first days on our own

Since Monday, Karsten has to work again and the little one, the hobbit and myself try to manage our not-yet-reinvented daily routine by ourselves. Two kids versus one adult, first time in our family life.

In Switzerland, the officially granted time-off when having a child is, by the way, one day. One day. Taking this into account, I have already been lucky to enjoy three weeks with enough time to get to know the baby while the little one didn’t feel completely left out. Karsten had, thanks to his employer, ten days at home (when the little one was born he had five days off) with a more or less regular time doing some home office stuff. Two years ago, his employer told us that he didn’t even have one single day off when his first kid was born. He had to work on the field, came home around midnight and then crawled into bed with his wife and the baby in order to enjoy some family time. According to him, it was a great time. I still wonder whether his wife would agree.

Managing the day with two children at home didn’t turn out as disastrous as expected. While I somehow didn’t find the time to shower and get dressed until lunchtime when the little one was born, I am now up and ready in the morning and wonder how I couldn’t manage it two years ago. Breakfast? No problem, I can do it one-handed while breastfeeding a baby and entertaining a two-year-old. Masters of multitasking, that’s what mothers are! Still, being somewhere on time is something that’s just not very likely right now and if we manage it, it includes a lot of organisational planning and cooperation from all three sides.

The little one still proves to be a caring sister. The hobbit is covered with kisses and cuddles, sometimes gently, sometimes in a kind of life-threatening way for a newborn so that I have to hold myself back not to scream every time she wants to interact with her little brother. Trust her, I tell myself, trust her and trust him and trust myself. The little one also adopts some very caring mother-feelings. We occasionally observe her carrying her little bear on her arm – she wraps him in a tissue, and rocks him gently while singing “everything alright, everything alright” with a high voice.

Being caring with her brother doesn’t stop the little one from living out her terrible two’s. Each day includes one or another impressive outburst, sometimes on our way home from the supermarket, sometimes on the playground, and almost every time I change her diaper (which still doesn’t convince her to use the potty instead). Good thing I am strong enough to carry her again, otherwise I wouldn’t know how to get her inside the flat when she starts acting like Rumpelstiltskin. On the bright side, however, she normally calms down quickly again and/or reconciles with me so that we can indeed talk about why she was crying and why I was getting angry. I do hope that it’ll help overcoming those tantrums a bit faster…

What else? I do feel like I am running a marathon changing diapers, getting children dressed, getting children changed, preparing meals and calming children down. The hobbit is still sleeping a lot, but it doesn’t stop his diapers from overflowing. Two third of my clothes smell like sour milk and I could do laundry every second day (at least). Within the last two hours, the hobbit spilled milk on his blanket once and right into my neckline twice…yummy. During the night, he started to struggle with stomach cramps. He is kind enough not to scream too often, but he does make some pretty loud snuffling and groaning and moaning which makes it impossible to sleep. Especially since Karsten is a loud sleeper as well – now I have two of them in my bed….I’ll add it to the list of things that nobody tells you before starting a family ­čÖé My chocolate consumption is therefore up to new heights. And I am not getting anything done, although I am sparkling with thousands of things I would love to do (including the children! If they only would cooperate!).

I think I need to get faster. And even more effective.

About erdhummel

Familial entropy - that's an insight into our current life which has been fundamentally changed last summer when our daughter was born. Having studied in Cottbus, Germany, and worked/studied in Edinburgh, Scotland, we momentarily live in a small town in Switzerland where Karsten is trying to save the environment and Freddie is trying to save our sanity. Since there is not much time for elaborate, long emails while doing that, we thought a blog might be a good option to smuggle ourselves into the lifes of our friends.
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