Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Navigating every 'first'

My nature is to get pretty worked up, very anxious, in anticipation of doing something new to me, of broaching the unknown or facing situations I've never encountered before. And while I wouldn't consider myself terribly daring, I also don't usually let my anxiety stop me from going forward and things usually work out just fine and sometimes even great, but I do tend to suffer pretty dramatically up to the moment of the event. So everything I do, now that I have a baby and especially as a single mom, triggers an intense and fairly stressful reaction. And I should clarify that things to do with him directly haven't freaked me out - we're figuring things out as we go as I expected that we would. It's EVERYTHING else. Going back to work, or hell, just taking out the garbage and paying bills, are all events that seem new to me now that I have a baby. It's figuring out 'how' to manage all the rest of the stuff that has, up until now, been rote. Now, it's all new. 

Since I'm a person with 2 careers - one during the weekdays in an office and the other one as a contracted classical singer in the evenings and on the weekends - figuring out how to do it all in the last couple of weeks has been an incredible challenge. (It was challenging enough without a baby!) And it has come with some big old meltdowns and tearful declarations of I CAN'T DO THIS, or I'M QUITTING, or WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING? And I've also noticed a lot of apologizing out loud to my baby for my folly. After this past week - which included going back to work, starting my boy at daycare, rehearsals and two concerts over the weekend, while having a horrible cold and an ever decreasing milk supply - I still don't have the answer for how to do it all without sending myself into depths of guilty despair - but I have discovered that if I can figure out a way to trust who I am innately, I really can do much of it. It definitely requires making a prioritizing plan with contingencies and the awareness and acceptance that sometimes things may just totally fall apart due to situations that are often out of my control. But - while I will have to make some adjustments in order to learn how to live this new life with my boy - I think it's all doable at some level. Maybe not all doable at the same level as pre-baby, but that's okay. After all, I wished for and got a new life with this baby and I intend to never squander a moment of this amazing blessing and opportunity. I may have to cry through a few of those moments, but that's okay too. 

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