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Coping with change 

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I’m sitting in a new spot, at the top of the stairs, on the stairs actually. Where I  can listen for baby F when she wakes. And here, under the skylight,  things look the same mostly, a bit more rickety perhaps.  I was reading one of my favourite blogs as usual and came across this. Which states unapologetically that if you’re overworked and overtired it’s your own fault.

You need to learn to manage it.

I’ve been learning how to parent for the past 14 weeks, while my baby learns how to exist in the world. It’s been a big three months for the two of us.  And it’s sort of just the beginning.

The last two weeks we’ve been doing this while my husband (aka co-parent) works 90 hour weeks. He and I see each other in the morning for a few minutes and occasionally when he comes home.

My friends check in. They’re a bit worried about me I think. I can’t figure out what the world is trying to tell me about being a new mum – is the concensus that this is the most precious and beautiful time? Or the very hardest?

I know I should decide for myself.

But these days decisions are especially hard. So please will someone just tell me.

When my friends check in I try to stay upbeat.  Aside from a touch of loneliness and missing  that feeling of “achievement” – oh and trying not to agonize over the future of my family and my career – aside from those things, this is – actually the most beautiful time. It reminds me of when I was a counselor at summer camp. I knew I was having a blast that summer – 2001. But looking back, I really know it.  I’m more in touch with nature, first of all. Getting outside for walks every day. And freedom, within limits of course. And silliness. And simplicity.  That’s fifteen summers ago. Funny how life works in patterns, however random things may seem.

A girlfriend was coming into town this weekend and she asked a few of us for dinner and drinks. I can’t.  But that’s OK.  My sister asked if I wanted to bring baby F to her yacht club for dinner. I can’t.  But that’s OK.

I own my decisions. That’s all we can do, right?

When one friend checked in I told her I’ve finally learned to open the blinds in the morning and close them at night.  Because I spend the day around the house, mostly. It’s my habitat as J would say – and I like the natural light. It’s good for baby F and me. I also re-learned that lilies open and close in the morning and evening, just like the blinds. There are huge colonies in the back garden and I see how they behave day in and day out, while I’m feeding baby F by the window.

For the first time in my adult life I have tapped a rhythm outside of technology. I feel like I’m on a digital detox vacation, even though my phone is still at arm’s reach most of the time.

That was my update to my girlfriend. It was odd. Hers was about managing a client through a mass customer email mishap and coping with employee turnover – she works in digital advertising.

My updates used to be more like hers. I tell myself: Both are valid. After all, I’m the same mostly, a bit more rickety perhaps.

I am overworked and overtired in the most beautiful way I’ve ever experienced. But we’re all personally responsible for what we populate our days, our years, our lives with. It’s my own perfect fault for choosing to become a mother.


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