family life · parenting

Confinement is not House Arrest

the little munchkin

They say solitary confinement can make a person mad – and then there’s maternity confinement, which in small enclosed spaces with several others (like say, a MIL, helper, two kids and a baby), can start to wear on everyone’s nerves. That coupled with no showering (for some, definitely not for me!) and smelling of ginger all the time, coping with a steep learning curve for new mums, etc, it’s little wonder that some women suffer from post-natal depression.

We’re now into the third week of confinement and the boys are definitely showing signs of fatigue. Mittens has been asking to go out for lunch. Or dinner. Or anything! He’s really quite bored of staying at home. I’m happy to stay at home but it gets tough when the boys are less enthusiastic and resorting to some shenanigans or entertainment by edging each other on. I’m pretty sure that’s how most of their fights start!

When I was still expecting, I was surprised and intrigued that some people thought I shouldn’t still be out and about running errands. And the funny thing is that when you’re in confinement, people will also expect that you’ll be hiding at home and perhaps not go beyond the front door? I know that post delivery we should be resting and recuperating, but once when I was shuttling between my mum’s place and the ILs place (where we were living) for the confinement month with Mittens, I met a friend who asked what I was doing out. Walking to the carpark. Like what??

Last week I ventured out to pick up Mittens from school – his school is 2 blocks away from ours, and I don’t even have to leave the estate to get there. But as suspected, I had a few comments from well-meaning mummies, including “You still come out during confinement?” and one “It’s very windy today, better go home soon.”. Err… ok?

But I can understand why there’s confinement month – between recuperating and trying to get the dairy farm going, learning how to look after a newborn (more for new mums), managing all the monkeys at home, and trying to get that flabby belly back into shape, it can all be a little overwhelming and tiring. I’m so glad the MIL is staying with us this month, you can never have too many hands of help, especially when they are so many kids! And the hubby has been great, taking one or both boys out by himself when he can.

This time I seem to be taking much longer to feel like my normal self, maybe because now there are three monsters to look after, maybe because my body is older. I even feel like I can’t think straight (I keep reading things wrongly, like “sewing” for “strewing”, etc!), I can’t even park straight (actually this started in my first trimester), boy I miss my old self! And at times when I feel up to going out, there are the sheer logistics – how to fit everyone in the car, and if I don’t bring the baby, I have to be back in time for the feeding sessions, and I don’t particularly want to bring her out when she’s still so young.

I really can’t wait for her to be slightly older – maybe 3 months? When she’s big enough to enjoy being in a carrier, and small enough to still fit in it without giving me a hernia. But I know time will pass really quickly, so I best enjoy this time with her now 🙂


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