I used to have a hard time saying “no.” The thought of knowingly disappointing someone was super difficult for me. Granted, this propensity got me into many a situation I wish I didn’t have to file in my memory banks… like the time I helped my friend put medicine on her grandmother’s infected boil, but it was easier for me to just go with it then let someone down.
In the same vain, I was always overbooking myself. Having to be two places at the same time. Rushing from one commitment to the next. Beating myself up for being late. Feeling bad if I just wanted some time to myself to recuperate. It was like I was operating on hyper drive. Every minute of everyday was pretty much accounted for by personal or professional obligations.
Now that I have a baby all that has changed.
I am not saying I purposefully use my baby as an excuse, but she has without a doubt become the perfect excuse.
For instance, the idea of being “on time” has become totally absurd. How can I say what time I will get anywhere when I don’t know when she will wake up from her nap, or if she has shit in her pants, or if she will want to eat, or if she will want to puke up what she ate and then shit her pants only to get hungry and want to eat again. I cannot predict that stuff. I can only say, “How about we plan for Thursday afternoon. Sometime between 2 and 5.”
Or lets say I am somewhere and I want to leave. All I have to say is “the baby” and everyone is like “Yes, yes Toni. Of course. The baby.” Mind you “the baby” doesn’t not have to be prefaced by anything, I just have to say the “the baby” and it is reason enough. Same for not being able to go to something “Oh, I am sorry, I can’t. The baby.” And that is totally acceptable.
So maybe having a baby hasn’t solved my life long problem of getting myself into situations like hosting an intervention at my house, but at least for now it is helped me to say “I can’t.”
“Give my five minutes to put my make up on… oh wait… no… I just shit my pants”