The end of multi-tasking: a new mother’s monologue

As my dear husband will confirm, I am the Queen of Multi-Tasking. Not only am I good at it, I actually thrive on it. Unless I have ten jobs with tight deadlines hanging over my head, I’m bored. My husband admittedly can’t do two things at once (don’t even try talking to him when the TV is on, and when Liverpool is playing – forget it).

I’m the exact opposite. I’m one of those annoying people who has to-do lists all over the house — and when I do something outside of the list I write it down just so I can have the pleasure of crossing it off. I sense that I inherited these traits from my mother who plans Christmas dinner in July.

All of that changed five weeks ago when Per Christian joined the family. Now it’s a day-by-day existence where I plan one day in advance if I’m lucky. Yesterday, for example, was a 3pm deadline to make the train and visit Pappa at work. Tomorrow it’s a 12 noon deadline to (attempt to) get my hair cut. Today we might just make it to the shoe repair guy and the grocery store.

My multitasking prowess certainly comes in handy with these seemingly uncomplicated tasks. I can now successfully take care of an infant AND shower on a daily basis. I can also manage to get us both dressed in a relatively decent fashion and out the door at least once per day. And even now, I can manage to type here while Per Christian sleeps strapped to my chest in his baby carrier.

The surprising part – and one that I didn’t expect – is that I’m not complaining about any of it. As someone who was always focused on my next big project, I find myself actually giving over to being a Mom. This little meatloaf has so entirely captured my heart that each day feels like a triumph rather than a compromise. I’ve (temporarily) traded in my to-do lists for a diaper pail and a breast pump (but just to keep some perspective, you should know that there’s a bottle of champagne chillin’ in the fridge).

This feeling took a few weeks to develop, and during that time I often found myself resenting Per Christian and the changes he demanded in my life. Being a new parent is HARD, and not just in a sleepless-night kind of way. It’s the emotional stuff that really creeps up on you and takes you for a spin. Everyone warns you about that in advance, but you really have no idea until you’re tumbling down the rabbit hole first-hand.

Of course, I can’t say that I’m always 100% blissful in a Joan Cleaver kind of way, or that I’ve mastered parenthood and feel invincible. I doubt and question myself every day…. Am I feeding him too much? too often? not enough? Is he going to bed too late? too early? Are we too strict or too flexible? Will giving him a pacifier now reduce his chances of getting into Oxford in 20 years?

But trust me – once your boobs literally leak at the sound of your child crying, you know that life will never be the same again. The great part is finally accepting and embracing the change – THAT, my friends,  is when things start looking brighter in the Svendsen household.

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