thoughts about the future

November 9, 2011

while trying to live today
so i am sort of on a productivity roll lately.

i even have evidence
morning workouts, daily español, full days of work, evening studying, cooking, and an early bedtime. i’m actually kind of proud of how i’ve managed to adjust my routine over the last month or so. but i keep having the same panicky thoughts, day after day:

i have no idea how i’m going to function with a baby.

to be clear, i am SO excited to become a mother and already love the little 19.5-week being that is inside of me so much. i have dreams about her. i think about all of the time i want to spend with her and the things i want to give her, teach her, show her.

[and also outfit her with. can’t help it.]
but sometimes — i can’t help this either — i think about me. because as much as i am going to gain, there are some things i am going to lose. particularly after my 12 weeks of maternity leave come to a very sad end.

it’s not that i will have less time — i was about to write that, but it’s not true, unless giving birth shortens my lifespan in some unanticipated way [hope not]. it’s that my time will be filled with so many more things. i am going to have to let go of the ideas that i need to do X, Y, Z to be a good/worthy person.

something is going to have to go. perhaps multiple things. and i often think about what those things will be.

✔ first of all, i realize [and accept] i will get A LOT less sleep. i’m hopeful that some sort of hormonal magic will kick in and that i will just . . . FEEL OKAY on less for a while. after all, that would make evolutionary sense, right?

✔ i am hoping that i will still have time for exercise — especially running, but yoga/strength work too. but once work starts back up, i know it will be a challenge. i am envisioning home yoga during naps + early morning runs with the stroller, but i can’t help but wonder just HOW EARLY we’d have to start for me to be able to drop off at day care and still make it to work within a reasonable hour.

✔ my leisurely mornings are going to go away — at least to some degree. i am not sure if i will be able to keep up with this daily writing thing, which makes me so sad! posting may become more sporadic and i will accept that if the trade-off is more time spent with our baby girl.

elaborate dinners are likely to become a thing of the past. i am guessing that i will have to become much more streamlined in my weeknight dinner prep.

last night’s homemade cajun meatballs — not going to fly
housekeeping/cleaning may end up outsourced. i will probably have to give something up so that we can afford this [sniff . . . goodbye, anthro — for now], but if i’m spending 1/3 weekends distracted by the pager, i’d rather not spend another 1/3 cleaning the bathroom.

nighttime couch relaxation will probably morph into bathtime, story-time, try-to-get-her-to-sleep-PLEASE time. i don’t know if i’ll have the time or energy to read books anymore that aren’t filled with pictures or fun textures to touch.

though i admit i’m looking forward to these, too
i am more excited than i am worried
i really am. i know things will come together. but i can’t help but have a little bit of practical anxiety mixed with loving anticipation. josh and i have many friends who have struggled with the infant stage, and others who have sailed through as if it’s the easiest most wonderful thing in the world. by my observations, the following traits seem more prevalent in the latter group:

◼ more relaxed personalities [ie, go-with-the-flow kinds of people]
◼ flexible jobs
◼ mo’ money [it does NOT = ‘mo problems’ as far as having babies are concerned]
◼ nannies [it’s true. we’re not planning to go that route, but in our circle, i have noticed that those who have had nannies — as opposed to day care — tended to find things easier early on. maybe because of the flexible aspect? not having to rush?]
◼ babies that were just calmer by nature [you get what you get!]
◼ close parental/family support

we do not have mo’ money [not yet, anyway], nor do we have nearby grandparents, and we’re not planning on a nanny [see previous day care post]. my job IS flexible at times, but not-so-much at others, and i’m certainly not part-time [YET]. there’s little we can do to ensure that our infant will be a sleepy happy baby and not a colicky midnight screamer.

but i can work on the whole ‘relaxed personality’ thing. the ‘one-day-at-a-time’ thing. which probably means spending less time worrying about all of these things and more time just being appreciative of the fact that today, i’m doing the best with what i have — which is exactly what i will be doing 4.5 months from now [when baby SHU debuts] or 7.5 months from now [when i have to go back to work].

enough of my ramblings!
this was one of those posts i had NO IDEA i was going to write until it all came out! mothers/mothers-to-be: thoughts? suggestions? of note, most of the above applies to the 13 months from end the of my maternity leave until the end of my pediatric endocrinology fellowship. i am truly hoping that after that, i will be able to find a job situation that fits my desire to balance things the way i want to [though i don’t even know what i WILL want at this juncture!]. although really, i can’t necessarily count on that either.



workout: 3 mi run, 9:55/mi pace. and i signed up for this:

i had mentioned an 8K, but it turns out there’s also a local 5K — which i think is a better idea, seeing as i haven’t run much more than 4 miles in months. obviously this will be a fun run and not a ‘race’ for me, but i’m still excited!

dinner: see above! what i did not know when i began cooking these cajun meatballs [from this month’s clean eating mag] was that i’d be cooking for one! josh never made it home from the OR last night but i made these with him in mind — they’re a pork/shrimp mix with spicy seasoning, which is right up his alley. the recipe was fairly easy but dirtied a lot of dishes! i had my doubts about its tastiness [the ingredients just seemed so . . . simple] but it actually came together very well.

espanol: check. i love that the spanish word for laptop is . . . ‘la laptop’. wish it were all that easy!

endo: more work on the journal club — just have to finish tonight!