At first I was really paranoid taking the boys out to public places within the first few weeks of their lives, especially with just myself. With the exception of going to the hospital, doctor’s and pediatrician and select few friends’ homes, I delayed taking the boys out alone until at least they had their two month vaccines. Given them being preemies, I didn’t want to take the chance, especially with well-meaning strangers coming up to the stroller. It was also the beginning of cold and flu season…so yea…
It had to be the first week of November 2015 when I took the boys out on my own. If you recall in previous posts, from when the boys were born in August 2015 until January 2016, we were living with my parents and G’s parents interchangeably. We were at my parents during the week and G’s on the weekends. Even though we had help, both sets of parents still went to work, so I was alone for a good chunk of the daytime hours. I also had to work too, but I’m fortunate that most of my clients like to communicate via email, so it worked out whenever I had even the slightest downtime.
Anyway, I’m blessed that my parents live walking distance to a city centre and a park. I’ve been contemplating HOW and WHEN to take the boys out for a while before I actually did. I took them out in the mornings because I felt that it was less busy on the streets and at the mall. If it was a sunny day, then the morning felt more fitting for a stroll.
This was my thought process every damn time:
- Pick a destination: Mall or Park? If we wanna get ambitious, then Whole Foods across the far side of the mall?
- Temperature/Weather outside: Okay to go or nay?
- If going to the mall, pick 2-3 stores. If running errands, make a list.
- They better be asleep the entire effing time
- Scope out closest family bathrooms to these 2 places to feed in case boys wake up
- Joan, you might only have an hour to do all this until they wake up from their nap
Here’s how it would go most of the time:
- The boys would wake up around 7:30am. First I would make sure they drank their bottle, burped and diapers changed. Put Axl in the swing and Rocky in the bouncer. I would also pump. This step would take an hour.
- While the boys in the swing and bouncer, and after pumping for 10 mins, I would:
- eat a quick breakfast if I was hungry
- put makeup on
- dress up with clothes I planned the night before
- Go through thought process mentioned earlier.
- Pack diaper bag with essentials and make sure Mixie Bottles are prepared. (I know I mentioned this before, but the Mixie Bottles were a godsend for formula feeding!!!)
- I only had 10 minutes to do all of this in this step.
- Change diapers again (because, fuck…I’d prefer to not change diapers in public places).
- Dress boys up
- Put them in stroller
- And off we go, park or mall!! This is now 9am.
Now it wasn’t this “perfect” every time (ie. dirty diapers, cry for bottle, etc), but it was manageable. I had to do this for my sanity and get outside. What made me develop the confidence in taking them out alone was their constant crying. I honestly don’t know if that made sense. I reached a breaking point where I can just sit and cry along with them, or get off my ass and get out. Fresh fall air and constant motion would make the boys relax, as long as they’re fed. I got a mini workout from it too!
By the time the three of us got home (around mid morning 10:30-11?), I felt refreshed. I was able to actually start my day. Most of the time, the boys would remain asleep until noon, so I would put them in the pack n play. If I was up for it, I would take them for an afternoon stroll, but the one walk in the morning made all the difference. And next thing you know, after their afternoon nap, the day is done and G and my parents would be home.
And then repeat!
Over time, it got colder, but I learned how to manage. Obviously I avoided days with wind chill or winter storms. But we were blessed with comfortable fall/winter weather that year (2015) and I had to take advantage of every moment I could get outside.
Looking back at these pics, I kind of miss them rear-facing in the stroller. But they wanted to see the world eventually 🙂
Til next post!