almost like old timesPosted: July 3, 2013
i took the train to work on my own this morning and i was surprised at how much joy it gave me.
since giving birth two months ago, i haven’t been able to leave the house without husband and baby in tow. just preparing to go anywhere takes upwards of two hours: i shower. alvin showers. baby gets fed. baby gets burped. we wait for baby to poop. milk bottles are washed then sterilized. diapers, formula, milk bottles, baby wipes, etc are loaded into baby bag. baby finally poops/we give up waiting and take our chances. water is heated for baby’s bath. baby is bathed and dressed. baby tub and other bathing things are cleaned then put away. baby is strapped into car seat. we do a quick once over to make sure nothing has been overlooked or forgotten. everybody exits the house.
please note that only the baby gets anything to eat in that span of time.
i’ve been used to coming and going on my own before becoming a mother and after weeks of being unable to, the claustrophobia builds up.
about a month after i gave birth, we stopped in front of a red ribbon store and i got down to buy some pastries while alvin and the baby waited in the car. i remember feeling strange while walking the short distance from the car to the store, and on my way back it hit me: i was *alone*. no heavy, bulky baby bag on my shoulder, no stroller beside me. no husband and baby at my side. i was able to walk as fast or as slow as i wanted, something i haven’t been able to do in a while.
i smiled at my realization and had to pause and savor that short moment.
i felt the exact same way earlier while i commuted to work. i took the train without having to think of anyone else but myself. i’m not a big fan of commuting in the rain, but this morning, i walked from the station to my office building happily concerned only about how the bottom of my jeans felt wet from the small puddles i stepped on.
i felt free.
i felt so free, in fact, that i had to pause again, this time to wonder if how i felt reflected the kind of mother i am. shouldn’t i feel all sad and weepy because i missed my baby? shouldn’t i spend all time apart from him wishing we were cuddled up together? shouldn’t i feel resentful that i had to go back to work when i should be home taking care of my infant son?
i felt guilty for not feeling guilty that i wasn’t with him.
then i gave myself a mental shake and told myself to stop stirring up trouble where there’s none.