Babies and work (part 2)

Since my previous post where I vented my doubts about becoming a parent, I've had some more ups and downs, moments of decision and indecision, excitement and anxiety.

Surprising (to me at least) was just how much I'm worrying about the financial/time implications of having a baby. I'm really anxious about combining work and parenting, and I refuse to become one of those permanently stressed people I see all around me, running on 5 hours sleep a night, racing from daycare to work, battling to leave work on time to pick baby up, not having the time to actually enjoy quality time together, barely surviving the week and constantly over-tired, over-stressed, over-worked.

And at the same time I've accepted the job offer I got (see this post) only to realise after the first few hours there yesterday that life/work balance was definitely not a priority on their agenda. The girl I'd be replacing is actually an ex-colleague (from far, never actually talked to her till yesterday) and she gave me the low-down on the work ethics (working till 4 a.m., unpaid weekend work, budget restrictions - aka doing everything yourself so the bosses make more money, impossible client...). I'm already stressed at the idea of having to deal with all those situations, even though my resolution is to set limits and not let them put me under pressure, but I'm expecting it to be hell. In which case I'll be telling them "thanks, but no thanks" by the end of December.

So my existential questions are far from being resolved, but at the same time I'm feeling restless and impatient to get started on the baby front. Maybe a bit paradoxically, I can't wait to move on to the next chapter of our life and I'm really looking forward to seeing Bart hold our baby in his arms. I'm sure he's going to be an amazing dad and I'm looking forward to having him by my side to share this experience with.

Okay, so trying to be rational here: I still have time to sort out the work situation, I'm not married to this new job - far from, and there have to be jobs out there that will allow me to spend time with my kid and still stay active and earn enough money to pay my share of the costs. Right?

Back to the eighties (whoop!)

It's unofficial and all, and I know I'm not supposed to weigh myself every day, but this morning I stepped on the scales, and there it was...

89.9 kg

I'm into the 80's!!!!

Doing the happy dance and hoping I can keep it off and maybe even improve by next weigh in :)

Oh crap (more dilemmas)

Okay, so I've been offered a job today. Not freelancing, but a fixed contract. It's in an agency, working on a neat project, a kind of monthly magazine for a big supermarket chain. It's almost more of an editorial role than account management, and I like the sound of the project.

I met the account director 2 weeks ago, then the company's partners last week, and they asked me to come in today to make me an offer.

So the offer is: freelance part-time till xmas (cause I have other ongoing projects), then I go on holiday for a month, then full-time fixed contract when I get back.

The money's good (20% better than previous job), the people all seem really nice and open and I like the project. The downsides are: not having the luxury of days off between projects like I have now, and they're in a different city. Minimum 35 minutes away, but in morning and evening traffic more like 1 hour or more. Ugh! I hate, hate, HATE traffic and the impression I'm wasting my life in my car. They're quite flexible, so I can work from home in the mornings and stuff like that, but getting home in the evenings is not going to be fun.

I became a freelance cause I needed a break from my previous job (evil, evil people and waaaay too much pressure) and because I didn't know what I wanted to do. Now it seems I'm just doing what I did before, except for different clients and agencies, with the added paperwork. So I'm not against the idea of going back to a fixed contract, but wasn't expecting the opportunity to present itself so soon.

Anyway, I need to give them an answer tomorrow and I'm in another fit of anxiety over having to decide. I hate being put in front of life-changing decisions and right now I'm having more than my share (I know, most people would kill to be in my position, it's a luxury problem, yadda, yadda, I still feel crap about it).

By the way

Do you like the new layout? :)

Week 44 WI

I managed to lose the weight I put on last week, plus a little bit extra, so I'll happily take that result :)
I'm still not pointing, but seem to have found a good balance and am listening to my hunger signals and making healthy choices. Unthinkable 10 months ago because I had absolutely no sense of proportion or of what it was "normal" to eat in one day, so I have definitely covered some ground since then :)

Still very stressed about the baby business though (see previous post) so I hope I can keep the emotional eating in check.

But, on a brighter note, here are my updated results so far:
Loss this week: -0.7 kg / - 1.5 lbs
Total loss: - 15.8 kg / - 34.8 lbs
BMI: 32.0

Next week I hope to: get into the 80's (kg) - 0.3 kg to go. Which will also mean getting my 5th silver 7 and 15% loss - 0.1 kg to go. All very achievable!

Good luck to everyone else weighing in this week.

I think too much (to have or not to have babies?)

"You over-think" was actually the result of a quiz I took in this month's Psychologies magazine: "What are your secret stresses?". And it's true. I have a constant stream of thoughts going through my mind, the voices in my head are never quiet. And sleep would be a welcome reprieve if I didn't usually have vivid dreams related to whatever I'm worrying about.

Last night I had a restless night and thoughts of babies and the impact they would have on my future going through my mind constantly. I felt unsettled, anxious, unsure if I really wanted to go ahead with trying to conceive (we planned to start next month). I couldn't shake the thought that this decision would impact the next 20 years of our lives (and beyond).

I've always been ambivalent about having kids. I don't have the "urge" I see in some friends or read about on parenting sites. But I also don't imagine NOT having kids at some point.

I have no doubts whatsoever about the relationship I'm in. If there's anyone I want kids with, it's my husband, I know that's not the issue.

So what's the problem?

Well, I just seem to focus on all the negatives: less time for me/for us, sleepless nights, dirty nappies, crying, tantrums, illness, no more lie-ins, too much responsibility, everything structured and planned, routine... I worry about not having any room in my life for this new person who will undoubtedly take up all my time, about being tired, stressed, unhappy...

It's not a career/children issue in the sense that if we do have kids I'd prefer to work part-time, preferably from home, and that wouldn't be a sacrifice in any way, but I do worry about finances and will we be able to make ends meet if I'm only working part-time? As a kid, my parents and - after the divorce - my dad struggled with money and I didn't have a lot - I put myself through university on a grant and felt so liberated when I got my first pay-check. I am terrified at the idea of going back to a place where every penny counts and we can't do what we want - holidays, dinner, clothes, all the things we can treat ourselves to now.

And I suppose more fundamentally, I'm just not sure if I want whatever it is children are supposed to bring you - unconditional love? a sense of purpose in life? fulfilment? I'm just not sure I need those things, and whether they're worth the sacrifice of time and energy involved.

Also, I am shit scared of losing myself, of becoming a "mommy", of being redefined by the children I have as opposed to who I am. It took me a while to find that person, after years of living with an overbearing parent, followed by a fucked-up relationship, and I'm not ready to lose her again.

I'm finally getting to grips with my eating disorder, self-image and self-confidence. I have defined myself as a creative, talented, intelligent woman. I don't want that to all be erased by a "mommy" label. And I'm afraid that if I have babies I'll turn into a different person (well, that's more like a certainty) and I kind of like the person I am now.

Finally, at least for the purposes of this post, there's also the question of how our relationship will change if we have a baby. Will we manage to find time for each other? Will we respect each other as parents? Will we deal with the added stress? Will we agree on parenting issues, from bedtimes to pocket money and the thousands of other little things parents have to decide on?

The thing is, I'm 31 and Bart is 37. I don't want us to be "older" parents. I feel if we want to do this we need to decide now or at least soon. And Bart wants kids, so it's all on me. And I can go through the motions and rationalise myself into it, but these nagging fears just keep popping up. I know the responsible thing to do is to work through these questions before jumping head-first into this pregnancy, so I'll be doing some serious soul-searching over the next few weeks. Although part of me feels I'm over-analysing it and should just let nature take its course. In the meantime, I just feel so confused about the whole thing.

Week 43 WI

And I've been a bad, bad girl.

Well, actually I thought I was pretty good, if I completely blank out the 2 days I spent in London at my friend Anne's.

Saturday was lunch at Carluccio's (hey, I had the tomato soup for starters) and Sunday full roast lunch at Brown's (oops, did I mention the oven roast camembert we shared for starters?). Both meals nicely topped off with sparkling wine (the kind that goes down a little too easily).

I actually thought I had limited the damage as I was too full for dinner both days, but snacking on twiglets and pretzels washed down with white wine obviously didn't fit into that plan.

Anyway, back from temptation and the damage as measured this morning is 0.4 kg / 0.9 lbs on.

I've been back on track since Monday, but still not actually tracking. I'm just really tired with the whole counting points and I think it actually has a negative effect on me: I eat healthily all day and listen to my hunger signals, but when I point everything I've eaten and I'm under points, I suddenly start wondering what else I could eat. If I don't add up the points, I don't actually think about having that extra snack.

Anyway, I've decided to give pointing a rest for a while longer and see how it goes. Fingers crossed.