My baby officially turned 10 months today. This means I have about 2 more months left of my maternity leave.
Sometimes when I look at my youngest son I find it hard to believe that he’s almost 1 year’s old! I still think of him very much as a baby and not so much as a little boy. It is hard not to compare him to my first son but my boys are unique in their own ways.
Some of the milestones or facts about my little J as of today are:
- He is a very noisy kid. I used to think that big J talked a lot but now I am starting to think that perhaps little J is going to be the chatty one! He makes a lot of noises and says a lot of “ma ma” and “ba ba” which I think is probably not meaningful at the moment yet. It is quite humourous hearing him chatter. He also does this funny laugh that sounds like a sheep.
- He is finally starting to like his solids. Compared to big J, he never ate and nursed as much (maybe that is why he is in the lower 25th percentile in weight), and when we started solids for him he did not seem too excited about food quite yet. The only foods that he really liked was chicken congee (that is Chinese rice porridge) and I had the hardest time thinking about what to feed him for meals. Nowadays, he seems to enjoy the variety of beef stew, lamb stew, chicken congee, pears & oatmeal, cheese bread, Cheerios, etc. He especially likes cheese.
- He only has 2 teeth. Big J got his first tooth at 4 months and little J didn’t get his first tooth until about 7 months. Big J also had a lot of teeth by 10 months and was eating a variety of finger foods, whereas little J doesn’t have many teeth so I have not been very adventurous in giving him finger foods until recently. So he basically just “gums” his finger foods by chewing with his gums.
- He does not sleep well. At first we thought he would be the good sleeper compared to big J, however after quite a few spells of being sick he hasn’t really slept well for a long long time. I think his longest stretch ever was 7 hours at around 4 months and he only did that once. Ever since then, his longest stretch is usually around 5 hours. Big J started sleeping through the night (8+ hours) at around 9 months of age and little J is nowhere close to sleeping more than 6 continuous hours. *sigh* His naps don’t seem to be so great either. Big J was also never a good napper (however he seems to be fairly OK as a preschooler now – yes he still takes naps!). He generally sleeps in his crib for the first 30 minutes (which big J never did) and then needs to be held for the rest of his naps (big J needed to be held for the entire duration of his naps when he was a baby). I have tried “nap training” a few times but have often failed since he always seems to get sick right after I start the process and then when he is sick I just don’t have the heart to have him cry for his naps. So I am definitely a sleep deprived mother still at 10 months, however I am super thankful for my mom who comes by to help me during the weekdays and holds little J for naps so that I can take a nap during the day too (since I get so much broken up sleep at night). Thank goodness for mothers!
- He is not crawling yet. I think most babies are crawling at around 8 or 9 months of age and little J just does not crawl. He is definitely eager to stand but when we place him on his tummy, he will move his arms and legs but just does not go anywhere! Big J used to be a very proficient crawler by the age of 9 months so I find it very different with little J who isn’t quite mobile yet. Perhaps this a good thing so that I do not have to chase after him. Maybe he will be the type of kid that walks and just skips the crawling stage. We shall see.
- He likes to sit and observe. As mentioned above, he is not really mobile but he does sit very well and is very good at people watching. He especially gets excited watching his older brother. Little J enjoys watching television (not that we let him watch it that often, just mostly Treehouse in the afternoon after his nap) unlike big J who did not care too much about TV until much later. He must get that from my husband who enjoys TV.
- He generally a very happy baby. Besides the sleeping thing, he is always a happy camper. Big J was always such a serious and intense baby but little J loves to smile at people and is super happy when we aren’t trying to get him to take a nap!
I was also just thinking today about the many things that I will miss once my maternity leave is over and I am back at work.
- Walking big J to preschool and seeing him wave goodbye to me from the window.
- Picking up big J from preschool and chatting with the other parents.
- Going for walks along Dunbar after we eat lunch.
- Cupcakes and cookies from Butter Baked Goods. Oh, how I am going to miss all that yumminess!
- Taking naps with big J in our bed (even though he usually takes forever to fall asleep and sleeps a wee bit too close to me).
- Hanging out with little J and just watching him grow every day. It makes me sad to think that I could be missing some of his milestones like walking.
- Hanging out with my mom. It has been a real blessing having her help out with my family during my mat leave. It has also been great being able to see her more often and just talking to her more.
- Our weekly trips to the library.
- Going to Swiss Chalet for lunch.
- Going to Oakridge for Dim Sum.
- Just being at home more with the boys.
So even though I have to admit that sometimes not working is a bit mundane for me, I am surely going to miss those moments with my family! I get a little weepy every time I think about how I won’t see them for most of the day when I am back at work. I am however also very much looking forward to going back to work again because A) I need the income and B) I need the mental stimulation (not that being with my kids is not challenging enough). I can totally understand why a lot of women are torn when they have kids and decide to do the stay home mom thing. And it is not like I do not want to be with my kids, but I know that I am a very social person that needs to be with more people. I do miss those conversations that I have with my co-workers. And I totally miss interacting with adults.
I think mothers will always feel guilty for whatever decision they make for their kids. Who said having children would be easy? As mothers we just want to do what’s best for our children but I am also of the belief that in order to take care of other people you also have to take good care of yourself. And for me, I need that separate identity of working in order to be happy. If I sacrificed that and decided to work from home and stay home with the kids I think I will end up blaming them for “giving up opportunities”. And I just don’t want to do that to them. So even though big J often says, “Mommy, don’t go back to work.” (and trust me it totally breaks my heart when he says that) I know I have to go back.
Well, before I know it these next 2 months will soon be over…