Thursday 28 March 2024

Not Tired of London, Not Tired of Life

This time last year, we had a trip to London felt like a weeklong date with the city, and was also one of the first moments I noticed that I had a big kid, and that we could simply take off for a day of sightseeing with minimal prep or gear. It felt light and lovely, and I loved it! 

Dash and I spent a few of those days mostly on our own, as James had some work to do, and we did things like spend an entire day in the Science Museum. We had fun together, and it wasn't a struggle. 

I have to admit, I have some very big feelings about sacrificing that ease to embrace another baby. The wallop of exiting toddlerhood with Dash into a pandemic and having to work so goddamned hard for years to hold things steady for so many lives really took it out of me. From Summer 2022 to Summer 2023, it finally felt like there was room for a fully-fledged version of life for me to emerge again. 

My paradigm for this postpartum and beyond is not to say to myself, "This part passes quickly"--because, for me it did not--but rather to establish a new rhythm where love and joy and fun are back in the equation as fully and quickly as possible. I'm not interested in straddling mom guilt and being subsumed into some version of early childhood where help is a treat. I cannot wait another five years for life to feel good again. I am not interested in narratives of maternal sacrifice. 

So, I look back on this trip a little wistfully, and resolve to pour that yearning for a life that finally feels like it has balance back into the efforts at hand. Honestly, I imagine picking up Muffin like a quarterback and hauling that baby into a life I want for me, and being extremely low empathy about interference and attempts to intercept my plays at my own self-actualization. (The latter is aimed at the adults in my life; honestly, Dash was never the problem.)

With Dash, at this point in pregnancy, I stood prepared for a paradigm shift (as much as that’s possible), ready to give up what was necessary to clear the path for this great leap into the unknown. Now, it's different: I've tasted the sweetness of life where there's more teamwork and competence under my roof, and I'm not going back.

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