, Azaan got fussy and we had to look for a quiet place to settle him. Additionally, it took us a couple of days to wind down from the chaos of the wedding. Azaan had to get his sleep schedule back in order. I tried to keep his schedule in tact, but he did not want to sleep when so much was going on.
So, what does this tell me? I need to start slow. I should also be careful that my LO’s needs are being met while I am out. It would be a good idea to take my daughter or DH with me, — not because I “can’t” go out alone, but because the experience will probably be more satisfying for LO — and Azaan should be my first concern. DH and I will try going to work, sometime soon. I might try going over to J’s house. Honestly, I don’t mind staying at home with my LO. But, I would like both of us to get comfortable with travel etc.

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