Since having a baby, I’ve realised that I’ve started to see my life as a series of choices. There are choices for the baby, which are regularly made both consciously and unconsciously around every aspect of her life (coat or no coat? Should I encourage her love of Fish Fingers? When should I start serious potty training?)
Then there are choices for me – ranging from the mundane (which series do we watch on TV tonight? How early is too early to go to bed? etc.) to the scarily important (when do I go back to work? For how many days? When do we have to start thinking about schools? etc.)
I suppose if you think about it, as I have been doing, the choices begin in earnest when you’re 18. Your decisions at that stage shape your unique path to adulthood, career and then maybe family. But I also think, to a certain extent, life can carry you along with it, without you having to focus on making any major choices along the way.
Then, I felt like I had all the time in the world. Now, baby in tow, I’ve realised just how precious and in short supply time is, and for the first time I’ve had to turn those difficult interview-style questions like ‘where do you really see yourself in five years?’ on myself.
There are three people’s lives to consider. And with two of my mum friends pregnant again and one having just given birth, the second baby question also starts looming into view (for the record, we’re not seriously thinking about that just yet – we’re enjoying Scrip on her own for the time being).
The choices you need to make as a new mum could easily get daunting if you spend too long dwelling on them. Some, I will obviously discuss with my husband, but for many I think I need to do what you’re often encouraged to do as a new parent: trust my instinct.