Having been stuck indoors for most of Idris’s life, through no fault of his, I got to thinking when the best time for having a baby might be? Idris was born at the end of October, in the UK thats the mid point of autumn and it’s usually quite cold and wet. Of course Autumn gives way to winter, which for me has been the problem season!
Aasiya was born in May, and while it rained on the day we bought her home, the weather was mostly glorious. I remember sitting in the garden for most of our meals while my husband was on paternity leave. We went out all the time and even when Jay returned to work, I put her in the sling and went for walks locally for some fresh air and to get some exercise. By the time Aasiya was 11 weeks I had taken her into London countless times and I was totally comfortable going on solo adventures with her. This week was the first time I took out both Idris and Aasiya on my own. I know its harder with two logistically as much as anything else, but honestly, I think if the weather was even remotely better I’d have been able to take them out much more.
So this Saturday, after a week of being stuck indoors, I decided to bite the bullet and take them both out. I only went as far as the local library, which is about a 20 minute walk, but it felt a lot longer. Idris was in the sling and Aasiya in the buggy, I can’t wait for her to be able to walk for longer stretches as the cumbersome buggy is half my problem. Thankfully Idris fell asleep immediately and Aasiya was in a good mood and a willing travel companion. Stupidly I had forgotten to pack snacks for her so we had to make a quick detour to pick up a pack of bananas. There are a couple of buses that go directly outside the library but its such a hassle getting the buggy on and off a bus and anyway I wanted the walk and air after being indoors for so long.
The children’s library is on the first floor so we had to use the lift to go up, which for Aasiya is always an exciting adventure. She giggles with delight when the lift bell rings and the doors open. If the lift has a mirror, which this one did, she’s spellbound by her reflection and keeps repeating “mama me, mama me” during the short ride. We spent a good while in the library, Aasiya picked some books for us to read together and then did some play on the mats. It was really nice to see her browsing the books and playing with the other children using the space. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have free social spaces, for mums as much as babies, to be able to escape to when the 4 walls of home become too much. Before leaving the library I decided to give Idris a quick feed (again, how wonderful that libraries are breastfeeding friendly spaces) so he wouldn’t be any trouble at our next stop: the coffee shop for lunch.
We went to a coffee shop called Horizon in Leytonstone, mostly because of how hungry I was and its completely halal. It’s quite a big shop but as it was lunchtime it was extremely busy. I’m sure some of the other punters were not best pleased to see me with my buggy strolling in, but I was too hungry to care. The staff there are super friendly and really nice, which makes all the difference when your out with kids. I ordered at the counter and while you usually have to take your drinks over yourself, they told me to go and take a seat and bought over everything. They even came up to me during lunch to see if I needed anything else. Honestly its these small acts of kindness that reinforce my faith in humanity, especially when I’m feeling highly stressed, which is my default setting when I’m out with my babies. The babychino I ordered for her was also free, which is another reason to love this place! Anyway, lunch was lovely and went without any hiccups, Aasiya sat nicely on her chair and ate all her food, and while we can’t really converse, we did something a lot like it and it was one of those moments that will probably make me smile and teary when I look back at my little big girls life: our first coffee shop lunch together.
When we were getting ready to leave a lady came up to me and offered to put Aasiya in the pushchair as I had Idris in the sling and I imagine she thought it would be tough for me. Again the kindness of strangers shocks me, people are always saying how unfriendly Londoners are, thats truly not been my experience especially in East London. I had planned to take the bus back as I was expecting at least one of the babies to have kicked off by this stage but again Allhumdulillah they were both well behaved so I decided to walk back. As if things could get any better both babies slept for an hour after returning home! So all in all it was a great first excursion but I’m no fool and don’t except it to be like this the next time. If mum life has taught me anything its to never be complacent, a storm is always brewing! So the next time I venture out with them both solo expect my anxiety levels to be just as high.
I think last Saturday it was 6 degrees outside and the cold was biting! Thankfully neither of them have been sick since but you can bet your bottom dollar I spent the next 5 days worrying they would be! Thats the thing with winter, there are so many horrible colds going around (see previous post for our 3 weeks of sickness) that all I want to do is stay indoors and not interact with anyone. However when you’ve just had a baby I think its really important to be able to get out, even just for a short walk, but to get out and get some fresh air is vital. I’ve personally found that difficult to do without my husbands or families help this time around and I blame the weather. So if you’re thinking of having a baby my advice to you is this: Conceive in the summer, that way your pregnancy will be easier as you won’t have to suffer Summer while pregnant (it’s the worst, trust me!!) and when you have your baby in early Spring the weather will cheer you up and help you get out and about.
Let me know if you have any feels about when the best time to conceive is, and if you are trying to have a baby, then best of luck (although this is when I got pregnant with Idris so you’ll have an October baby… you’ve been warned :-)) Although all the downs of motherhood are immediately mitigated by a single hug from your baby, whenever s/he is born!