I have been feeling very sequestered lately. Closed up in my little pod, hanging out with Ben, feeling disconnected from the big world out there. Don’t get me wrong, it is sweet over here… building castles made of blocks and knocking them down, climbing on furniture, listening to music, swinging at the park. The cuteness quotient is through the roof but it still can be lonely for a new mama. I find myself planning trips to Target or Whole Foods as a big adventure. Going to the pediatrician is occasion enough to get dressed up (out of my sweats) put on lipstick and dress Ben in cute clothes.
It strikes me as strange that our lives are set up this way: All of us in our little pods, perhaps all feeling disconnected, yet with the feedings and naps and trying to get a bit of work done, we are also busy and not always available for each other. I have been trying to find a balance with this since the beginning and I wish I could say I figured it out.
There is a way that I don’t feel on top of my game anymore (creatively, professionally) and I see my confidence waining at times. The longer I do this, I feel myself slipping away… I understand better now how people say they “lose themselves” when they have a child, dedicating every bit of energy and attention to their baby, their partner, their home. And yet, I don’t feel on top of my game as a parent either. I am still in limbo, trying to figure out who this new version of me is, clinging a bit to who/how I was, yet really wanting to surrender and embrace the now. I feel like I have this new, great job but I feel very insecure at it and it has terrible working conditions (24 hour shifts, no supervisor, no training program, on call at all times, someone’s LIFE is in your hands) Oh yeah, and you don’t get paid! Shouldn’t there be labor laws for this?
I spent the afternoon yesterday photographing SARK for her new book. Being with her, talking about our dreams and challenges and joys was like pure oxygen. We listened to Ben Harper and drank tea and I had her twirl for me in front of the camera. It was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. I felt some part of myself rising up again. A really sacred, deep, me that has gotten lost in the shuffle. This is the part I can’t give up, the part I need to nourish right alongside Ben.
Have any of you found this balance?