Having a Baby in Germany, Part Three: Come one, Come all…

The lion tamer and his little cub

One thing that new parents learn shortly after they bring home their newborn bundle of joy is that leaving the house suddenly takes A LOT longer than it did before. Forget rushing out the door at the last minute and still making that movie, church service, or appointment. There is just no way that is going to happen. No sir. Even walking outside the front door becomes more complicated when the baby arrives. There are diaper bags to be packed, strollers to be readied, a baby to dress and bundle up for the cold weather, etc. And, when all that is figured out, nine out of ten times you still can’t quite leave because there is now a baby who needs a diaper change or is hungry. Oh yes, I imagine that from an outsider’s perspective it can seem quite the circus sometimes.

For us in Germany, leaving the house is only the first act. We gave up the luxury of our car when we moved abroad- mainly for financial reasons, also because we just didn’t see the need for it with the abundance of public transportation here in Hannover. What we didn’t realize was just how much more complicated things would get without said car after the baby arrived. We are managing fine, but it’s a challenge! The trip into town that used to take us 15 minutes from our apartment door, now takes at least an hour as all of a sudden we must deal with rain and wind and snow gear not only for ourselves, but for the baby and stroller as well. Not to mention the run around like police dogs on a drug bust we find ourselves in while searching for stroller friendly elevators in metro stations. And, with an infant who nurses every 2 hours, by the time we actually get anywhere we must switch gears to “where can we nurse” mode. All of a sudden the few little shops and cafes and that park within walking distance of our apartment have all become much more attractive. Funny how an infant does that.

Needless to say, we aren’t getting out much these days. I imagine things will improve quite a bit as we polish our routines, our little one gets a bit older, and the weather improves; but for now, it’s a circus all right, and I’m the ringleader.

2 Responses to “Having a Baby in Germany, Part Three: Come one, Come all…”

  1. Bert writes:

    Would car sharing help?

    (German only)

  2. Nikoletta writes:

    although all the things you describe seem to be really …anstrenged (o yes, i’m attending german classes), i really envy you, for all the experiences you two are having there… moving in Deutschland is the #1 goal for me in 2012… wish me and my family good luck!!

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