It’s been a very busy week at the S-BC household. It was my first full week back at work, and world-being at work is infinately less interesting than being with my child. And, I was stupid enough to tell my clinical supervisor that. In supervision I was caught off guard when she asked me about stress and priorities and wanted to talk about how I felt about extra time at work, etc. Before thinking about it, I told her Kale was more important than work. Then I covered my behind and said that I was confident I could continue to do my work and wasn’t worried about it.
This is probably bad to write about, but I wanted to laugh at her. Her asking me about my commitment to work felt very masculine-I thought later that it was all very silly and there was probably a right answer (“I’m totally committed to my career.”) I thought it was remarkably insensitive to be asking a woman a week after returning from maternity leave if she thought she could handle her work load. Note: I could totally be over thinking that conversation-maybe she was just asking how I was doing. However, it didn’t have that feel or tone. It felt very leading. Like she thought I was going to pack up and leave.
One thing I thought of when talking to her was this: she doesn’t have kids. Having a child is something so remarkably definable-you can’t go back; nothing is more important than your child. I am no longer the center of the universe, Kale is. I thought I understood love before, but having Kale has redefined my understanding of relationships, of love, of commitment, of progress. It’s the difference between thinking and knowing. When I was pregnant I was a mish mash of raw emotion, thoughts and beliefs. Now, it’s not that complicated. He’s my son. I’m his mother. We exist together and apart at once. I think of him in everything that I do. I realize a few weeks ago I wrote that I felt compelled to work and need adult interaction, the need for adult interaction still holds true, but work, work isn’t as fulfilling right now.
I told one of best friends that the other day, she has a 9 month old daughter and she told me things would change once I had Kale. She said they’d be a day when I realized I was a mom. I told her, I am a mom, (Kale was probably a month old), she laughed and said, “no, one day, it’ll just hit you-you will never ever be the same and you’ll realize nothing else matters.” She was right.
Last weekend Kale and I went to the mall and aside from lunch, I didn’t buy myself anything. That wasn’t normally how I operated. I got him some burp cloths and we looked at baby clothes and toys. It struck me as both odd and comforting that it didn’t feel unnatural. Before Kale, I always feared that I might be one of those parents who continues to put their desires above those of their children. I never understood how that happened, but I’ve seen it a lot, not just at work, but also with family members.
I worried for a moment that maybe despite my cognitive desire not to “be that way” I would. Backstory: my parents did this. The only real sacrifices I ever felt or saw from them were ones they felt would give them some pay back-sooner rather than later. Even now as an adult, I know innately- they come first. I haven’t felt or seen them make sacrifices for me. For most of my life, I’ve felt that they’d rather abandon me than push a pole across the pond to reach me. And they did. For years it was ok, but now that I have Kale, I understand it less. I don’t get leaving your child to go party. My mom keeps calling me, leaving messages asking how I’m doing and if I’ve recovered from my surgery. She asks about her grandson & I never answer. I don’t know what to say to her. Silence is better.
And this is all very philosophical yet, but I hope that Kale grows up and realizes that he’s the single best thing that’s ever happened in my life. Yes, Michael is another like totally awesome thing in my life. But Kale, Kale’s my child, nothing compares to that. (Not even hot dogs.)
Speaking of baby Kale, he’s got a tummy/virus. Poor dude.
- I have a girl crush on Felicia Day.
- I’m rapidly becoming addicted to Twitter.
- I’m on Season Four of Desperate Housewives-still addicted! Yipes.
- I’m supposed to write/compile a 30-40 page handout for family therapy, I can’t motivate myself to do it. Instead I eat, drink tea and make phone calls.
- My hair is falling out in droves (still). I read somewhere that during pregnancy your hair stops falling out. I’ve also managed to clog both our bathroom sink and shower. Awesome.
- Kale’s aunt is coming to babysit him later next month and staying for the summer, we’re excited.
- Kale starts day care next week. I’ve made peace with it & paid them.
- I’ve also become addicted to Animal Crossing.
- Today Kale started to lift his head with his arms. He’s very strong, silly, happy and every time I think of him I want to hug him and rub his hair.
- I got him bath toys and can’t wait until he starts splashing around and realizes their his toys. Right now he’s happy holding a wash cloth and watching what’s happening.
- He loves his hands, he sucks them, folds them on top of each other, grabs things, pulls things, bats things and generally waves them around.
- He’s starting to unfold and look less and less like a ball of a baby and more like a little person.
- He smiles wildly.
- He’s also a chatterbox and is especially talkative in the morning. It makes getting up early easier to stomach because he likes to get up between 5 and 6am.