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To Leave Or Not To Leave. That Is The Question.

Maternity leave, that is.

One of these days, she is going to arrive. And, for the third time, our good world will tumble upside down. There will be little sleep and much love and plenty of change. Life as we know it will be history. We will suddenly, exquisitely, be a family of five.

I can't wait.

But I can. Because though we are 99% ready for her arrival - in terms of physical preparations - I am not nearly that ready mentally. Try as I might, it is hard for me to wrap my mind around being a mother to three tiny creatures who need me, and profoundly, in different ways. Try as I might, I can't figure out something else: What I should do writing-wise once she arrives.

Husband reminds me over and over of one thing, one impossibly true thing. If you were still at the law firm, you would be counting down and the minute she arrives, you would be out of there for many months. You would not do a stitch of work during those months. And you would not look back. Wow, is he right. I would - shocker - take a maternity leave. Likely for three to six months.

But now. I am my own boss. I'm the one who dictates how much I work, and when. I am the policy maker in this little company of one. And suddenly things aren't so clear. I have debated this endlessly.

  • Maybe I should just keep posting on my regular schedule as it will give me a lovely literary diversion from diaper land.
  • Maybe I should stick to a less frequent schedule - three times a week, or even once a week.
  • Maybe I should press pause completely and immerse myself completely in my new child, in this new incarnation of my family, in my new world.

You will notice that the three options above all contain one word in common: should. It's a terrible word. One I use, and think, and feel, far too often. Maybe when it comes to these things, to most things even, the world should should be banned. (See? This is tough. I just used it again.)

Truth be told, I'm really confused. I love this blog so much and the thought of stepping away - even for a limited time - makes me a bit sad. I also see continuing to blog (in some capacity) as a priceless opportunity to document the early days with my new creature.

But you know what makes me more sad, infinitely more sad? The thought of making an existentially blurry time even blurrier. The thought of missing something, a time, an experience, that I will never get back. The thought of spending precious moments and hours here - writing and worrying - when I could be staring at itty-bitty eyelashes and tickling the new big sisters.

Truth be told, I don't know. I do know that without writing, in some form and in some quantity, my days aren't as happy or full as they could be. For better or worse (for better), writing is it, my passion, the thing I adore. Part of me thinks I can - and should (ugh. that word.) maintain my writing even during the wild and wonderful early days with our new baby.

This post is all over the place, but that is okay because guess what? I am all over the place. I am awash in genuine uncertainty and insecurity here. But even now, a fourth option pops into my head.

  • Maybe I should take this one day at a time and see how I feel when the baby comes, trust that my readers will be here when and if I choose to write. Maybe I should surrender a bit and realize that this flexibility I have in my life is a profound gift to open and savor when the time is right.

I don't know. I still don't know. But goodness am I thinking (non-stop) about these things.

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What do you guys think? Does the word 'should' populate too many of your thoughts too? Any advice for your ever-confused Professor of Insecurities? What would you do if you were me?

The Purple Tutu

Do You Believe in Happy?