Myrah is one year old. No longer is her age counted in days or weeks or months. She has one whole year to her credit. A big girl, alright!
Last year January she entered our lives and took us on an amazing, lovable adventure. Most of it filled with good memories, for she is generally a happy child. She moved from being constrained to her crib, to crawling, and finally, walking, all in ten months. We looked on with amazement as she changed from a tiny baby to a little girl who even learnt to run away from us playfully, play “peekaboo” to tease us and come waddling into our arms. She went from being breastfed to eating almost everything, and wanting to eat all by herself too. All she knew was how to cry, now she goes on babbling. Oh, was she a meek baby, of whom we were totally in control – now she controls us, insisting on having her ways and pretending to shed tears when she doesn’t get what she wants.
It has been a year of growth for me too. I transformed from being a woman who took her job very seriously and diligently, to a stay-at-home mom with a baby. I was a woman who liked being on the go, involving myself in several activities outside work. I have kept away from all those for one whole year, dedicating all my time to taking care of a growing baby. I used to eat quite healthy (at least attempted to) and worked out regularly, making me feel good about myself. Now I am not so pleased with what I see in the mirror, with bulges and dresses that don’t fit me. I kept a house that was tidy and felt happy to walk into a space that seemed inviting; now I wonder where and how I should begin to clean – and even if I do, what is the point, it will be messy in a few minutes. I pursued hobbies – read books, watched movies; these are rare occurrences now.
As a couple, we were romantic, had a lot of time to be together doing nothing, and do a lot of things together. Now, some days we hardly get to talk and there is no time for sweet nothings. We knew everything about each other’s day, now we draw a blank. We shared responsibilities and kept each other updated. Now we have increased set of tasks and expect the other one to just take care of it. My husband has a new position and several new responsibilities at work, and his teenage daughter started living with us this last year. So imagine how our time and energy are suddenly demanded from different quarters. We had the patience to discuss debate and decide; now we get impatient if things don’t go our way and cross-talk with the stress of tired bodies and minds.
At the end of the one year maternity leave, I said I am ready to go back to work. To get back a slice of life as I knew it. I am ready for a new routine. Myrah is a social kid, she likes being around people and other kids. I felt confident about leaving her in a day care. A couple of days into her daycare life, I am a mess. The first day I was excited about this change, the second day I cried my heart out. I felt the pain of her fear and tears. When I drop her I tell her to be strong, while I come home with tears, wondering if she will eat, drink or sleep.
I am sure she, and I, will get used to it soon and it will become a routine. So I stand at a threshold and look forward to the beginning of another phase – getting back to work, being more involved in some of my passions outside work, watching Myrah grow and take on new wings, trying harder to be more patient and calm and romantic. I am sure the new life will be different and will come with its own new challenges. But I am ready to embrace it as it comes with its ups and downs. Myrah’s charming smile, which captivated us from the very beginning, will see us through!