Time is a funny thing. Our summer vacation at a cottage near North Bay feels like forever ago, but the last weeks of my pregnancy and the first few months with Austin feel like yesterday. Every time I look at Austin now, I find myself thinking "you can't be old enough to be crawling this fast (or eating this food, or learning this new thing) because you just learned how to roll over (or smile, or how to use your hands)."
But enough time has passed for him to learn and do all these things, and on Monday, I head back to work. Six days later, Austin turns one.
I'm sort of in denial about heading back to work. I'm looking forward to it, because I like my job, but I'm going to miss this. It's been a really fun year -- but that's not to say that it hasn't been frustrating at times.
Indulge me if you will, I'd like to take a trip down memory lane of my favourite times of the last year as a stay-at-home mom:
- Starting in mid-March, I started taking Austin out for long walks. I love walking, just to pass the time, and many a days I would push him for five or six kilometres in the afternoon. In the Spring, Summer and Fall, whenever I didn't have other plans, that's how we would spend the afternoon.
- In the fall, I signed us up for parent/child swim lessons and together we had a great time. Austin seems to love being in the pool and it was a really fun thing to do on Wednesday mornings.
- Spending time with friends. I made a point of trying to get together with friends with kids during the day -- or making dates with friends for lunch during their workday -- mainly to keep my sanity by having a foot in the adult world.
- The Early Years' Centre. In September, I started taking Austin to the Early Years' Centre near our house every Tuesday morning for baby play time. It gave him a chance to play with other kids and play with new toys, and me a chance to meet other moms. I met some really nice people and enjoyed my time there. Since we've been going for almost six months, it's been really interesting watching Austin develop -- toys etc. that he wasn't interested in at first are now a huge hit with him. And he loves song time, so much so, that when we were there yesterday, he crawled off my lap and into the centre of the circle where he started dancing!
Gee, with only four memories, it sounds like I didn't do much this past year -- and honestly, some days I felt like I did nothing at all. Some days, our biggest outing was to Dominion across the street.
Taking care of a baby really is a full-time job. First when he was younger, he needed almost constant attention; now that he's older, he needs almost constant supervision so that he isn't getting into something he's not supposed to (and let me tell you, he's good at that now!) At this age, his full-time job is to play, and for the next few days, my full-time job is to watch him play. For the next four days, I intend to enjoy doing just that.