Life with a New Baby
A few days after David was born, one of Daddy’s sisters, (my Aunt Susie) came all the way from Canada to help with all the work until Mom was able to manage on her own again. As tradition has it in all the older Amish settlements a single girl comes to do all the work while the mother stays in bed for a week to 10 days after her baby is born and then sits and enjoys her newborn and does light handwork etc. until the baby is six weeks old.
Aunt Susie was a no nonsense and definitely not fun loving person. She did her work with a vengeance and had neither time nor patience for little children bothering her. It wasn’t long before John and I stayed in the bedroom with Mom and played on the floor in there, rather than risking the disapproval of Aunt Susie.
Susie took good care of the garden and the house, and when Mom could finally sit in the living room life seemed a lot better. But there was a strained atmosphere in the house until the day when Daddy and Mom paid and thanked her for helping out and let her go back to Canada.
That first evening alone was wonderful. Daddy and Mom laughed and talked like they used to and we were once more, a happy little family with a beautiful baby boy that made the previous six weeks worth living through after all.
The evening was soon over and everyone went home, as Daddy tucked me into bed I thought there couldn’t be anyone as happy as we were. A new chicken coop filled with hens, and our own little brown cow, and the prospects of another exciting day tomorrow.
Want to read more? Visit Mary Ann Kinsinger’s blog A Joyful Chaos.
Mary Ann Kinsinger was raised Old Order Amish in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. She met and married her husband, whom she knew from school days and started a family. After they chose to leave the Amish church, Mary Ann began a blog, A Joyful Chaos, as a way to capture her warm memories of her childhood for her own children. From the start, this blog found a ready audience and even captured the attention of key media players, such as the influential blog AmishAmerica and the New York Times. She lives in Pennsylvania.