Monday, October 22, 2012

Must Not Think About It

It has been a few months since I've written here. I think I question the relevance of this blog and why I even do it. It should be enough that I enjoy it and that there is a benefit to writing for an imaginary (or real - are you there?) audience as it keeps you a bit sharper than you might otherwise be. But I didn't come here today to make excuses for not blogging.

I came here today to say that I would be completely overwhelmed by the not too distant future if I allowed myself to think about it. It requires an effort to divert my attention, which is something totally different than denial. You see, my husband and I are expecting in March and there are so many things that I don't know about how we will manage the huge responsibility that comes with that. Employment is perhaps biggest on my mind (I mean, apart from the fact that I will have a new human being to love and care for). I find myself in the situation where I won't qualify for maternity leave since I'm self employed and a bunch of other questions cascade down from that theme. Questions such as how long will I be able to stay home with the baby? Vs. How long do I want to stay home with the baby? From what I can see, the answers don't align. Can we afford daycare? What daycare? Where will we live? What work do I want to do in the next phase of my life? What will be challenging and enjoyable but will allow me to have that elusive work/life balance? You may have noticed I've been stuck on those last two for a bit.

In addition to the questions above, I, along with my siblings, need to deal with the reality of aging parents. One parent suffers from dementia with Lewy Bodies, which is a difficult and upsetting disease to witness, let alone suffer from. The other parent is completely stressed by the day-to-day reality of caring for someone with dementia and is on the verge of breakdown several times a week. Not everyone involved understands the full extent of the situation and some are in denial about how dire it is. Some are not thinking rationally. Much needs to happen in the next few months. Living arrangements need to change, finances need to be figured out, support systems need to be set up, etc. I want to help as much as I can but since I live 2 hours away there is only so much I can do. I know can't do the little things that would help on a daily basis but I am trying to get up to see them more often than I have in the past.

In the end, I need to keep a bit of emotional and mental distance from these big questions in order to minimize stress and be able to get the dishes done. The little belly bean (too cute?) needs me to stay sane and healthy. There is something grounding in the fact that there is no question about what one of my roles will be in the near future, that of mother. In moments of hormonal unbalance I sometimes worry that I'm not up to the task but on the flip side nothing seems more clear cut: I want to do, and will do, the best that I can. I need to trust that I will be able to put the rest of the pieces together because of that.

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