Somebody asked me the other day whether anything has changed since we had Georgia. It seemed like I am still able to get out and about and do the things I want to do. It’s like nothing has impacted my lifestyle and the way I want to live.
I wanted to punch him right there and then. Then I had to remind myself that domestic abuse is not cool.
Josh, I love you but that was a stupid question. But you looked so genuinely convinced that it made me wonder why you thought that way.
To his defence, it did seem like I was back to being me. In 6 weeks, I was back at the gym. In 8 weeks, I was back playing volleyball and ultimate frisbee in our usual summer leagues. Since Georgia’s birth, I’ve had time to get my hair cut and coloured, meet up with friends and we’re even thinking of taking a short vacation somewhere in the fall. And it could be that as you’re reading this, you’re thinking to yourself “yeah dude I’m with team Josh on this one”.
Where do I begin? Let’s start with my body. My body is not the same. Just so you can picture the monumental and irreversible changes each pregnant woman has to go through here’s a thought: it isn’t just the baby that comes out of us; her whole house comes out afterwards. If you don’t like that image, I don’t care, but you can thank Ali Wong. Her recent stand-up on Netflix on motherhood and pregnancy is so freakin’ hilarious. Josh and I watched it 2 weeks after Georgia’s birth and it was (and still is) so on point for us! Her humour just dissects social and economical issues in such an incised manner it’s great everyone should watch it! Anyways, I digress..
My body is no longer mine. It’s Georgia’s. It’s not a holy temple. She is the goddess who lived in it, desecrated it, now commands it and I satisfy her every waking need. Every cry is a commandment, every whimper an ultimatum. I now have a broader identity called motherhood and there are no clear divides. Motherhood now seeps into every aspect of my selfhood and the choices I make are no longer free. Whereas I was once accountable to no one, every decision I make now begins with “okay but what happens to Georgia if I do XXX”.
My life is now rationed out to me in eight 3-hour segments. Whereas before I could go from the gym to brunch to a manicure to meetings then dinner and drinks, I can only commit to one of the dozens of activities I’d like to do because (1) it’s hard to find a babysitter; (2) it’s not fair to drag Georgia out with me the whole day and wreck the routine we’ve been trying to establish for her; (3) I need to feed her so I have to rush back to her.
For Josh and I, sports is the one thing we both love and utilize to de-stress and we always play together on the same team. It’s something we both get very protective over – precious hours together after a long day at work. While we used to play almost every night of the week, now I’m lucky if I can haul my behind to one game. So if I played frisbee this week, that was probably the highlight of my entire week. The rest of that day was probably spent in pyjamas cluster feeding her around the clock.
I love my day job. It forms a vital part of my identity. It gives me a sense of purpose and empowerment. I’m also taking a year off of my career progression to care for Baby G and to start and grow Sprout Collection. I’ll probably take another year off if/when we have more kids and that probably sets me back quite a bit in comparison to my male colleagues.
And here is the part where I say Georgia makes it all worth it. That’s obvious but this post isn’t about that. And this is not a complaint. Merely an observation of how different my life has become, resulting in a clear understanding of how much my own mother sacrificed of herself so that I could be me (and I’m not even giving up that much in comparison to other mothers). It just made me think of this never-ending legacy that all/most women unwittingly build and partake of. One world consuming the previous one, and then the next, and so on and so forth.
Georgia is the sun to my revolving earth. And while her light gives me a new joy I’ve never known, it’s also blinding, relentless, all-consuming and intrusive. So to answer Josh, my life has changed drastically and oftentimes I feel so overwhelmed and inadequate. But then she smiles, and for that one fleeting moment, she lights up the darkest corners of my exhausted mind, and then I wonder how I could ever go back to the life I once had. And why would I.
Till next time Sprout Mamas!