And a few (okay, more than a few) social commitments after that - family, friends, other. See, you sort of get a pass when you have a baby and then go back to work, at least for a while. But after ,say, almost 8 months go by - even if you are still almost as sleep deprived as when you started and dreaming about checking into a hotel for a week just to sleep, occasionally ordering room service and then sleeping again - and working to boot, there does start to be some questions regarding your whereabouts in a social sense.
And those who handed out the pass wonder why you aren't willing to miss the occasional bed-and-story routine - after all, they were there for you long before the smallish cute baby was, and they will share a bottle of wine with you and presumably not fuss if you want to close the door while in the toilet. A not invalid point, really, if you can tear yourself away from baby-gazing long enough to note it.
And you and your spouse realize that the occasional kid-free evening probably will help keep you fond of one another in 20ish years when said cute smallish daughter is no longer so smallish (hopefully still cute) is far more interested in her boyfriend with a mohawk and a (gulp) motorcycle than in reading "The Going to Bed Book" 843 times before falling asleep.
And then if you suck at balance, say, you lose a month or so, and wonder when it is you'll find the time to go to the grocery store, and where the hell that stack of bills you were going to pay...oh, found it. Now where on earth is that checkbook? Sadly, the entire world is not online yet, so some bills still must be paid the old fashioned way.
The thing about working parenthood is this. When it's good, it's pretty darn good. I manage to juggle work and still feed my daughter healthy homemade food I've hand-chopped for her, do tubby time, read stories, cuddle, have family outings, and still manage to keep my roots touched up and my email current.
When it's bad....ohboy. It cycles out of control fast. Really fast. And getting the chaos back down to manageable is....well, imagine after the Big Bang, trying to stuff everything back into that smallish dense ball it came out of. All the while in the background the housekeeper is gently reminding you she can't clean any surfaces you haven't previously cleaned off. Which brings me back to why things disappear...
The reality is that my life is a madhouse right now. My job is demanding, albeit flexible enough to allow me to bug out at 4 pm most nights to do our nightly routine with the kiddo, but just as I want to drop, exhausted onto the couch, there's email to check, some files to work on, and dishes to do. And never ending piles of laundry to fold.
And yes, my wonderful husband does his share. But really, 17 parents to 1 child might be just the right ratio to keep it all together. Maybe there are other people who fall into motherhood, and working motherhood more gracefully. Maybe they keep it together and find it all fabulous all the time. Maybe they run marathons 6 weeks after the baby is born instead of looking down at the last 15(19) pounds and hoping they will fall off while you try to get just a wee bit more sleep because even though you did sleep training, every week something disrupts the routine and you end up bleary-eyed again.
I'm sure those women are out there. If you are one of them, do me a favor and don't tell me. I already don't like you.
I like my life, I really do. I love my family, my job, and I wouldn't trade this motherhood thing for the world. This sea change in my world has forced me to edit carefully what I choose to do and not do. Sometimes I do that well. Often I fail. But it's been a tough transition for me. I'm used to having things under control. I don't now, and I won't for a while. It's one day at a time, literally.
So what does this mean for my blog? Well, it's still here, and so am I. When I can, I will. When I don't have time....well, let's just say RSS feeds of this blog are the way to go right now. If you've stuck with me this long, thanks for that. I hope to make it worth your while. In the meantime, I'm off to try to get some sleep.