Saturday, July 5, 2008

:: :: big scary decisions :: ::

All the turmoil from last month has recently come to a head again, spraying itself all over my life like one of those fountains for kids where the spouts of water come jumping all unpredictably and sporadically and you think you’re navigating everything okay and suddenly you’re standing right over one when it goes off and the water goes up your nose and makes you choke.

I have too many things going on in my life and I am feeling too many things I don’t understand or like. I don’t know what I want or what I need. I don’t know how to solve my problems. I am happy and busy and yet at the same time, I am not myself. I am overwhelmed. I am anxious (meaning I feel anxiety) much of the time. I don’t feel depressed but at the same time, I feel like I’m not in control of my emotions the way you do feel when you’re depressed… like something inside of you isn’t working properly.

We made two big decisions today. The first is that I’m going to call my OB-GYN and ask her to refer me to someone who can help me sort all of this out. Someone who can help me get a handle on all the millions of things that are currently stressing me out.

The second is that we’re going to see if Evan’s daycare can take him fulltime for the next six months so that I can get my ass in gear and get this dissertation out of the way and behind me FOREVER. It came down to an either/or discussion: either I would stop doing the dissertation and let it go or we would see about fulltime daycare and I would forge ahead until it’s done. In the end, I decided that I sort of see my dissertation as a backup plan. My “something to fall back on.” And giving it up is too scary… leaves me feeling too much like Rachel Hunter up on the highwire on that ridiculously stupid NBC show Celebrity Circus.

And I really don’t want to feel like Rachel Hunter. Because come on. She is (was?) married to Rod freaking Stewart.

So yeah. Daycare fulltime. Something I never, ever thought I’d do to my one year old. Not that he hates daycare or anything. He doesn’t. He loves it and has made lots of friends. But mommy guilt is hitting H-A-R-D and so of course in my head it’s like I’m sentencing him to a life of horror and madness. A life in which he’ll never learn to speak or something horrible like that. A life in which he will inadvertently learn that the word “fish” actually refers to a coke can or something, and in which no one will correct him, and in which when he grows up he’ll always be asking people for a can of fish and they will think he is weird. Which I know isn’t going to happen but HELLO?! SCARY!!

I can’t get over how hard this parenting thing is. How many decisions you find yourself making that you never thought you’d make. I still can’t believe I stopped breastfeeding at 3 weeks, even though I still stand by the decision. And now this? Seems crazy. But for now I think it’s the right thing. Or the right thing to try, since how can we know what it’ll be like until we get there.

I’ve just spent a while reading through posts of mine from last August and September, desperately seeking a comment from bubandpie about how Canadian maternity leave is a year long. I can’t find it. But basically I was complaining about how I didn’t feel ready to return to teaching, to leave my baby, to get back to work on my dissertation, etc. And she wrote saying that in Canada, the nice thing is that even if you don’t take your full year of maternity leave, no one expects you to be very smart that first year. Or something like that. And how you do feel so different at a year. And at the time I remember thinking, “Damn. Canada gets it right yet again. I want to move to Canada.” And now I’m thinking, “Damn, bubandpie sure had it right. Back then I couldn’t imagine a life not completely consumed by my sweet little baby, but here I am at a year thinking what do I need to get figured out in my own life.” Oh, that bubandpie is awfully smart.