Thursday, February 24, 2011

What to tell other first-timers?

The good? The bad? The ugly?  And does it matter - will they actually believe you? And can a non-parent truly comprehend parenthood. I don't think I thought I could, but I now know I had no clue.

This post might seem negative, but it's not. It's intended to be matter-of-fact.

Things I Used To Do But No Longer Do:
  1. Blog (and barely here)
  2. Take photos - and I have the perfect subject, too.
  3. Exercise
  4. Eat even marginally well
  5. Dress well
  6. Be a dedicated, really good Y&G advisor
  7. Enjoy things
  8. Have time
  9. Be more politically active
  10. Have goals
That list is unfairly devoid of explanation:
  1. Clearly I still blog, you're reading it.
  2. Just don't have the time to get better at this. I should, though, because then there'd be less chance I would be IN the photos.
  3. Still looking for that mythical 30 mintues a day or 90 minutes a week. I can't even get my kid in bed for the early shift right now. And I don't want to hear put her down and let her fuss. I'm not going to do it. So don't offer it as an option. It's not an option. It's not. an. option.
  4. If I don't have 30 min to exercise, I don't have 30 minutes for a meal and I don't have time to grocery shop as often as I'd like (and those who know me, know I LOVE to grocery shop)
  5. See items 3 and 4. I dress like I have stopped caring because I have stopped caring. If I could wear a burlap sack or a large, cardboard box in which I could travel without being seen, I would do so. And the really painful thoughts come when I consider my upcoming reunion. Barely anyone was there the year after we graduated for graduation weekend and barely anyone was there for the 5 year - so to them, I'm the same. Just as fat as when I graduated. Like the last 10 years didn't happen. And the lack of self-worth is a real drag.  Of course, I also had some cheetos with my lunch, so I'm just at the bottom of a shame well with no real motivation to escape. I ate my way into this.
  6. I tried. I honestly did. I tried my hardest. I thought I could do it. I can't do it. I couldn't do it and  I didn't do it. Sure, I'm better than other advisors, but I wasn't the best I could be and I wonder if I just kept the title of Lead Advisor for selfish reasons.  The kids need more advising. This means we get a babysitter and get this kid weened before the next Bob I or I pass the reins to .... someone. There's no one. Sigh.
  7. Of course I enjoy things. I enjoy lots of things. I enjoy thinking about things I'd enjoy. I enjoy eating and spending money. But you know what I shouldn't be doing right now? Eating and spending money. I'm fat and debt-poor. Sad.
  8. I don't have time for anything. I think that's the biggest problem. I think if I could get to work at 9 that would help. But I can't stay till 6. And I can't change the current morning schedule right now. The correct partly line is "if I got home later, I'd never see my baby awake! Sad!" The honest party line is "if I got home later, that would leave Rob more time to occupy the baby and that feels unfair, so I guess I'll continue to do what I do now, be genuinely happy to see her for 20 minutes and then commence praying that bed time comes soon so I can sit on my ass, watch TV, and eat food." 
  9. So many reasons for this one. See item 8. Also, employment limitations. Mostly time. No, both. 
  10. That's an outright lie. I have so many goals my goals have goals. I have no time and even less energy to pursue them. THIS is parenthood, my friends.
Or is it? Maybe it's parenthood for those who didn't envision life where satisfaction was based in any measure on being a parent.  Those that wanted nothing more than to be a parent, those who clutch their ovaries at the sight of a cute baby and pine for the next newborn to cuddle probably have no lists of frustrations because they are doing what they wanted to do.

I'm not at all surprised that the recently appointed women on the Supreme Court are all childless.  I really don't see how you pair an aggressive career path with having children.  But that's wrong too because I know happy, successful mothers who delight in their jobs and their children.

Will my child hate me for these posts? What do I teach her about life and goals and balance?

My mother is getting worried reading this, I guarantee you. She really shouldn't freak out too much. My love for my daughter and my desire to do more, be more, exist in separate channels. That might be part of the problem, but I don't think so.  I've mostly accepted that the first two years or so of my daughter's life must be hers and not mine. But as we approach the first milestone, I have to pause to acknowledge there's so little me in my daily life anymore that I fear if I don't list the parts of me I've noticed going missing, they'll never come back.

1 comment:

  1. I know this is a serious post, but I cannot stop laughing at this line: "I guess I'll continue to do what I do now, be genuinely happy to see her for 20 minutes and then commence praying that bed time comes soon so I can sit on my ass, watch TV, and eat food."

    So true! I would only add, "drink beer until I forget how hard it is to be a mom."