I have decided that I love my pregnant belly. Sure, it’s weird to not see my feet anymore unless I’m standing a certain way, to no longer fit into even my ‘fat jeans’, to not be able to balance on one foot very well anymore, to groan like a rudely awoken bear when I put on my socks, and to not know where the ends of my body are when I’m walking around corners and other objects (including Toby). But it’s so very nice to feel the little person moving inside of me. I love talking to him and stroking my belly, imagining that he can feel me through my skin and thinning abdominal muscles, wondering the whole time if he’ll get Toby’s long legs and thick hair, what color his eyes will be, what he thinks of me.
Two of the last messages I sent to Toby while he was off on a recent business trip are quite indicative of how much fun the housewife inside of me is having:
“Already learned Spanish, read some more Beckenboden [pelvic floor] book, wrote a little blog, and enjoyed coffee and blueberry cheesecake at the coffee house. Not bad. Now we’re off to dm [the super Walgreens of Germany]. The excitement never ends!”
“Frankfurt is doing well – warm enough to do ‘yard work’ in a tank top. Patio is clean now and ready for the next rain storm :) Up next, chasing dust bunnies with the vacuum cleaner. Then afternoon coffee!”
Because I had finally hit the point where I could proudly say I was earning real money, I milked my PT earning potential in Düsseldorf as long as I could. When I joined Toby in Frankfurt seven weeks after he’d already started his new job, there was no doubt I would continue with PT.
I first picked a new gym, no easy task when you don’t have a feel for the market, and started hanging out there. I had the effect of double-bad timing to contend with – first there were all the World Cup soccer games keeping people from the gym, and then it was summer vacation when all Germans take off for a few weeks with their families. Needless to say, it was hard to get a hold of people to train with for that all-so-critical initial contact.
I stuck it out for a few months, always waffling between the positive feelings that my breakthrough was coming any day and the negative feelings that our household income would be better off if I spent more time at the coffee house and stopped paying my gym rent and own health insurance.
In Germany you are required by law to pause your work for maternity leave six weeks before you give birth. For me that would be October. I’ve decided to stop a bit early.
I feel a sense of relief now that the decision has been made. It’s also given us something to laugh about. While I have spent the summer falling (comfortably and of my own free will) more and more into the role of housewife as Toby’s job got crazier and mine never did, I am now officially, full-time “barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.”
We just talked the other night about how strange it is that we’ve so easily slipped into these old-school roles – Toby being the breadwinner and me the housewife. I don’t mind. Sure, laundry in and of itself isn’t an inspiring job, but the fact that I’m doing it while baking another human being and the fact that it allows us to relax together for the few minutes Toby has each evening make it worthy of my time.
And, as Toby quoted from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “the man is the head of the house, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.” That’s what I’ll think of if the mundane activities of running a household ever leave me uninspired.
Yes, that will make a nice comeback to blogging. Last time I wrote about all the alien street art I’ve been finding in Düsseldorf. This time I’ll write about all the alien but exciting things life has been treating us to. The summary goes something like this:
Toby gets new job; quits old. We get ready to enjoy what we think will be another nine months in Düsseldorf. We find out we are actually moving to Frankfurt in less than two. Clever Christina convinces Toby to take time off between jobs. We travel to Arizona and Mexico for family, sun, and relaxation. We celebrate Toby’s birthday in Munich. His best birthday present and our ultimate Mexican souvenir turns out to be a baby, coming in December. Toby starts his new job. Christina keeps up the PT business in Düsseldorf for a few months. We frantically search for the perfect apartment. Compromises are made, but we find a new place to call home. Movers pack and unpack; chaos ensues. Christina finds a new gym for PT. Germany becomes soccer Weltmeister. Belly grows. Order begins to find its place again. Neighbors are met. A new favorite coffee house is found. Belly grows. We visit family in Arizona for one more dose of desert air before winter hits and baby comes. Christina puts PT on ice for the moment. Lists of things we need for the baby are made. Belly grows. Christina sits down to write again.