I started weaning Harley about two weeks ago now, and it’s actually going surprisingly well. After reading a ton of other moms’ experiences, and also knowing the parts of breastfeeding that I was truly tired of, I decided that I would still give her boob for sleep. It doesn’t bother me to nurse her in bed as a way to help her fall asleep. It’s sweet to spend those moments together, in between wakefulness and sleep, when she drifts off in the comfort of my love and boob. The first few days she’d ask for boob at other times, but pretty quickly she learned that boob was for sleep and only to be experienced in bed. Sometimes she still manipulates and says she tired and wants to sleep when all she wants is the boob, and then gets up and plays, but mostly, she’s pretty good with this first step towards weaning.
This was going to be a whole post about weaning Harley, about how the fact that I’m ready to wean her a bit means she has to be ready and I’m not going to feel guilty. But I’ve realized that it’s also all about my weaning. Sure, I’m doing without the hormones, without the bonding, but it also feels like with so much upheaval, I’m being involuntarily weaned off all the things that usually give me comfort.
The whole immigration thing is hard. Like, really hard. I think this might be the most stressful thing I’ve ever done. And yes, we have it easy. Dean and I had work lined up before we arrived, we’re staying with my mom which means we sort of have a home (even if it’s not exactly OURS), my mom and Harley adore each other so I do have some help with the kid. The list goes on and on with ways this is easier for us than it probably is for most other people who try to start a new life in a new country. But that doesn’t mean it’s actually easy.
Everything here works, which is helpful, but it all keeps on coming back to the fact that we don’t have a history in this country. We managed to get finance for a car, which was amazing and I LOVE our little Chevy Trax, but to get it done was a mission. We don’t have any credit rating, which is already a problem. Even worse, we can’t prove history in this country, we can’t prove that we didn’t just fall out of the sky. Of course, all the things we need to do to build up that proof requires other proof or credit rating. It all ends up meaning that it will probably be at least three months before we can actually prove who we are and get more things going in this country.
And then there are things that still aren’t resolved back in South Africa. And struggles with trying to work the hours we need to get done in a day to earn money, while also looking after a toddler and living in a house that my mom is generous enough to share with us but isn’t our own. It’s so much better to be in a home than a hotel, and I’m so glad that we are starting out here, but it is also so hard to juggle a child, a husband, and a job while trying to get settled into a new life. Not to mention also making time for my mom, and worrying about my cats who don’t get along with the dog, and worrying about the dog who is also behaving strangely now.
Oh, and have I mentioned that I’m dropping the ball on this blog? I need to find the time, and adequate technology, to share a bunch of amazing content with you all around CarseatFullstop (yes, it’s on again this year!) and I just haven’t gotten that far. In part it’s because I’m working on the world’s oldest Mac laptop, and in part it’s because I’m worried about money and all my “free” time without a toddler I’m trying to spend on doing other freelance writing work so that I can ease some of the financial strain from our move. I also have a really cool car seat blog of my own to write. It’s mostly written in my head, but to find the time to write out all the words has become way harder than its been in a long time. Can I just say each and every day how much I miss having Harley in her amazing school? I loved that magical place in Joburg that kept her so very happy.
I realize this sounds like a sad post, but it’s really not meant to be at all. It’s sort of like weaning, I guess. Harley isn’t sad about being without the boob in the day. She has learned other ways to get the nutrition and comfort that she craves. Besides, she is getting tons of attention throughout the day and seems to be enjoying the new adventures. Plus, she still has enough of the boob to feel safe and secure. I think I’m sort of the same. I’m learning new ways to get through the day, to take care of myself and my family in a new home, and I have enough of the things I need to feel mostly safe and secure. I’m just suddenly without the usual things that helped me when I felt stressed, anxious or just plain worried. I have been weaned off my old life, and I haven’t built up a new one yet.