Monday, May 30, 2011

Having a baby is making me feel rebellious.

Let me just say up front, a healthy baby is the most important thing to me. I'll do whatever I have to do for that. But some of the things pregnant women are supposed to abstain from aren't backed up by scientific research - there's a lot of fear-mongering.

So here's a list of things you are not allowed if you are a Good Mother, which may or may not be valid:
  • No hot tubs or hot baths
  • No sunbathing
  • No fake tanner, either, if you're feeling pale
  • No hair dye or highlights
  • No nail polish and certainly no going in the salon with all the fumes!
  • No alcohol
  • No sushi
  • No deli meat
  • No soft ice cream
  • No hot dogs                                                   
  • No soft cheeses                                              
  • No roller coasters
  • No rafting or tubing
  • No caffeine
I'd heard of the sushi restriction and who, of course, hasn't seen the "No preggers" warning on a bottle of booze?  But others have caught me off-guard, like when I read the no-caffeine thing while sucking down my usual caramel frappucino (for the record, while "no caffeine" is often batted about and lots of pregnant women pass it up completely, there's no reason not to drink it in moderation; too much can just be hard for the fetus to metabolize and can lead to premature uterine contractions. Fun fact!).

The perfectionism of the whole thing bugs me - the idea of trying to do everything right so Nothing Will Go Wrong. There are a lot of things that can go wrong during a pregnancy, and I think that's why we tend to resort to perfectionism. It reminds me of being a college athlete and being superstitious, knowing it was irrational but not wanting to entertain that niggling doubt if something went wrong.

And if you're really worried? Well, then you can buy belly armor to shield your unborn child from the radiation of your cell phone and laptop. Just to be safe.

I'm not sure I'm going to make it through the next 7 months with my sanity intact, y'all. And once they're born, there's so much more to worry about.

Monday, May 16, 2011

This weekend was grad school commencement. 

I gave some of my Starbucks frappucino to the University of Maryland College Park turtle. I'm so grateful the whole thing is over. No more late nights doing stats & spreadsheets. No more trying to read a textbook as I bounce around in turbulence on yet another airplane for yet another work trip. No more excruciating Sunday night group meetings. 

And, most of all, another nice thing to put on my resume: M.S., Finance.

But the craziest part of the whole thing?

I didn't walk in commence by myself.

It's really too early to tell anyone (but here I am). I found out, amazingly enough, on Mother's Day. I'm going to be a mom. And I have no idea what I'm doing. We started "trying", sure, but I thought it would take time. Time to get used to the idea and come up with a new plan to replace my infamous Three Year Plan.

Maybe that's why I'm telling you, blog friends. But I'm excited. I'm hoping I can figure it out. And you know I'll blog about it all along the way.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Now that grad school is over, my life is so much more... orderly.

I ran this morning. I shaved my legs. I packed a healthy lunch to work. I wrote today. I talked to my husband.  My house is (relatively) clean. We made dinner together instead of running to the gyro place around the corner.  Maybe for you guys that's just another day as a real grown-up, but for me, it's a gold-sticker sort of day.

Of course, I can't help but immediately spin out with new plans now that grad school is over, though I'm trying to keep in to a minimum. The only thing I'm letting myself add into my life now is... volunteer work.

Pre-grad-school, some type of volunteer work was almost always a part of my world. I tried a lot of things: soup kitchen, first response medical team, pet rescue, homeless transitional house, scouting, outreach program for homeless teens, SPCA.  Some weren't a good fit for me and some were fun and inspiring, but I learned something everywhere.

I know there are people who think some causes are more important than others. It's a case I've heard made more than once. Breast cancer trumps animal rescue, because people matter more than animals, for instance. Or conservation doesn't matter when there are children starving to death. Or building homes isn't important when the whole planet is going to hell.  And I really don't get it.

There's lots of bad in the world. Lots of work to do. So who cares what "cause" is most important? Let's just get to work doing something, whatever we're most passionate about. It's not like we're all going to unite tomorrow and decide that, hey, today is the day we're going to cure homelessness (though that would be super).  Maybe it's a good thing we all have different passions and gifts to put to work so we can do different things to lessen the suck in the world.

That's what I believe, anyway. And I'm looking forward to transforming that belief back into action.

Photo from the awesome free stock photo site, Many thanks to the photog!