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Parenthood, Young Married Mom

July 19, 2010

Like Child, Like Mother?

Over the last seven months I’ve learned a lot about pregnancy.  Early on, one of my first observations was that pregnant mothers are like children in a lot of ways—we need a lot of sleep and a lot of snacks, and tend to get grumpy when one or the other is lacking.  Sadly, I’ve just had another similar revelation, this one less cute and more unfortunate.

My mind seems to have reverted to that of a kindergartener.

I’d read that pregnant women sometimes have trouble remembering things.  I’m going to translate that to trouble thinking in general.  I imagine this is because we are often tired, thirsty, hungry, and shall we say, kind of emotional.  Mental capacities are not exactly in the driver’s seat these days.

In the last week, however, things have gotten even worse in my brain. I think little Peanut is finishing up a growth spurt, which takes just about everything out of me.  Then consider, too, being stressed out about finding a new place to live (which, thank goodness, we did!), exhausted from traveling from midtown to Brooklyn to the Upper East Side four out of five nights last week, and dehydrated from the 90+ degree weather and spending maybe a little too much time in the sun.

Excuses, excuses, I know.  But the fact is, I can no longer remember bank PINs, perform simple mathematical calculations without a calculator (or John), or tell my right from my left.  I’m beginning to think all those alphabet and counting books for little kids are as much for mothers recovering from pregnancy as they are for children learning these things for the first time.

My evenings and weekends for the next two weeks are packed with friends coming to visit (yay!), catching up with folks in the city, packing, shopping for rugs and A/C units, and choosing paint colors. All of these are wonderful things, and I’m grateful to have such fantastic ways to spend these sunny summer days in the city with great people and my favorite guy.  But at the same time, I see that I’m going to need a carefully thought-out strategy to get through it all.

(I’m picturing the army guys from Toy Story called into duty! Go, go, go!)

Option #1) Get moving on that nap room idea a couple of us have tossed around at work.  Good idea in theory, but time is of the essence, and corporate approvals for those sorts of things take much too long.   VETO

Option #2) Expedite nutrient consumption.  I’m tempted to double up on my prenatal vitamins, but I haven’t done enough research on what too much folic acid would do in my system, and I don’t want to end up in a Jessie-Spano-vs.-caffeine-pills situation.  VETO

Option #3) Take better care of myself: pay better attention to what I’m eating, drink three times more water than I think I need, and get more rest.  I’m home alone, but I can hear John, my mom, and an assortment of friends cheering for this one.

With so much going on, I know it’s hard for a lot of people to slow down and take time to really relax.  I realize tonight how much more important this is for me right now, with this little baby growing inside.

Come to think of it, this was the message of the Gospel reading yesterday at Mass.  Martha was worried and anxious about all kinds of things, trying to get lots of stuff done and in order.  Her sister, Mary, on the other hand, was taking the time she had with Jesus and spending real quality time with him—time to reflect on her life and her relationship with God, time to recharge herself so that she could better do the other work she had in the world.  I think this is what I need, too—time to chill out, focus on what really matters, and trust a little more that everything’s going to work out.  I guess I’m putting the pieces together a day late, but better now than never, right?

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