Sunday, October 9, 2011

Betwixt and between

I'm still really struggling with how to be the person I was before Finn was born and the person I have to be now - not that I don't love being Finn's mom. I totally do, but I feel like I kind of have to re-learn how to live.
Example: Yesterday morning, I went for a run, and last night, I worked at the restaurant I've worked at during the summers for the past 13 years.  I love working at The Haven. So many of us have worked there forever, so it's more like a social hour than work, and we're treated extremely well by the owner.  It's been great to get back to it, and I've been filling in shifts here and there since early September, but would leave early so I could come home.  Last night (the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend), however, I needed to stay until close, and then we all sat down and had dinner.  It was a fabulous night - everyone was happy, the food was well-timed, and I just felt like I was doing a really good job and having a fun time.  By the time we finished up and I headed home, it was 11:30.  I don't remember the last time I was up until 11:30. By the time I had pumped and gotten into bed, it was 12. Finn woke up at 12:15 and was up every hour or so until he got up for the day at 5. Thank heaven for Chad, who got up with Finn and let me sleep for another couple of hours, even though he hadn't gone to sleep too much earlier.
WHAT made me think that going for a run, followed by toting Finn around all day, followed by running around a restaurant for the next 7 hours and staying up several hours past my normal bedtime was a good idea?!?!?!?  My legs are completely demolished, and I'm utterly exhausted, yet somehow I thought I could just slip back into my old life like a comfortable pair of sneakers?
On top of all of this, at the beginning of September, I was hired as the director of an arts-based non-profit out here. 12-15 hours per week, mostly from home, but with an outside meeting here or there so I can still feel like a productive member of society and have some good adult conversation. Awesome. It's already a really enriching and positive experience for me and I'm so excited to sink my teeth into grant writing and fund raising. I think this is a perfect job for me, and I'm so pumped to have it; however, getting those 12-15 hours in is proving to be a bit of a struggle some weeks. I figured Finn would be on a schedule by now, but the only thing he does regularly is go to sleep at 7:30. I need a solid 2 hour morning nap where I can put him down and get some work done (and, you know, maybe start up a yoga practice again). I feel like I'm constantly trying to do two things at once (I know most of you moms out there are saying, "only TWO?"). I feel guilty hanging out with Finn when I know I should be working, but I feel guilty doing work when Finn is awake and happy. This leaves me with 15 minute snatches while Finn's fallen asleep nursing to return emails or research foundations (before he regurgitates his entire last meal. Dude is having a bit of trouble keeping his lunch down).
It's strange experiencing the whirlwind of the evolution of my identity. I know I'll get there - that who I was and who I am will somehow merge. I mourn some of my old independence and naiveté and look forward to the blasé, "been there, done that" attitude of veteran parents who know what they're doing (or at least know how to pass). For now, I'm somewhere in between and am plugging along.

A side note: thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of me - here, on the NPR blog, and elsewhere. It means a lot to me, and makes this experience that much more rewarding.


  1. I obviously can't speak with any sort of authority here, but I don't think you should feel bad for not spending every second finn is awake fully engaged with him... I'm sure you aren't going to deprive him of essential development if you take an hour to work on whatever it is you need to do. But I'm sure that doesn't alleviate the balance issues. Sorry I can't be more help...

  2. is so difficult those first several months to even remember who you were in the first place. Before I had children, I honestly felt like I was going to fit right back into my life and roll along like it didn't change me. I was in a crazy sales job at the time, and felt so much pressure to be as high functioning career wise as I had been. But it did change me, and with Katie, it changed me again. For me, I had to stop trying to be my old self because even though I was completely comfortable with it at the time, it didn't seem genuine after Mikki was born. I had to become the best NEW self I was. Having a baby changed me. I can't say that it changed me for good or for bad, it just made me different. I constantly struggle with balance...I am AWFUL at it. Even my mom, the super career woman that she was, apologized to me the other day for not finding that balance that we all talk about and struggle for. You will find out who you are now, and that is Sarah, all those other things you were before....but now even better...mother to Finn.

    xoxoxo, my Love. Amanda

  3. This isn't a comment directly related to this post, but I just wanted to say I was having withdrawals from NPR's Baby Project and I'm so happy to see you're updating your personal blog! I look forward to reading more from you!