A sampling of things I don’t do nearly as much as I should (or at all, in some cases), and that I sometimes feel vaguely guilty about/aware of/motivated to change, with varying degrees of success:
- Read. as much as I’d like to, anyway. I used to read at least a book a week. Now? Maybe one a month if I’m lucky. The issue isn’t even time, it’s attention span. I can’t seem to get my mind to focus in diving into, and fully committing to the kind of books I like to read best, the books where it takes fifteen minutes to settle into the author’s writing style, cadence of speech and narrative. Shifting and arranging yourself until it becomes familiar and engrossing. These days I barely make it ten minutes before jumping up to make tea, switch laundry over, check some entirely useless and unremarkable thing on my phone, etc. UGH.
- Do yoga. In the year before Olive was born I really got into yoga, I found an amazing studio and was going 2-3 times a week. My body felt loose and capable, strong and flexed. I continued practicing in a mom and baby class after she was born, but since moving I have been to only one or two classes and neither style resonated with me and so I am here, crunched and hunched and feeling as brittle as an eighty year old woman. I have promised to get back into it a million times, but funds are few and yoga studios are tough because you really have to mesh with the teacher – or I do anyway – otherwise I am just spending $15 a class to internally berate someone for repeating “breathe innnnn, breathe outtttt” in an incredibly obnoxious way.
- Deal with my hair. Oh my god seriously. I did not notice that I had amazing hair when I was pregnant, but in retrospect I suspect that my hair did get a little bit amazing, comparatively speaking.Take a look at this grainy photograph from when I was about eight or nine months pregnant.
- I mean, the hair isn’t anything incredible, but compared to the straw heap I am now dealing with this demure little side-parted ponytail looks absolutely breathtaking.The thing is, after you have a baby all of your delightful pregnancy hormones go away. And this means that you suddenly lose all of the hair that you weren’t losing for the past nine months, and what this means is that when your baby is fifteen months old you will be looking in the mirror trying to understand why every strand of your hair – not hyperbole here, literally every strand- is a different length ranging from 1″ onwards. Hair sticks out of my head in all directions making me look like an angry hedgehog and no matter how much I brush or condition or otherwise attempt to manage it, I look disheveled. So, I mean, what’s the point right? Any other angry hedgehogs out there who have stumbled upon a solution to this issue, please feel free to rescue whats left of my dignity and share it with me in the comments.
- Connecting with friends. I am the worst at calling people, returning calls, answering calls, and not ignoring calls and/or sending them straight to voicemail. If you have ever tried to call me on the phone I would like to take this opportunity to say two things: 1) I am so, so sorry, and 2) I am probably never phoning you back.It’s not because I don’t love you, or miss you, or wonder what is going on with your life and your house and your husband and your job, it’s just because I feel completely ill-equipped to carry on my end of a conversation and give your words the attention they deserve while simultaneously trying to prevent Olive from eating kibble again. She loves kibble. She is sneaky about getting to the kibble. She becomes enraged when you forcibly extract kibble from her mouth and she tries to bite you and then Gus lurks nearby because he keeps hearing me say “Kibble” and I usually slip in one of his drool puddles and concuss myself.
So. Email me, maybe?
- Sleep. I mean, obviously, right? There’s the baby, but it also bears mentioning that I am completely incapable of going to bed at a reasonable hour so really, I have no business blaming Olive for why every SINGLE morning I haul myself out of bed, stare my bedraggled hedgehog-self in the mirror and say, with utmost sincerity, “Okay I am going to go to bed early tonight. For REAL this time.”And guys, I mean it! I really mean it. Then I go to work and come home, eat dinner, give Olive her bath, read her a million books, put her to bed and then find reason after reason to put off bedtime for like eight more hours. Repeat.
So, is this list basically a summary of several things that I used to truly value and indeed, consider essential to my personhood, that have almost entirely disappeared from my life since having Olive?
Um. Yes. And it’s only going to get worse (or so they tell me!) Each successful child will find a few more things to wrench from my life, like greedy little succubi (succubuses? I’ve never had the pleasure of using the plural before) until I am little more than a husk that they call Mama.
But in exchange I get this:
So – even?
I hear that doing yoga and having good hair are overrated, anyway.