… before TJ and I return to HK, together with D, on the 16 Feb.
How time flies. It didn’t seem that long ago when I was just wondering how I could “survive” taking care of TJ without D, and getting into all kinds of arguments with my mum in the early days. I was fearful of being alone in this parenthood business and expected too much of myself and TJ.
It took weeks of changing my mindset, which was treating each minute with TJ as something that can be planned down to the second, and expecting TJ to adhere to the PLAN. Like all the lesson plans I had written, the programmes and activities I had planned for my pupils, and expecting that everything works without a hitch. I pride myself for being able to see the big picture when it comes to teaching, and find joy in seeing things turn out the way I have planned. It feels good, extremely gratifying, to be in a position that I can exercise immense control.
However I learn now that the old ways do not always work, and if I try too hard to make it work, it will not just be me who will be tired out by all that inflexibility.
Oh yes, some things such as feeding times and naptimes can be scheduled. A routine is a good signpost, one which gives me the direction on what to do (feeds, naptimes, bath, wipe-downs and playtimes) each day.
So in the last couple of weeks, TJ and I have been waking up around 8 am (instead of the original 7 am) and he would be fed every 3.5h to 4h, with his last feed by 7.30pm. He would have his bath after his 8am feed, and promptly drop off to his 1st nap of the day by 10am. While he naps, I would have to express my breastmilk and catch up on some rest. Nowadays, TJ would be asleep by 8.30pm, which I find to be better since D would have some time to bond with TJ after work when we are all back in HK.
Maybe it’s cos TJ is still not drinking enough to last through the night (he doesn’t finish more than 140ml for his last feed of the night, around 12.30 am) and would wake up again at 5 am for some milk. I think this is a marked improvement anyway, cos in a way, he has slept through the night, and I have actually gotten a good 4-5h sleep. Even though our day begins only at 8am, I actually don’t mind being woken up by him at 5am cos I can express my milk after feeding him.
And one habit of his that I am trying to break is that TJ would start fussing around 6.30am and falls asleep, contented, only after I carry him in my arms. This is usually the time when I just managed to get back to sleep (after all that expressing, storing of milk and washing of bottles), so I would just carry him to bed with me and we would both get some sleep. I suppose a part of me encourages him to keep doing this ‘cos of the happy face I get to see when I open my eyes each morning.
Now that our expected date of departure is drawing closer, I have been having mixed feelings. One, I can’t wait for the time to fly faster so that our family can be finally together in one geographical location, without having to say hi and bye to D each time. Two, my mum will miss TJ the most, followed by my bro, and I dunno why I feel bad that they will not see TJ that often once we return to HK. Three, I start getting these doubts… “Will I be a good mum?”, “Will I be able to handle everything?”
Life is such that things can be both simple and complicated, it’s a matter of perspective.