Gaijin Housewife in Japan

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Friday, 25 July 2014

The Down Side of "Going Home to Give Birth"

So far I have talked about the good things about going home to give birth. Now time for a bit of a reality check. 
We have been at my in laws for over a month now. Things have been going well but recently seem to be going downhill. As we near my due date, Amelia is getting increasingly worried about this new baby coming. Her old sleeping patterns and routines have also been hard to maintain here, where we do kind of have to fit in with 3 other adults and their schedules, too. 
Amelia likes a good routine and I believe that children can never have too much sleep, but it has been a struggle to get through the nap/bed time prep especially. This has resulted in many meltdowns of epic proportion leaving the grandparents rather shocked at the change in behaviour in Amelia in the last month. 
Accompanying this is the loosening of our established rules or boundaries that keep our day running smoothly at home, because other people are around and say "ok" or "just this once". I
try to set boundaries in advance but you know how it is when people want to treat their only grandchild or niece. 
Usually when we come to stay its only for a few days then we go back to our home and regular life, it doesn't matter too much if things get out of kilter, but this time we are planning to be here for at least another month, perhaps two. Lots of things for me to have to deal with and the baby hasn't even arrived yet. 
In hindsight I could have handled this much better, if I had asked my in laws in advance to try to help us stick to the routine and timetable that Amelia is familiar with. You might think I need to loosen up a bit! But I have found especially for my own child, everything and everyone is much happier when we all stick to the plan.

Amelia and I had an interesting discussion in the shower of all places the other night. She was very grizzly and when I asked her to talk about things, I thought she might say she was tired or hungry - two top sources of grizzles - she said she was worried that there might be two babies or that another baby would come later after this one. I reassured her that there was definitely only one baby and I certainly don't think there will be anymore after this. I also told her that after the baby is born and my big tummy goes away, I will be able to pick her up, carry her, take her to the park etc again. She was very relieved at this. It has been a long pregnancy for her, too and I can see she is pretty over it, as am I! and still a month to go before my due date. It really is amazing what kind of thoughts a just turned 3 year old can have. 

So as you can see, I am really questioning the wisdom of uprooting Amelia from her life/routine and bringing her here for such a long time. If we lived closer to DH's family we wouldn't have had to come so soon, but since it is so far away, we needed to get here sooner. I try to remind myself how exhausting it was getting through all the daily tasks at home and how small our world had gotten due to me not being able to get out and about as much, not to mention not feeling like driving anymore, let alone carrying groceries whilst child wrangling etc etc. 
There are so many good things about being here that I am grateful for, but sometimes, I really just want to go home! Amelia does, too. She misses her daddy and her friends and our house which I know is a very special place for her. You might be wondering why I just didn't get someone to come stay with us in Fukushima. Well  for one thing, pretty much everyone I could ask to come stay has a lot of stuff going on - you many have read the post on MIL's day. So I thought it would be better if we came here instead. 

So stay tuned for the wild and wonderful things that are bound to happen with the arrival (great expression that, as if the baby is just going to show up!) of the baby and being away from your own home. 

Here, let me show you how this works Sebastian. 

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Blogger Natalie Luffer said...

Is it ritual to leave and have a baby away from your own home. ie here we go to regularly see our Doctor and then continue through with life. Are you having a special delivery?

25 July 2014 at 23:02  
Blogger shufuinjapan said...

No, no special delivery, but newborns are hard work and Japanese husbands get almost no time off for the birth of a child, so women tend to rely on their own families for help and support. That's one of the main reasons we are here.

25 July 2014 at 23:20  

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