For as long as I can remember I imagined it would be difficult for me to conceive children. After my medical problems in 2005 I was convinced children would not be in my future and after struggling for a year and a half with infertility I was almost certain.
When my son was born this perfect little baby laid in my arms and I felt whole in a way I never thought possible. I felt like I wanted to sing and dance for decades. I could not believe that something I never thought would happen had finally occurred. I wanted to pour myself into my son. To make certain the universe knew just how much I treasured this gift.
After my son was born I left my job, my sense of self, my sense of worth, my wages and most of my interaction with the outside world. I am the type of girl who places focus on work and my son became an around the clock job. With no one else but me to raise him 90% of the time I felt responsible for molding him into an incredible being.
I sat beside him and talked and played for hours. I couldn’t bear to hear him cry and although it seems crazy I never wanted to leave his side. Even when I was exhausted I would wake to every rustle of his bed sheets. For the first two years, even though he was in a separate room, I woke almost every time he stirred. And when my husband took him away to give me time to rest I couldn’t sleep. I was with him so often that my mind wanted to know what he was doing at all times.
As a result of this focus I let everything else fall to the wayside. Looking back its not that hard to see why this happened. When I think back to my first ten years at my previous job it actually makes perfect sense. I would start coding as soon as I woke up and kept coding, (not stopping to shower or cook dinner), until 2 am. How many times did my husband have to tell me to put away my computer and go to bed? If I was that focused on work imagine how focused I became on my child!
As a result of this focus I stopped paying attention to everything else. I knew that the majority of parenting landed on my shoulders and the enormity of that brought me inner stress and turmoil. I couldn’t even shower for five minutes for fear of his crying!
As far as I can tell much of my work paid off. My son seems to be a very caring, loving, polite and intelligent boy, but as a result of my actions other things in my life suffered.
I became so focused on my son that I didn’t always make dinner or clean the house. I lost myself and often failed to connect with my husband.
Strangely enough the addition of a second child woke me from my slumber. While trying to balance two children I realized I was too wrapped up in the first one. How could I find time to care for two kids when I couldn’t even find time to cook dinner?
Things are so much better now. The oldest goes to preschool three days a week, which gives me time with youngest and when the youngest is napping I find time for everything I was previously too exhausted to do.
I do not regret the way I spent my time over the last four years, but I am happy to see the light again.