After looking at the way things are on this earth, here’s what I’ve decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that’s about it. That’s the human lot. Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now.
I had a brief moment of panic when I realized that the end result of pregnancy is MORE RESPONSIBILITY, not more freedom.
It’s strange; I’m still wearing pretty much all the same clothes, and my body image hasn’t changed, but when I look in the mirror, I’m not the me I envision. Who is this 25-week-pregnant matron staring back at me? What happened to the sylph who looked good in bike clothes and could kick most of the boys’ butts out on the road?
Probably good thing it takes nine months to get to this new reality. The adjustment is coming, but slowly. A friend took me to a baby store in Seattle and my first instinct was to turn around and walk right back out the door. What does this have to do with me? Do I really have to do all this, BPA-free bottles, organic-fiber diapers (or should you do cloth diapers and a diaper service?), brain-enhancing heirloom wooden baby toys, the right brand of stroller*? And all the mommy-stuff, too, the larger bras and pants and shirts to hide the “pregnancy weight”; the breast pumps, the nursing pads, ugh.
Why does having a kid require so much infrastructure, such a big rigmarole, the acquisition of endless stuff? If acceptance of parenting-readiness is measured by amount of anticipatory baby-related detritus purchased, I’m nowhere near there. I am overwhelmed with all the choices and I want to refuse to make them. I still wear clothes from high school. My last new pair of jeans: 2008. I don’t want to have to buy clothes or stuff for myself or for The Boy — I’m stingy, not with the money, but the time and emotional investment. You will not hear me gushing about my super-cute baby bag or posting pictures of darling [insert choice of item] for us.
I want simplicity. But having a kid, it’s like suddenly you’ve started a major construction project and require dozens of contractors with varying expertise, not to mention all the materiel, engineering plans, and other resources. It’s crazy.
Caveat in case you’re concerned: Don’t worry, we’re looking forward to meeting The Boy. Just… maybe with a little less of the stuff.
Edit to add: If you’re a parent, I would be interested in hearing about the ONE thing you found most valuable. What is the one item you couldn’t have done without when your child was an infant?
*Ian’s stroller contribution: From ThinkGeek, of course!