The other day, out of the blue, Cesar asked me if I ever get lonely when I’m at home alone with the baby. He works long hours and has a 90 minute commute each way, so he is often away from the house for 12-16 hours at a time. The question brought me back to the early days, about two to three months after Luna was born, and I started to compare that time to today. I don’t feel lonely at all today. Sometimes I don’t actually feel there is enough time in the day to get everything done! With looking after Luna, writing and delivering assignments on time, keeping the house somewhat clean and tidy, grocery shopping, and cooking food, I sometimes wish that I didn’t get so tired by 11pm and could work later into the night on my own personal writing! It’s not like the old days when I could subsist on a few hours of sleep a night; with breastfeeding and running after a very active 8 month old all day, I need at least 4 hours nowadays. Not that I get much uninterrupted sleep yet, but that’s another story… When I feel I need more adult interaction, or just a change of scenery, I make plans with friends, go into the city or call someone. Friends come and visit and I love to go out on visits myself. Luna is a real city child, she loves the subway, loves interacting with other people and is comfortable hanging out in the Ergo all day, sitting in restaurants and walking around.
When I think back to 5 or 6 months ago I know I felt a little lonely and isolated at times. If I had to do it all over again I don’t think we would have moved to a neighbourhood we didn’t know at all, in the middle of the worst winter in a while at 34 weeks pregnant. There was so much snow and I was still working 50-60 hours a week so we never really got to explore the neighbourhood before Luna was born. After the 39th week it took so long for me to waddle anywhere! And then during those first few weeks after Luna was born I was way too sleep deprived to even care about conversing with anyone. Cesar was working upwards of 80 hours a week and when Luna was about 2 months old and I started feeling normal again I suddenly realised that the days would often stretch out. I would try to go to the city when I could but there were so many days that it all seemed too tiring, or it was too hot, or Luna was cranky. We would go for walks in the neighbourhood, go to the Rite Aid around the corner or the Chinese supermarkets and made friends with the people working there, just to have an actual conversation with an adult human being. Some friends came to visit; others kind of disappeared off the face of the earth. Nothing wrong with that (the latter), I’ve been in the same position before and probably not made as much as an effort as I could have done. It’s part of life.
In hindsight those few months were really all about adaptation. I went from working in a busy restaurant until I was 39 weeks along to being at home with a tiny baby in a neighbourhood that I didn’t know. I was used to running around at work and talking to many people every day. I was used to spending all my time with Cesar, at work and out of work. Orchard Street was sort of like a family and it was a little strange not seeing all the regulars on a daily basis. I didn’t miss going out, I didn’t actually really miss anything, I was really just trying to adapt to my own new life. Spending more time with other friends who have children, getting into a new kind of routine, figuring out how to find time to be able to write and freelance. Getting to really explore Flushing and actually learn to love living here. You can only imagine life with a newborn, but you never really know how it will be until you are living it. And even then it has a tendency to change every week! And you just learn to relax and adapt accordingly. The emotions, the worries, the laughs and that love that is unlike anything you have ever felt before. Of course, like with anything, there are still some days when I miss the hustle and the bustle of working in a restaurant, but on those days we make a quick trip into the city to visit everyone, and by the time we get home I’m happy to be home again.
I’m still me. I still like the same things, dance to the same songs, read the same books and wear the same clothes (although maybe a size or two larger). I still have the same thoughts and dreams; they are just a little bit bigger nowadays! On top of everything I was before I am now a mother too. And it’s the most amazing role I have ever had to live. But it’s not always easy, and if anyone ever feels lonely or isolated contact me and I will be over as soon as I can, or call you for a chat if you aren’t nearby. Sometimes we all just need someone else to talk to <3