This post might rub people the wrong way for one reason or another. As I was thinking these thoughts, I thought of how they could be misinterpreted by others. I do not mean to imply that life wasn’t worth living before or that I am defined by my impending role as a mother, that I am not a person unto myself. However, I do want to share my thoughts on where my life and my sense of purpose are headed.
Before actually TTC, J and I had a plan that we would start trying in the fall of 2011. So it’s not like we started trying out of boredom or desperation, it was because we knew we wanted children and we picked a time that worked for our careers and lifestyle. J wanted to wait until he earned his professional license and I had earned mine earlier in the year. I had decided that instead of trying in the spring or summer, the fall would be good so as to give me a carefree summer of fun times with friends and cocktails on the patio. Stupid looking back on it since I had another childless, albeit not carefree, summer after that. At the same time, I was getting bit bored, not of my life or my relationship, but just sort of lost in my sense of purpose.
I have always been someone who is milestone and achievement driven. I work toward goals and I look forward to and count down to events. For the vast majority of my life, I lived by school milestones, be it finishing a term or school year, or earning a degree. After 7 years of post-secondary, I felt a bit lost once I was done grad school and many of my grad school friends moved away as well. Then I worked toward my professional registration which involved accumulating enough supervised hours and passing two exams. It took about 1.5 years. Once all of that was done, there was relief, but there was also a sense of “what now?” I got into a routine of just working, cleaning the house (albeit not as much I should have), and relaxing. I didn’t think about it on a regular basis, but sometimes I just questioned the point of it all. Also, rates of burn out are high in my profession to the point that part of our ethics code addresses the need for self-care. Maybe it was taking on other people’s problems without seeing their later successes or the morale at my workplace, but the demands and stagnation I felt at work didn’t help.
I don’t view children as an accomplishment but they are certainly a monumental part of one’s life. They are a part I had always been looking forward to. I didn’t try to have a child out of boredom or a sense of it being the next logical step. It was a much more maternal and visceral longing than that. All that said, now that there is a baby on the way, I do feel a renewed sense of purpose. Now it’s not just the same old routines, day in and day out. I will have someone else reliant on me for love, survival, socialization, early education, etc. And I will re-experience the world through her discovery of it. All of this excites, and sometimes scares, me. Despite my fatigue, I feel reinvigorated.