So now Hanna is gone. She left us just one day ago, but we can already feel her absence. The house is different without her and we have to get adjusted to the gap this little girl left.
Johanna was with us since she was born. Acutally she was born in this house, our home, where two families started an experiment 20 months ago: Living together in a one story house with two new borns.
Four adults and two babies in one house: This can be all. Beautiful, exciting, exhausting, challenging, nourishing, helpful, stressful, funny. Maybe this has been life in a nutshell. Maybe this has been relating to other humans in a nutshell. There are moments when you feel pure love for the other person, where you are delighted by her presence and there are moments where you wish that she was somewhere else. Just not here. Leave me alone. I need my space. I need things to be in order just like wish them to be.
I was a little bit fearful when we came to the decision of living together with two families, two firsttime moms, two hard working dads and two newborns in one house. Four rooms – two for each family – one bathroom and one big kitchen. And yes, this huge garden. It was not predictable to me how I would slide into my new task of being a mom for my son. Whould there be space and nerves for sharing the house? But why not give it a try? I mean I have lived in shared flats all my life. And young moms can support each other.
And we did. There have been so many moments of great suppport, when we cooked for the other family, when someone else had an eye on my baby while I could shower, when my roommate took my son for a strawl or bathed the kids together in the evening. When they started playing together and chased each other around the dinner table at night. All of this is just priceless. And these moments when you were just happy that there is someone in the house who can 100 percent understand your perspective as a young mother, who gets when you are exhausted and overwhelmed by the new task of being a mom. We shed tears together about sleepless nights and the lack of suppport from our working man. We did not talk so much about the art of breastfeeding our which woolen clothes might be the best for our kids, but we exchanged our feelings on motherhood. A little mama tribe which feelt naturaland supportive. Even though there have also been moments, when it was all too much.
Moments where I felt exhausted of sharing my home with another family. Where my nerves were just on the edge and I felt like I needed space just for myself and my little family. Where I really had to face my tendency to compare: How does she do it? Is it better that way? Might my way be the wrong one. I mean, normally you go to mom meet ups and might eventually, depending on your character type, be challenged by the comparison with other moms and their ways of doing things. I had a constant mirror in my home. I was really challenged when my son turned one year old and I decided to put him into daycare and go back to work while Hanna still stayed at home with her mom. And yes, through this I eventually learned that latest when you become a mother the tendency to compare yourself should just drop. You can get yourself inspired by looking at others but stop using the comparison to make you feel small. For people like me it’s really something to learn. But it is worth it.
In the end what matters is the bond that developed between Hanna and my son: I can barely imagine something more beautiful than seeing my son and his love for this other tiny human who lived with us. “Hanna” before he falls asleep. “Hanna” when he wakes up. “Hanna” when he comes home from daycare. Of course he will miss her, sitting across the table, waving and speaking baby language with him. But I tried to explain him that she just does not live in our house anymore, that she is close by and that we can always visit her.
So thank you universe for the beautiful blessing of this experience, for everything that came along with it, especially our love for Hanna who will forever be an important part of our lives.