My present mama neurosis
I waited a long time to be a mama. It's the hardest work I've ever known. More challenging than the pressure of meeting funding deadlines. Harder than working with the most difficult personalities in trying to pull a project together. Not to mention physically and emotionally demanding too, especially being an at home mama (at 40). As a child, I was never much for napping. But now, love my naps - when I can squeeze them in. When we created our wills & such, our attorney (clearly a grandfather for many years now) delightfully commented that it's certainly not easy having a baby in our 40s. And yet, I would have it no other way.
As someone who married and had children late (by traditional Filipino and perhaps socioculturally accepted standards too), I sometimes guffawed at those women who claimed "mommy brain" at work. Thankfully, most of my mama friends who've been moms for a long time now have been excellent role models. Before I had N., they've always returned my phone calls or emails within a reasonable timeframe. We've always managed to carve out time to catch up -- yes, even with kids.
But yes, now I get it. The madness of the day-to-day with a child. And I currently only have one! The time gets away from me -- from the moment she stirs, wakes and smiles in the morning to each feeding, play, nap, bath time and finally bed. Then it starts all over again. And in between, I'm fretting about whether or not I'm encouraging her development enough -- physical, cognitive, socioemotional, language, sensory and motor skills. (After all, I spent all of last summer writing a 140-page funding proposal on early childhood development.) Am I doing enough so that she meets her milestones? This mama neurosis of mine can be exasperating.
I come back to my present. N. She is my present.