Thursday, October 15, 2009

On the Brink of Baby

I wanted to write a little update and let you all know why I haven't been blogging as frequently lately. You see, any day now I'm going to have a baby. This little person will be the second child in our family, and in addition to the usual getting-ready-for-baby activities that precede a birth (buying and cleaning baby gear, stocking up on bottles, checking out the latest model of stroller, sorting hand-me-downs, etc.), we've also got our hands full preparing our four-year old for the changes that are about to come into her life.

I think we're all set. I mean you don't know until you're doing it, but I think everyone's as prepared as possible for the crying, sleeping, nursing mushball that's about to arrive. Unless we're not, and I guess we'll find that out soon enough, too.

In terms of all the mommy stuff that's coming, I feel like I've got it under control. After all, I've done it before. What makes me nervous is the professional stuff that's about to change, and that's the subject of this lone blog entry for the month of October. I remember when Molly was born I was overwhelmed with the sense that I had given up my professional life and my creative life in exchange for family, and though I loved being a mom, I was terrified that I was never going to figure out again how to be a writer. I remember the first several months being a blur of day and night (I wasn't sleeping through either so they felt the same) and that my emotional life was so wrapped up in the few rooms of our house that I simply didn't have the energy to care about anything else. I didn't read the news. I didn't listen to music, and I for sure couldn't concentrate on anything for more than about ten minutes at a time.

The amount of concentration and commitment it takes to write a song that's anything other than gibberish is pretty major, and months into this mommy thing I remember fearing that it might never come back. I know lots of moms happily re-define themselves and their careers after their kids are born, but I didn't want to re-define myself. I wanted to get back to caring about music, and I had no idea when (or how) that was going to happen.

What I can say now is that it did eventually happen, that it happened gradually, and that it required unbelievable amounts of juggling and negotiating and learning to get back to something that feels like normal. Everyone figures things out differently, but for me it meant letting go of the bad-mommy guilt and paying for a babysitter for a few hours so I could sit in front of a piano, answer my emails, return my calls, and try to string together coherent sentences. (In a few cases I even made those sentences rhyme.)

Maybe it's good that I have all this foresight this time around, or maybe it's terrifying. I'm staring at the unfinished things on my to-do list knowing that it'll be months before I get back to them. I'm already starting to feel like a person who used to play the piano, as it's been nearly a month since I did any significant work on the instrument, and the baby isn't even here yet. But I'm choosing to trust that the piano isn't going anywhere, and Broadway isn't going anywhere, and even if you people go away for a while, you'll come back when the time comes and I have something new to say.

And in the meantime, I've got a baby to raise.

See you on the other side. Thanks for being here.