I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. Well … I don’t usually keep New Year’s resolutions. But this year will be different. I know: EVERYONE says that. But perhaps announcing it on a blog for millions of readers to see (hey, a blogger can dream) will make it seem more real.
From the moment I learned I was pregnant, C.J. has consumed my life. Since before he was even a he, before he was a C.J., back when he was still a Samuel or an Emilia or a Jack or a Nora, this little being has found a way to infiltrate nearly every waking moment of my life, and on several occasions, even my dreams.
C.J. is now 7 months old. He’s been sleeping in his crib since he was eight weeks old. Yet, I still jerk awake several times a night to look at our video monitor. Still tiptoe into his room and put my finger to his nose to make sure he’s breathing. I examine his swaddle to make sure it’s not too tight, that no loose fabric has crept up over his perfect little nose, a miniature replica of his father’s. My weekends revolve around his feeding schedule. My non-existent gym going revolves around his feeding schedule. When and whether I enjoy a beer or glass of wine revolves around his feeding schedule. We have yet to leave him with someone other than a friend or family member, and even then, I have a nervous tick that compels me to check in every hour. (Let me just call and make sure we didn’t leave the doggie door open, I’ll tell Jonathan.)
I know it’s only been seven months. And I know this is normal behavior for new moms. At least, I hope it’s normal. But I’m ready for it to stop. I need it to stop. Or at least ease up a bit.
Don’t get me wrong; I like Erika the Mom. I really do. I’m actually pretty proud of her. But truth be told, she’s a little crazy and, frankly, a little boring. OK, so maybe I was already a little crazy. But no one ever accused me of being boring. Pre-Mom Erika used to do stuff. Like go to the gym and go out to dinner and speak in a language other than Baby Talk. I was capable of holding entire conversations that didn’t revolve around babies. I used to pay attention to my dogs and read for fun (I was almost finished with Mockingjay, the last installment of The Hunger Games, when I found out I was pregnant. I’m still working on it.).
Even as I write this, little waves of guilt wash over me. But then I remind myself that C.J. needs a mom who’s more than just his mom, and my husband needs a wife who’s more than a mother to his son.
So, this year, my New Year’s resolution (better late than never, right?) is not to lose weight (though given the fact that I can’t get my pre-pregnancy jeans halfway up my thighs, maybe it should be). It is to regain some semblance of Life Before Baby. To be a little less “mom” crazy and a little more “let’s get out of town this weekend” crazy. To finish Mockingjay once and for all. To find a good babysitter (or two). To go to the gym after work and let Jonathan handle C.J.’s dinner. To find a little more balance between Erika the Mom and just plain old Erika.