Sunday, September 16, 2012

What am I doing?

I don't mean that in an existential sense. I mean, What am I doing blogging right now? As in, What am I going to write about? See, that's about the least existential spin on that question. And that's more or less where I am, mentally, at the moment.

Maternity leave is partly rockin'. It's great that my baby can spend his first seven months being cared for exclusively by his parents, and that I can breastfeed on demand for that length of time (no, really! It's almost entirely great that I can do that! Because TM bought me this great book-stand, and I keep a novel clipped in its pages at the spot on the couch where I normally nurse him, and I am flying through books that I've had for years but never read! I've read Waverley! And Graham Greene! And am currently reading Neil Gaiman! Plus, the baby is cute when he nurses). Not teaching is pretty sweet. It's just a real privilege (which perhaps ought to be a right) to be able to do this and not sacrifice half our income for the semester.

But here's the thing:

I'm losing confidence in my ability to speak in a not-baby voice. I talk about diapers way too much. I am preoccupied with insanely minute details of my child's development ("I think that that was a new 'ah' sound! His B's are getting better! He can turn his head to the left much more smoothly now!"). I pick over his little body as though I were a chimpanzee (sooo satisfying to get the wax out of his ears [the upper cartilage parts; don't worry]). Running through my head all day are the little dorky nonsense songs I make up for Bonaventure, oh, all the time. In short, my world has become pretty small.

And this brings me back to my original question: What am I going to write about here? I mean, right now, not in a "Future-of-the-blog" kind of way.

And is it telling that all I'm able to do is write about questions I'm not asking? I feel that it is, but I'm not sure what it's telling. Of what it's telling. Whatever.


I should go to bed. Last night was a little rough.


Notorious Ph.D. said...

From what I understand, it's normal for your world to become baby-sized for a while. Let that run its course; you sound like you still have grown-up-sized you in your mind.

In the meantime, a lyric or two to some of your better song efforts would be interesting. Maybe you can sing to Bonaventure about your research?

Sisyphus said...

You and him are how many months along? it's fine that this is all you think about right now.

Of course, if you wanted to review any of the books you have been reading here, that would be cool too! Any recommendations?

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

People without kids can't understand how completely your life is changed by having children. That's not me judging them; it's just true. When pregnant women tell me that their world won't change because they're having a baby, I just shake my head and laugh.

That said, it won't be like this forever. I think the first year is pretty much babybabybaby, but then after that, it gets a little easier to think about something else. In the meantime, your life gets harder because the kid starts walking. That's the flow of parenthood -- it always gets a little harder and a little easier at the same time, just in different ways.

Now that my kids are 6.5 and 2.75, I am able to have a life that doesn't include constant thinking about them. (After the second one, it's much easier to get back to "normal." Not that having kids is not normal... it's just that you change so much after the first kid that the new normal makes you feel like a different person. The changes after the second kid are not radical like that, so you feel more like yourself in no time.) I make sure to spend time with my kids every day, but I also have much of my brain for work. It's good for me. I'm a better mom when I'm not spending every hour with my kids. I tried that, and for me, it sucked. I don't feel complete without working.

Anyway - it sounds like you're enjoying your time with Bonaventure. Don't second guess that. But if you're planning on going back to work in the spring term, I'd start casually looking at daycares now, just to see what's out there and how much it will cost. (A lot!)