Thoughts on Thursday: Understanding the journey

I was posited this question: 

What beliefs, ideas or points of view have changed or been reinforced since you have become a mother?

Oh, where to begin?

I don’t know why, but throughout my pregnancy, I had all these idealized visions of what my life would be like after the baby.

“I won’t need my mom to come stay with us for those first few months,” I thought. “Cute Husband and I will have it all under control. How hard can it be?”

HA!

“The baby will sleep in his own bed the first night he’s home. He’s never going to sleep in our bed!”

HA!

“Oh, I would totally be able to work from home! I can run all my reports while the baby sleeps and still have time to clean the house.”

HA! (Thankfully, my boss and her boss knew much better and refused to send me home with a laptop. In fact, they were mortified that I even checked my e-mail from home.)

And the best one is probably this:

“I’m not going to lose my identity once the baby’s born. I know who I am and that’s not going to change.”

BWAHAHAHAHA!

I’ve never considered myself a Type A. Seriously. That sounds absolutely ludicrous to those who know me (and even to those who take the time to read my ramblings), but if you knew Big Sis E and my family, you’d understand.

When we went to New York this past Thanksgiving, Big Sis E watched Baby C while Cute Husband and I explored the City. I left my sister with baby food and bottles and precise instructions on what I wanted my son to eat and when. And you know what? He didn’t feel like having milk that day. Not at all. He just wanted cereal and sweet potatoes. And since he wasn’t starving when we returned to him, that was okay.

The punch line, though, is that when my sister showed my brother-in-law the instructions I left, she had a good laugh… until he reminded her that she left similar instructions for nannies and other caregivers when their kids were babies. He asked, “Did you honestly think your sister wouldn’t get that neurotic gene from your parents?”

I’m a planner by nature. I like to know ahead of time what to expect and prepare myself for it. I don’t like surprises, and I don’t like wrenches thrown into my master plan.

What I’ve discovered post-childbirth, though, is that children (all children, not just my son) are very good at throwing wrenches. It’s probably one of their purposes in life. Moreover, there’s no such thing as predictability with them, especially as infants or small children. Just when I’ve found my groove with Baby C or think I know what to expect, he throws me for a loop and I’m back where I started.

So, my ideas on a master plan have had to change. What I’ve decided is that I can still keep planning ahead. (In fact, I think it’s critical that all people have a Master Plan, otherwise, you won’t remember where it is you ultimately want to go.) I cannot, however, expect to take certain routes. What I’ll need to count on are road closures, detours, and numerous derailments – and I’ll need to be vigilantly prepared to deal with these and have back up routes to get back on track. After all, there’s not just one way to get from Los Angeles to New York. Sure, some ways are more direct than others, but you miss out on seeing the rest of the country if you’re determined to just follow that one route.

In the nine short months since my son’s birth, I’ve come to realize that I willeventually accomplish all of my goals and objectives as long as I keep them on my Master Plan, but I won’t necessarily succeed in the way or at the time that I want or expect. It will be more of a journey, and I have my little one to thank for opening my eyes to that.

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