Monday, October 5

impending parenthood

Today is a big day for us. Today is our anatomy scan. Or rather, Smudge's anatomy scan. We'll find out whether Smudge's organs are developing correctly, and also possibly learn its gender.

This scan will make Smudge more real for us, and the reality of Smudge is a little daunting. We have about 4 months until its arrival, and we really have no idea how our lives will change post-baby. If Smudge is colicky, we may just retreat into our home and become zombies. If Smudge is a chill little one, things might not be so extreme.
mom and me, circa 1976

I spent a few hours on Friday with a friend of mine, another set designer, who recently became a mother. Her career is a bit more established than mine, and I was curious to see what she had to say about parenthood. There was a lot to talk about, but it was all reassuring. The best thing she said was that the sleep deprivation was no worse than what we'd experienced in grad school, except that with parenthood no one was judging and yelling at you daily. Which I find extremely reassuring! (though I was 10 years younger when I was a grad student... still, it was manageable.)

On Saturday I went to a family alumni function that the design department of my grad school was hosting. I saw a few people I knew, all with babies. They too said that the sleep deprivation was comparable, though one new father said that of course there were no vacations during which to catch up on sleep. One woman said that she'd mastered typing while nursing, and the general consensus is that it is acceptable to bring your (well-behaved) child to meetings. Babies are welcome in the theater community. Which makes some sense. Theater is really just a grown up version of children's play.

I had been worrying about all of this, the balancing of career and baby/child, and I thought that one of them would take a hit. Or that I'd have to take 6 months off and then return to design begrudgingly. But seeing these other designers dive gleefully back in, a month or two after their child's birth, is reassuring.

Yes, they are still working part-time, but they are working! me too! me too!!

1 comment:

Hilary said...

What a beautiful photo of you and your mother! You look just like her. Also, thanks for the encouraging stories about working motherhood. I'm in a different field than you, but it's so nice to hear about women who make it work. It's something that really freaks me out!