The nail in the coffin
I’m in mourning.
They say that the adjustment to having a baby is rough, mostly because of the unrelenting responsibility to care for this entirely helpless little being. But as T so astutely pointed out when I called her the other day, crying—while doing a sanity drive because it was the only thing that kept Georgia calm—it’s not necessarily just that. It’s also, and possibly mostly, the mourning the death of the life you had before the baby came.
For those (is there anyone?) whose life hasn’t really changed much (other than the unrelenting responsibility of taking care of the entirely helpless being), I applaud you. For those who chose your choices but are still finding it hard that it is so very different, come chat a while.
Granted, since Jonny and I apparently like to piggy-back major events in our lives (almost four years ago we got married, bought a condo, Jonny started law school and I started my current job), we have it a little crazier than most. We had a baby, packed up our shit and moved when she was a week old, left the city, moved in with his parents and are now looking for a house in the suburbs. I mean, you can’t really get much more different than that.
And yesterday [edit: a week ago, as I have not been able to finish writing this post until now], in the last phase of metaphorically shedding my skin, I told my boss that I would not be returning back to work. It just didn’t make sense to work, with child care and dog care taking about three quarters of the salary I’d be bringing in. What would be the point? So that I could get out of the house and work? Not enough of a reason for me. I’ll look for part-time work, sure, but full-time seems…I don’t know…like walking in circles. Getting a salary and turning it right back around and putting it into the cost for getting that salary. My job, right now, is taking care of Georgia. Being her food, her comfort, her security. That is my job. And it is all day, every day.
This is the first time in my adult life that I will be willingly unemployed. And though I know it’s a decision that’s completely reversible, it still feels so scary and weird. And I think it’s really because it was the remaining thing to hold on to of my pre-Georgia life. It was simple. It was familiar. I had it all down-pat. And perhaps if I were going back, it’d be a good way to meld my pre-G life with my life now, but I’m not, so it just feels like I’ve officially killed whatever life I had before.
I don’t mean that to sound as dramatic as it does. I know that someday, I’ll find ways to be “myself” outside of my responsibilities to Georgia. It’ll just be a different version. A newer model. The Alison 4G, if you will. The Alison of yore is irreversibly changed now. And while I know that’s okay, it’s a tough adjustment, amidst all the other crazy adjustments I’m already making.
Anyway, I’ll get my mom-groove eventually.