There’s a part of me that envies people who live in the countryside. People who wake up to a view over fields and hills, with the sound of a stream flowing through the village, whose children play in sleepy neighborhoods and who can open their door to nature’s peace.
I wonder if I will want that for myself some day.
For now, the diversity, vibrancy and creativity of city life is something I wouldn’t give up so easily.
And what could be better than a design market on an island in the middle of the river Isar, complete with a city beach and the sort of hipster crowd you only ever find in big cities to remind you of the joys of city life?
After sipping a coffee in the sun on Munich’s Prater island, we wandered through the halls of stalls from small independent designers displaying furniture, jewellery, t-shirts and the like. In the air the smell of street food accompanied by the sound of lazy beats.
The grandparents have returned home (after providing 5 star hotel service), the husband has started back at work, the euphoric feeling of coming home with a newborn is slowly fading away and I’m left holding the baby so to speak.
Erik and I are trying to carve ourselves a daily routine, so that I can brace myself for the question which inevitably comes from all sides ‚what have you done today?‘ And a routine – albeit hindered by erratic sleeping and eating habits – is slowly being established. Mornings reserved for the bureaucratic and household tasks, singing nursery rhymes and hopping on the scales of the midwife and afternoons for getting used to steering the new set of wheels around our neighbourhood, grocery shopping, catching up on missed sleep and a long a walk as Erik’s stomach can manage.
And baking. Maternity leave – perhaps combined with the nesting instinct, perhaps combined with my need to display something concrete as a productive yield from the day – has provided the optimal preconditions to establish the beginnings of a sort of fondness for baking. I say this in a very reticent manner, because I don’t bake. In the past few weeks however, I have baked more than in my lifetime put together. And I’ll admit that it is fun. And that it’s a nice feeling to watch people enjoy eating the cake you have baked.
And browsing Pinterest. If you’re going to be a home-maker for a while, Pinterest is your gold mine. Endless list of recipes, ideas for home improvements, crafting projects for the nursery (which still does not look much like a nursery) – all at the tip of your fingertips and perfectly possible during the hours of breastfeeding.
For the time being, we seem to have a relaxed baby on our hands. I’m planning to make the most of it while it lasts.
And suddenly there are three of us. And life has a different tempo. And life has a different focus. It’s our 7th day of getting to know little Erik. And it’s a pleasure never known. This tiny, helpless creature who is completely reliant on us for everything has changed our life for ever.
You won’t find a birth story here. But safe to say, it was every bit as painful and uncomfortable as I had imagined. But the crash course ante-natal class back on a snowy weekend in January, which at the time seemed so abstract, stood us in good stead. And with my husband at my side, it really felt like teamwork.
I’ve read somewhere about new mothers losing their sense of themselves and having to define a new me with time. Maybe it’s just early days, but I feel as much myself as ever. And this comes as a huge relief.
I’m curious about this new phase of life and how it will suit me. Of walks with a pram, play groups, meeting other new mums and the like.
And showing Erik the world, bit by bit.