I had my first baby, Nathaniel, in May. People always tell you how having a baby changes everything, and, obviously, they’re right. Take all the responsibilities I had before: the chores, the bills, the pets, my job and hobbies, and then add on to that caring for this little soon-to-be-sentient creature 24/7. I didn’t know what exhaustion was until I felt the tug on my sanity at 4 am after only a few hours’ sleep tops, and I had a relatively well-behaved baby. And it’s scary too—your baby is crying and you don’t know why and you don’t know if something’s wrong and you’re cranky and hungry and tried, oh so tired, and before you know it you’re crying too, holding this squirming mini-me to your chest wondering what the hell you got yourself into.
And then on top of all that I stare longingly at my laptop from across the room, wishing I could write.
Wanting to get on with your old life after you’ve had a baby is a lesson in patience. You can do everything you used to do, but not when you want to. You have to wait for the stars to align and for the baby to sleep and for the husband to wash the bottles. And then comes the mad rush.
I had things a bit harder than some women, because I had a premature baby who couldn’t nurse until he was two months old. For those first two months I couldn’t even think about writing. On top of all my motherly duties I also had to use a pump. But after Nate figured it out, I then finally had some time to myself when he napped. So I wrote.
I wrote and edited, ultimately changing about a third of Y Negative to prepare it for a contest. For seven weeks of my life I did absolutely nothing else but nurse the baby, sleep, and write.
When I finished, work began to pick up into full swing, and I think the real battle has begun.
You need to learn to juggle everything. Family, work, play. Work takes up the amount of time it always has and will. I’m thankful to have a job I enjoy. And then family comes next. But when you break down the time remaining, you may find you have more time than you think to get some writing done (especially if your significant other helps with the chores.)
I have wanted to write this blog entry all day. But after breakfast was done and the kitchen was clean, Nate wanted to play. And I haven’t had more than a few minutes until now, Nate’s afternoon nap. But I’ll take what I can get. The best time is after he goes to sleep for the night. I get about two hours before I need to get to sleep myself (sleep is for sissies though, right?).
One day at a time. One section at a time, one blog entry at a time. I’ll keep pushing forward. And I’ll keep in mind that the patience is worth it. Every time Nate smiles, I don’t mind waiting.