Having a baby has shifted my world. It has changed what I view as important, has made me face my flaws head-on, and has tested my ideas of myself.
You can’t do it all, but anyone who knows me knows that when I take something on, there are probably three or four other things that will also happen. When I changed jobs (11 years ago), I didn’t just move jobs: I switched careers and homes. When I moved into a new department, I also became department chair, decided to sit on two other committees, and joined the YMCA after school program. Within a year of Dillon and I getting married, I started grad school, he opened his own gym, we got pregnant, and we bought a house.
You have to know what is too much. I’m used to running on deadlines and self-goals, but I’ve been thrust into a world where one of the key players doesn’t care and can’t comprehend these deadlines or goals. Moreover, I don’t have the energy or time to care about anything extra either because I’ve got this adorable creature who needs all the love and attention I can provide.
Parenthood, done right, should shift your world and yourself. I have discovered that I take on too much, get lost in details, and can get really frustrated and resentful when things aren’t going to my plan.
Husband has been so patient as I’ve learned to face, deal with, and overcome some of these traits. (I’m sure that he has faced some of his own as well.) It’s a hard truth for me to chew on: that I can’t do it all. I can’t be all. I have to do the best job I can with the most important priorities I have: my family. I need to do what I can with the rest: my job. And I need to learn to let everything else relax, or let go completely. I can not afford to be less than when it comes to my daughter or husband.
This world is not what I imagined five years ago.
It is so much better.