Notes to a New Mom

Sunday, November 3, 2019

1 Relinquish perfection, even in the most abstract sense.

2 Outsource everything you can afford to, without losing what matters most.

3 Figure out what matters most. Pick three: health, career, family, fun, friends, creativity. No, you cannot pick them all (see # 1).

4 Refuse to be tormented by the sense that you are not doing enough, and if only you did more, you could have everything.

5 Understand that some priorities must wait; others must die.

6 Refuse to be tormented by the fear that you (or your child) will soon die. It could happen, yes, and occasionally it does. But anything potentially instructive about this fear, you have already gained. Persistent terror grants neither enlightenment nor a stay of execution.

7 So you have figured it out, for now: Family, health, and career. It’s okay to grieve for that which must wait–the early morning writing time, the yet unwritten book, the feeling of wanting, no needing, to paint.

8 Be wary of the impulse to perfect what you’ve decided matters most. In all things, go for a B-minus.

9 Best, on the whole, to avoid sugar. It’s not a replacement for self-care, love, or joy.

10 Trust you will return to your creativity and enduring friendships. Until then relish postcards, scribbles, the faintest taps on the wires of connection.


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