Having a baby means losing control

I like being in control of my life. I set goals, make plans, create actions. Things going to plan make me happy.

My work has a high level of ambiguity. But I plan for that. I track my tasks in the timesheet and figure out what I spent my time on. It turns out there is more order in chaos than one would think. This helps me to plan for ambiguity and devote some time for the long-term things too.

Fast forward to the adorable baby who arrived in our lives and shattered my illusion of control.

He gave me the first warning when he ignored the due date. Well, there is a five week period around due date when babies are normally born. In the end he was 3.5 weeks late (if you are overdue, read on what your options are here). Secondly, I had a birth plan. Natural birth, ideally in the swimming pool, no medication, etc. The only bullet point I got from my plan was “I want my partner to stay with me throughout”.

This was a sign of things to come. Of course, I imagined what my life was going to be once I have a baby. But it is one thing to imagine and another one to live in.

I, who used to have every night of the week filled with something (drinks with friends, gym, language class, dancing, theater performance), now cannot leave the house after 7pm. The “one sleep cycle baby” often wakes up every 40 minutes after going to bed and can only be pacified by mummy’s magic boob. An alternative is to carry him around and sing for 40 minutes. And I can not knowingly impose this on a baby sitter even to go and see performance of Jude Law… 8 months and counting. What do I do? Lunch is my new dinner.

I, who doesn’t like interruptions, have to stop anything at the first sound of a cry and run. I never thought I was going to be the mum that does it, but here you go. On most days I cannot finish a single item on my to do list without an interruption. On worst days I cannot finish a single item on my to do list.

I, who loves to plan what I’m doing in the next hour, day and week, seem to have my plan busted most days by “shifting naps”. His normal nap times are 10am and 2pm. Today it was more like 11 and 5. The problem is that all the time in between the supposed and actual sleep time is wasted on repeated attempts to put little one to sleep.

I know, this will pass. There will be new things as he grows.

I can choose to be frustrated by this. Or I can choose not to. And actually when I made the choice I decided to relax and enjoy it. This is the first thing my baby taught me – to lose control and enjoy it.

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