One of my closest friends is about to have a baby. She lives far away and so we mainly communicate by instant message. Last week we got to see her in person. It was lovely to be able to chat and not worry about being interupted by work stuff.
She and her husband have entered that final phase of pregnancy where you all of a sudden realize that your whole life is about to change radically and there is nothing you can do about it.
My friend’s husband was lamenting the fact that their lives were going to end.
I gently reminded them that their known lives were maybe ending, but it was just so a new sweeter life could begin. That seemed to appease him. (not so much my friend, who has babysat for enough kids to know just how hard that sweet new life will be…)
Now that C is 10 months old, I am more and more aware that in reality we are starting new lives all the time. Or maybe, rather than whole new lives, we can just consider them phases of the same life. Just to name a few of the past year’s phases:
The ‘oh this cute baby doesn’t do anything, but drink, sleep and poop’ phase. This motherhood thing is going to be cake! (yes I know we are blessed)
Then the ‘oh look the baby makes eye contact and smiles phase’. Did I mention it was going to be cake?
Then the ‘I’m going back to work and the baby is going to daycare and we have to figure out how to cope’ phase. Ok maybe cake with lots of crumbs and some burnt parts…
Then the ‘is it ok that I don’t mind that she goes to daycare and I work’ phase. Ok cake with a side of guilt…
The phases change each day and get harder each time.
For someone who has always had trouble ajusting to change, I feel that I am doing a pretty good job these days. I’ve learned to roll with the punches and accept the fact that I can’t have breakfast every morning at the same time and in the same seat. I’ve learned that I can’t control when I get a full night’s sleep or not. I’ve learned that sometimes you are just late to work or can’t go in and there is nothing you can do about it.
Most importantly though, I’ve had to learn that my time is not my own anymore.
I used to revel in the rare times that I ended up somewhere and my cell phone died and I could think to myself ‘no one knows where I am at this very moment’. Those days are long gone!
Now that I have a family there is always somewhere to be, something to do, someone to be with. There is no free time. There is no solitude.
I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the pumping. Not for the act itself, but for the fact that three times I day I had to sit on the couch and not move. Those were two and a half hours a day that I could sit and watch tv, surf the internet and blog.
I know that I can set aside time to be by myself, but I know I won’t be able to shake the feeling that I should be doing something productive. There’s always laundry to be done, organizing to do or something to be dealt with.
Maybe for the next kid I’ll pump for a year or two…