Life with a newborn is a lot like everyone says. Lots of sleepless nights, for instance. But in other ways, life with a newborn is just that: life, with a newborn.
Annalise will be two months old on March 3 (yes, time flies!) and I've spent all of February trying to navigate the waters of "returning" to the world. I work from home, a huge blessing that presents a special set of obstacles. When I'm working, I'm still actively taking care of the baby. She's not at a day care or staying with someone else for a few hours. Often, she's in my lap or propped up in the Boppy next to me on the couch. I'm interrupted mid-sentence to feed her, change her diaper, soothe her from hiccups. My work day gets started when she goes down for an afternoon nap, or it happens at 2am when I'm too wound up and she's too hungry for either of us to sleep. So, what is life, with a newborn? It's being a multi-tasker and jack-of-all-trades.
In some ways, I think moms who leave home to work are a bit wiser than those of us who work from home (as opposed to "stay at home"). My attention is divided the entire day. I'm breastfeeding my daughter in the morning while I read newsclips and listen to talk radio to get an idea of what I might write about that day. I'm editing blog posts and doing site administration while singing "Rubber Duckie" and "Monster in the Mirror."
My mother made a conscious decision to stay at home when I was born. She left the Navy for me. I think my decision to work from home is similar to her decision. Financially, Mom always told me she basically made enough to pay for child care - which meant working was financially detrimental, since it would have added nothing of real value. I'm in a position where I need to be making money, but like Mom, would be making enough outside the home to pay for child care and little else. And I choose this lifestyle because it benefits my daughter the most of my current options - same as Mom.
Some people have given me odd looks when I tell them I'm still involved politically, too. I was back on that horse as soon as I could be. Why, exactly? I have a kid now, surely I don't need to be "distracted" by politics! I have a long-winded version of this in me, but the short version is, whenever I look at Annalise, my commitment to making the world a better place for her is renewed tenfold. Now I have a buy-in with the future. Now it's real.
Life, with a newborn. It's just like it was before, only more so.