Baby D searches for an answer to mummy's dilemmas in Penelope Leach.
As baby D approaches the one-year mark, I've been starting to think a lot about the past 12 months. Pregnancy, marriage, baby... so much has happened in a short period of time and during most of it I was either too exhausted, vommy, hormonal or busy to process any of it.
Which is why I think I'm having a mummy-stential crisis now that I've finally had a minute to breathe.
I can't stop thinking and stressing about what's going to happen next - with everything. What do I do about my career? Keep pushing for more work and just figure out how to better balance baby time with writing time so I'm more productive? Do I need more childcare? Or should I just give up and watch television (As you can imagine, now that D's on the move, I'm really behind with my rotting schedule).
Oh, and here's one: Am I failing at everything I do? Or does it just feel like that?
Another thing I can't stop thinking about: More babies. Why does my heart leap out of my body every time I see a newborn babe? Is it possible I'm getting broody again? Is this my body's way of trying to curb my impending alcoholism? (I've been drinking lots of champagne lately. I blame wedding season and the fact July is my birthday month). Is it time to start thinking about another baby?
Those are just a few of the things going through my head right now. And I'm guessing I won't find any answers in a baby book.
I guess I'm just one of many parents trying to navigate the work-family balance and juggle baby (and Bolshy, of course) with writing work and household chores and the occasional moment for me. In addition to all of these different hats, I'm also trying to figure out how to be a newlywed, and I still want to be flirty and spontaneous with my husband instead of an embittered cow. No wonder I sometimes feel like I'm running in place and getting nowhere.
Now that I'm a parent I'm even more sceptical of the notion of "having it all." I'm starting to think there's guilt inherent in every aspect of parenthood, whether it's the guilt of leaving your baby to work or of not focusing enough on your career to spend time with baby. Or feeling guilty for doing something for yourself - or for letting yourself go to pieces. Working from home does simplify matters in so many ways - best of both worlds, right? - but I don't think it's perfect. Especially since it would be nice to have someone peer over my shoulder and say "Well done" once in a while.
I may be getting an at-home cheerleader soon, though. Baby D's saying "ba-ba" and "ma-ma" (Daddy is deeply disappointed that she has abandoned her pursuit of "da-da") so I am expecting verbal affirmations of my greatness as a mother and a journalist shortly.
D has also been busy leafing through Penelope Leach, just in case the parenting guru has any answers for my big life questions. I'll keep you posted.