Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Life as pregnant with a toddler

I got some questions the other day about Alexis and how I feel about motherhood and the upcoming birth of little L. Be aware all non mother's, uninterested women of this topic - wait until tomorrow and my next post, because this sort of talk will probably bore you to pieces. 

I know I haven't written much about either of it lately, mostly because this pregnancy is present, but yet forgotten in all craziness of life itself with small children, being a full time mother at the moment and trying to climate into a new country, city and the family life over here. The pregnancy is always there, but not much is left to think about it. It's more after 9pm in the late night, after dinner is finished, where I can reflect, feel the little baby kicking and move around inside of me and try to make sure all my contractions calms down.

So how is life as pregnant with a high active toddler?
Well it's extremely different to last time when I had me, myself and I to focus on. I was still working at the clinic and had all my patients coming for treatments, consultations and medical improvements. During lunch I always had 40 min to nap and after coming back home again around 5.30-6pm in the evening, I always rested for a couple of hours, eat and rested again. M was only coming every second weekend from Zürich (I still had most of my life in Stockholm) so I managed pretty much by myself and had all the time to reflect, think and enjoy it all. I had bad problems with sickness and tiredness almost all through my pregnancy with Alexis and when it got better at the end, I got severe problems with SPD (foglossning) which made walking a lot, lot of problems and I was declared laying down more or less six weeks before giving birth to Alexis, which I did. I enjoyed all the series in the world during the days in our new and beautiful family apartment that we bought in Stockholm, eat nice food and felt so good, knowing that the greatest thing in the world would soon take place. I was never worried or scared, it all felt so natural  and I totally embraced it with open arms.

This time it's very different. I have the blessing of a nanny who takes Alexis some hours per day (he does not go to Kinderkrippe/dagis or anything), but during those hours I have plenty to do at home, with the blog, editing pictures, catching up with the rest of the world like my family and friends, cooking, making errands, grocery shopping and yes, all normal things. So I literally rest zero percent per day which is not good I know. But since life with a toddler means no time for yourself, I just don't want to sleep during those hours when our nanny has Alexis, I want to fill the hours with things that gives me some inspiration or happiness and the things a home needs to run smoothly. So the biggest difference is of course that Stina, the individual, is less taken cared of and I don't rest as I should. M works late and I go to bed at 10pm in the evening, so it's not much time for us either unfortunately. But we try to be aware of the truthfully fact that this is a period of our life, and I'm not saying it's easy or that we're always doing well, but we try to communicate and try to see it for what it is. The small children years are always tough on a relationship, the people and all of that, but it's also a fantastic journey to do with someone you love and the positive and wonderful moments are far of more weight then the bad.

Alexis does know that there's a "baby" in the belly. He points it and says "baby". If he knows what a Baby is, that we can only speculate in? I think he realise that I'm more tired and have less patience sometimes, but it feels like he understand it and try, as much as a toddler is capable, to help me carry things, get things etc. But he is one year and ten month, so you get the picture. It's tough, I would lie of I said that it wasn't. My lack of energy and patience is probably what hurts me most, I feel like I'm less good of a mother when I can't be a super mother, but in the same way - who can? I try to give him unconditional love, raise him very aware and be very present. I think you get far with those ingredients.

It got quite big (the belly) very early with this second baby and carrying Alexis is almost impossible and that is also something that can be hard for both of us, but mostly he understand and I sit on the floor with him instead or go down to his lever so we have that close contact anyhow.

One of you asked for more every-day pictures of a messy home, a messy me and a messy Alexis. But as a matter of fact I don't really enjoy pictures like that myself, I know it's reality and I hope you all understand that our home is also an inferno at least one time per day and Alexis is changing clothes at least two times per day, but I try to take care of myself in all of this and showing pictures of a messy home is just boring. I wan't to give you something of the opposite, without glorifying life because that's just not fun either. But we are quite a normal but un normal family in the sense that we might have un normal circumstances around us but in the end we are just two parents trying to get life around in the best way possible.

So another of you asked to receive more information about how Alexis is doing, how he sleeps, eats and all of that. Only someone in the same life situation can be interested in those sort of subject and it sometimes surprises me how important these topics actually are when you're in the middle of them yourself. It can sound trivial to many, but when you are in the middle of it all yourself, you're eager to find the best solution or know how others are managing..
Alexis sleeps at most, very well since he was 1 year and 2 month I would say. Until he was 11 month it was a mess with the sleep and he was waking up between 3-9 times per night. From 11 month he went to bed at 7.30pm after some bed routines like a bath, and then he slept until 4am in the morning, got a bottle of Välling (oat made formula) and fell asleep again until 9am. That was almost perfect.
He was always a very good eater and I cooked most food for him myself and he eat vegetables, rise, pasta all forms of protein, sauces ... But at 1 year and 5 month his interest of food went away completely and ever since he's been so tricky with food. He only, until this day, want to eat pasta with butter and sometimes some cooked carrots and smoked ham. He drinks fruit smoothies that i make and a bottle of Välling in the morning, but the portions are very small and he mostly play with the food instead of eating it. I know this is typical for most children during some years and I try not to get to frustrated about it but for us, as food-lovers, it's so boring to see him this picky and complicated! I hope it's a phase only.
Now he goes to bed at 8pm and sleeps to 7-8am in the morning without waking up. But there has been some longer periods when he wakes up at 5am every morning. Those long periods are horrible and they destroy you as a human being. You can't think and I walk around all day long as a zombie if you don't go to bed at 9pm the night before. But how much fun is that?
Normally the going to bed routines goes very smoothly and it takes about 10-20 minute until he falls asleep with one of us in the room, but since a week now he just cries and screams as soon as we (mostly M, he normally puts Alexis to bed) leave the room. Not fun. Hope it will change soon again.

Some days he is just like an angel and I truly enjoy every second of him and we cuddle, have fun, fooling around and just love to be together and spend time with our friends here in Zürich. Other days he wakes up as a little monster, saying no to everything, tossing things around, hunting Tiger and just do absolutely everything to get my attention to annoy me it feels like. But mostly he is a well behaved, loving and very, very kind little boy who needs a lot of stimulation and are eager to get to know things, help and is just the cutest of creatures. Who no idea what adventures lays behind this family's corner when our new family member is to be expected.


So as a conclusion to all of this, I think we will have some tough years in front of us with two small children, M's who's working quite much, me far away from my family and M's family in Geneva. But I think it will also be so beautiful, full of adventures, new stairs to climb, hard moments and lovely moments. I will hopefully start working again later and then a new chapter will be dealt with, how to combine a working life as a mother with being a present mother anyhow. It seems impossible just thinking about it, but with well thought organisation and coordination - I'm sure it will work out fine. I also look forward to when little L is one year old so M and me can take some trips just the two of us and enjoy each other to the fullest again, without the parent role. And maybe we'll have time for a marriage somewhere there between ... Phu ...

I hope you got a little bit what you were curious about in this post.



20 comments:

  1. Alltid lika intressant att läsa dina tankar kring föräldraskap. Det är verkligen livets stora kontraster. Någon skrev relativt nyligen att vara förälder är att uppleva en andra pubertet och refererade då till den känslomässiga berg och dalbanan som ofta sker under dagen med en liten. Att man älskar den lilla/e så oändligt men samtidigt kan bli helt utmattad.
    Men det är verkligen en ynnest att få vara mamma. Det jag är mest stolt över att ha åstadkommit i mitt liv.
    Tack för att du delar Stina.

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    1. That is very, very true. So much love and os much frustration when you don't know what to do.

      I also find that this is my mission and the greatest gift and challenge in this lifetime!

      Best,
      stina

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  2. Dearest Stina,
    Thank you for this wonderfully honest, open and heartfelt post. I am not a mother myself, but very much hope to be one, one day. You seem to me a very wise person – reflected and humble about your life and your surroundings, people and places. Thank you for sharing, through photos and words. I wish you all the best. You look great with your belly, Alexis is gorgeous and in the last post, about mother's day, your love for each other seems to me to shine through in the pictures. Fantastic, touching and inspiring.

    Love, Martina

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    Replies
    1. If you want to be a great mother, you will. I'm sure! It's truly amazing!

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Best,
      stina

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  3. Even thoug I don not have kids yet I enjoy reading about your journey and thoughts. One day they will suit my situation and right now I just like to be able to understand parents better. A lot of parents keep asking themselves what they did with the time before having kids, so I am jsut trying to acutally enoying the time right now. It is easy to come home and be tired after work and then I am thinking about familys, and have they have and drag myself out of the sofa doing something instead.

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    1. So true, you can never understand how different life will be so enjoy your freedom and all the possibilities you have now!

      Best,
      stina

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  4. What is Phu ..... Stina.
    aboutt your text it's simply beautiful all is said.

    May be PHUKET ???
    Hughs
    UtA


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    Replies
    1. No, phu stands for a phhhuuuuuu, like a breathing out when you have a lot to do!

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  5. Det kan inte ha varit lätt att lämna ditt liv i Stockholm. Att lämna sin familj och sina vänner för sin nya familj, måste vara det svåraste beslutet någonsin. Och att vänja sig vid allt nytt, alla nya vanor och idéer och kulturer... Schweiz må vara Europa, men det finns få ställen som Sverige, och jag tror säkert att det kan vara tufft att vara svensk kvinna i Zürich. Men du verkar så jäkla tuff som bara tar allt och står rakryggad. Med din son, med din fästman, med din familj i Sverige med vänner och allt. Mot världen. Bra jobbat.
    Och jag hoppas verkligen att du åker hem till Sverige ofta, och att du inte känner att det inte skulle vara "tillåtet". Jag vet hemlängtan, hur den kan tära. Det finns ingen anledning i världen att du inte ska få vara i Stockholm så mycket som du vill. Särskilt med en liten i magen och en liten i handen... Det är (väl?) där ditt liv fortfarande finns kvar till viss del. Och du förtjänar att ha kvar den biten, tills Zürich känns mer som hemma.
    Stockholm är underbart just nu. Sommarvärme och glädje i luften, du vet hur galet allt blir när solen äntligen tittar fram. Varje uteservering packad och folk njuter. Aja, nog från mig. Tack för en fin blogg!
    /helena

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    1. Helena,

      Being a woman in Zürich and having a family in a country not really modern in that sense is very often frustrating. The childcare is beyond expensive, the fathers works very long days and the mothers leave is almost non existing. Coming from a very modern, family friendly and woman friendly country - this gets on my nerves and you really start to appreciate what Sweden stands for.

      I go back as often as I feel like and don't feel bad for wanting to do so.

      Thank you so much for this comment and for reading!
      Stina

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  6. Enjoy every moment. You'll look back and think how wonderful yet fleeting it is!

    Loved the 'hunting Tiger' bit. Hilarious.

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    1. Ohhh I do, every day I have at leats 20 moments where I really trying to reflect on how blessed I'm being able to be with my soon so much as I am and see all the developments happening to him and creating our very, very close bond!

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  7. So honest!I´m really looking forward to see you, M, Alexis and little L on that day, when the both of you get married.
    All the best,
    Lena

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    1. Ohhh, yes ... that day will come, just have to make time for it. I'm planning for a very, very beautiful wedding not in Sweden nor in Switzerland.

      best,
      stina

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  8. Stina! You are truly inspirational! I am not a mother and I really liked reading this post :) Alexis is an adorable boy and having this spinnings is completely normal. He has to find his position in life and on earth, his character and what he likes and dislikes. The only country, where I saw school kids eating mussels and prawns were in France :) It is great, that he likes your smoothies, for the rest - comfort him with the food he likes. You can be sort of glad, that he is not a fries junkie ;)
    Stay positive, enjoy your life as you do now! Relationships are always complicated - I also have to experience that in my multi-cultural relationship being away from my home country!
    All the best for you!
    Baya

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    1. Yes Baya, I will.

      And life has ups and downs which also makes it less boring!

      Thank you so dearly for this kind comment and for reading!

      Best,
      stina

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  9. Like mant comments said before I have no kids but love reading ur experience and thoughts about kids, motherhood, pregnancy, intercultural encounters etc. thanks a lot for sharing them.

    hugs from Ankara

    D.

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  10. Tack Stina för dessa fina och ärliga rader. Precis som du beskriver de första 1,5 åren med Alexis - så hade vi det med vår förstfödde son (som är född i december 2011)! Kan inte - vill inte - föreställa mig hur den tiden skulle ha varit som ensamstående, eller i den sits du var i då. Och ännu är, på sätt och vis. Jag tycker att det är otroligt tufft för relationen och jag hoppas verkligen att vi alla klarar den tiden, och ser den - som du skriver - för vad den är. Det livet man hade innan kommer på sätt och vis tillbaka, och förhoppningsvis i en ännu bättre version. :-) Det är det man får försöka tänka på varje dag, särskilt när det är jobbigt.
    Kram

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  11. Therese,

    No it was not easy being so much by myself, but I grew from that ... also. I'm always been a woman being able to take care of myself, and even though I hope M and me will be together until death separates us, I'm not at all afraid of being by myself with two kids if that would be something that would happen in the future. I totally rely on myself because I've seen what I'm capable to. That's a strengths.

    Best,
    stina

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