Sometimes it is so satisfying to compartmentalize. How do I define myself and what I am about? Where do these things overlap and where are they distinct? And as a grad student in science with a baby on the way, this particular Venn diagram probably comprises 90% of my head space.
Little V has been cooking for almost 34 weeks now (!) and I’m both excited and terrified to discover how this baby changes, well, everything? In addition to being a science grad, I’m a wife of almost 5 years to husband J, lover of big city living, and at times, casually creative (an enthuastic but range-limited karaoke singer and recent owner of a sewing machine). I can trend a tad anxious/obsessive- a character I’ll play occasionally to frequently that Therapist M and I affectionately refer to as “my anxious self” (MAS). I hear many new parents discover they have an “anxious self” as well, so I figure I’m already a step ahead in that area.
I feel like being a scientist has, in some ways, prepared me for this baby. I think this is where these 2 compartments interesect. I already know my way around strange sleep schedules. And no scientist is a stranger to the maddening frustration when NOTHING seems to be working (your baby just won’t sleep/poop/eat/behave the way you envision). Then there are those rare “Champagne time!” moments when experiments come together or grants come through and you are in awe of how your dissertation/project/experiment (baby) has advanced to the next level. But science, thankfully, has little tolerance for subjectivity and emotion in its method. It demands cold-hard data and rigorous controls. And the whole parenting thing, where instinct and hormones rule, seems so very disparate from the scientific way of thinking. I can’t wait to see how these two worlds blend- and don’t- in the next year ahead.