the second month of maternity leave

i was hoping that the second month would be easier since i already have one month experience, but no. our second month was as hard, or maybe harder.

some highlights / lowlights:

1. had to settle my own meals. my confinement food catering ended, so in theory i had to start cooking my own meals. in practice, i ordered some meals online, or NG cooked for us, or we ate out. haiz. i’m not the sort to be excited or curious about cooking, and to be honest the kitchen terrifies me. so there is a huge inertia for me to cook. i’d love to cook malay dishes, but i look up the recipes and get turned off by the long list of ingredients … some of which i don’t recognise, heh.

recently, Aida Azlin shared in one of The Shawl Label’s love letters that she wasn’t a good cook when she first got married, but she cooked consistently and eventually got better. reading it gave me some motivation to cook even if i suck at it. i can learn from my mistakes as i try to cook more, so hopefully i’ll get better. in time for ramadhan, especially.

2. babywearing begins! and not to a good start. Watermelon continued crying when i put her in my stretchy wrap on one particular clingy and tough day, and i felt horribly frustrated and paralysed. so i called a babywearing consultant, Nurjanna Ng from Jars of Fluff to my house for a 2h session. she taught me how to wear a stretchy wrap, ring sling, and how to do the FWCC on a woven wrap. she is suuuper nice and friendly, and i really enjoyed our session. i’ve tried watching YouTube videos, but having someone to guide and critique my attempts was so much better. after our session, i sent her photos of my ring sling attempts (it’s harder than it looks, boo) and she gave helpful pointers on how to improve. so i highly, highly recommend her services 😊

3. breastfeeding is still going well, alhamdulillah. am still direct latching on demand. however it started feeling lonely this month. one time, i had my friends over for dinner. i tried to feed Watermelon under the nursing cover, but she was fussing a lot and i couldn’t cope with all the unlatch/relatch/switch sides business, so i had to go into my room … and pretty much missed out on the dinner conversation 😦 i could sorta eavesdrop but felt a little sad that i couldn’t participate. sigh.

i’m also trying to start pumping to build a small stash so that (a) i can have some me time; wanna go to the salon soon and also resume zumba classes! and (b) i can have a small emergency supply. been researching on suggested pumping regimes on YouTube and blogs but am off to a slow start 😔

4. we started going out! for now, just the three of us. we’ve not levelled up to going out with friends with Watermelon yet. babies are sooo unpredictable and i don’t feel confident  enough to handle come what may. even getting ready by a certain time is hard. last week i intended to fetch mama kraken from the airport after her morning flight. i ended up waking up late (oops, was sleep deprived from the night before!) and had to cancel plans to drive there myself because Watermelon was mega wailing for a feed. it didn’t help that my mum’s flight landed 40 mins earlier than scheduled, so i rushed to the baggage belt only to see nobody left, save for the unclaimed luggage. tetiaow. felt so silly. luckily my mum and her friends decided to have breakfast at the food court, so i managed to catch her still.

5. letting go. i’ve heard many times of the advice to “let go of housework” when taking care of a newborn. it is a lot easier said than done. i tried to lower my expectations in the beginning but i sometimes felt uneasy at the idea that there was only so many chores i could accomplish, espesh when Watermelon insisted to be carried. it wasn’t until i read one of those FB shares about a mum of 1/2/3 asking her dad how her mum of 7/8/9 kids did it last time, and the dad replied that the answer is easy: women in the past didn’t face such high expectations. and i think it’s true … something about our generation and/or social media pressures us to be that perfect wife + mum + daughter + worker combo. so after that article, i said to hell with standards. i feel accomplished if i can do just one nice thing for the house every day.

although i died a little inside when my FIL gave a surprise visit to see Watermelon. our house was cluttered like crazy, and the floor had not been vacuumed in years. hides face!

6. still no smiles, at least towards me. a mummy vlog i watched commented that newborns start smiling around 6 weeks, which makes mothering them a little more pleasant because at least you feel rewarded. i’ve been waiting since week 6, to the point of feeling sad, for her social smiles to start. sure, she has all these reflex smiles and even giggles in her sleep sometimes. but she hasn’t smiled at me. NG claims she smiles at him though. ouch much?!?!?!

so that’s second month of maternity leave in a nutshell. still got lots to learn. feels like time is flying by so quickly though. i enjoy the mornings coz i can sleep in instead of having to get ready for work (heheh), and some weekdays feel like weekends coz they’re relaxed and free.

this month was also special coz i watched Reply 1988, a Korean drama that was aired a little over year ago. it is so good! no wonder people raved about it. the best part was watching it with NG: it became our couple thing the last few weeks. maklumlah, going out for dates is a little more complicated now that we haz a newborn, so enjoying a drama together in our living room has been a good and fun substitute.

also just for the records: for all the moments i get annoyed at NG over something baby related, there are many more where i’m thankful that he steps in and/or takes over because i’m struggling or about to lose it. i hope i don’t forget this feeling ❤

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8 thoughts on “the second month of maternity leave

  1. Reading your post reminds me of the times I had with my first one (the lonely part is real! Esp when tgh nak adjust having a little one in your life)) I think you should give yourself more credit (you are trying your best right?) & as cliche as it is, things will get better ❤

  2. Feeling lonely is so normal babe! I super hate missing out on conversations when I have to go feed the bub. And to preempt you, pumping at work feels really lonely too 😦

    • sigh! i’m glad other mamas feel the same way i do. thanks for the heads up… can’t imagine yet how my work and lunch routine will change once i’m back at work. luckily we have smartphones to keep us somewhat entertained!

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