Sunday, December 06, 2009

Breaking out of the holding pattern

Well, it's been over two months since my last post. Perhaps I should have kept up with the monthly birthday letters - at least it gave me an excuse to post once a month. Sigh.

I really feel like I've been in a holding pattern for the past year and a half. Take Valerie's bedroom, for instance. I was supposed to have two weeks of maternity leave before she came, maybe more, since first babies are always late, right? But she came three weeks early, and I had no buffer time to prepare myself, my life, my house, my world, for her arrival. It's all a terrifying and beautiful blur, those first few weeks, and then, before I really started to get my bearings as a mother, Jeremy lost his job, and I had to go back to work, and the blur resumed. It was only supposed to be temporary, just until he found something. And nine months passed, in that holding pattern. Nine months. That's longer than I spent pregnant.

Then, once he did find a job, I found myself having a hard time trusting that it was really for real. And I couldn't bring myself to quit my job, just on faith. Four more months.

I finally bit the bullet and picked an end date. Cashed in my stock options, and quit my job. Sixteen months after Valerie was born, I finally get to stop saying goodbye to her to go to work. And I'm having a little bit of a hard time believing that I'm really done. (So is she - she's been more clingy these past few days than she has been in months.) I'm not waiting for anything anymore, and it's a little unnerving. Especially since now, I get to deal with all the stuff that kept getting bumped down on the priority list by more immediate demands.

Which brings us back to Valerie's room. No curtains on the windows, no decorations on the walls. Barely a walkable path from the door to the crib. A jumble of things I need to deal with: curtains to hang, outgrown clothes to sort and label, our old TV to set up somewhere, a desk chair to clear a space for in our room. Yeah, don't even get me started on our room. I think it used to have a floor.

I'm trying to be realistic. I know it's going to take a fair amount of time to undo sixteen months of neglect. (Actually, more like two years - I wasn't an overly productive pregnant woman, either.) And, let's be honest here, a good part of the problem is quite simply me. I'm a procrastinator and a clutter collector who is much more likely to wile away a few spare hours watching a dumb movie or reading blogs than being productive. I recognize that. But usually, I can at least keep the chaos to a bearable level. It would be nice to regain a tiny bit of control. But then again, I am the mother of a toddler, so maybe I shouldn't dream such ridiculous dreams.


Jessie V. said...

YAY!! I'm so happy for you that you get to stay at home with her like you've wanted.

sarah said...

I think you need to be a little easier on yourself. Working and mothering? That's two jobs right there, my friend!
I feel like the first year of any of the chickens' lives has been one to focus on their moving and growing, and everything else falls to the side. And I don't even have an outside job! (I remind myself of this every time I get frustrated at the amount of things I have to do that aren't getting done.)