Quiet times in the Huyghebaert household are few and far between these days and when they pop up they are something to be treasured. You would think that since babies sleep pretty much all day that you would have loads of time on your hands. Ha! No! As soon as Jonah’s little eyelids slip over his still-blue eyes, I am off in a hurry to start completing tasks on my to-do list: making formula, sterilizing bottles, pumping for milk, the dishes, the laundry, writing the shopping list, dusting, vacuuming, and making phone calls, emailing photos and then and only then maybe a short nap. But of course once the hum of mommy buzzing around comes to a slow stop, somehow this wakes baby Jo and the clock resets again. However, once in a while and I mean once in a long while Jonah stays asleep or he falls into a slumber after I’ve completed my list and I actually have a moment to collect myself, remember my own name and do something for me. Just me.

Before baby, my whole life was a quiet time. I had too much time to think and therefore get depressed about my main issues (my lacklustre career, the loss of skills I acquired at college, my unpublished works etc.) I filled my extra time with things that didn’t get me anywhere or added to my extra pounds. It was a vicious circle I was caught in and it took me getting pregnant to knock some sense into me. Suddenly I was responsible for someone else, so I stopped making stupid choices because I had to. I had to think about my health in a serious manner and Jeff and I had to discuss our five year plan with some semblance of reality for once too. A big change for a couple who flew by the seat of their pants a little too much and possibly snacked a little too often. Like I said, before baby there was nothing serious afoot that made me wake up and start living my life. Now life with a baby has given me incredible focus. Why? Because I have thirty minutes a day to focus on myself and that is all. It would be ludicrous to waste away that short stint of time in front of the television. Maybe this will sound borderline trite to some, but I use that time to write. I still believe in it. I still believe this is positive energy in the right direction, so? I write. Most times it goes: turn computer on, set it down and deal with baby Jo. Open Microsoft Word, set it down and deal with baby Jo. Write first sentence, set it down and deal with crying baby Jo. Reread first sentence and scrap it, set it down and feed baby Jo. Finally, at the end of the day I have a half decent blog entry to contribute to the void and to me that feels like a great achievement.

Since Jonah’s arrival I’ve felt more alive and more in control of my own life than ever before. Why is that? Because of him I find myself seriously making plans to go back to school, making plans to move, settle down and buy a home and I feel more capable of taking action than in times past when I tried to jump-start with the same list of plans. Maybe it’s because in these little moments I have to get things done all I am really able to accomplish is small steps. One after another. Nothing to be weary of or fearful of, just one step at a time, and then I put whatever it is down and I look after baby Jo. Something about this new rhythm has me mollified and I am becoming more and more the woman I want to be. It is possible having my first baby has put me, finally, on the right path. Knowing all the while as Jonah makes his baby steps in growing up, I am shadowing him with steps forward of my own. Someone said to me that having children so young would allow me to grow up with my children. After actually having the baby (the part I most feared) how hard can doing a little growing up really be? If my little mexi-bean can … surely I can too.

So, this exhausting process of bringing up our newborn has brought about many positive realizations. One being, having too much time on your hands is more of a detriment to one’s life than having very little time. I have managed to find time to dedicate to me and surprisingly I don’t waste it as I wasted all my time before Jonah. Of course, in an effort to keep this blog honest I must admit there would be many more blog entries if I wasn’t so in love with one thing. After a long day of diaper changes, feedings and keeping an orderly house when Jonah falls into that deep sleep where nothing disturbs him I adore laying him on my chest and letting that time just slip away … I will never consider that a waste of time.