cost of parenthood; full life

Yesterday Ted stayed home since Joanna was sick and I was teetering on the brink. (Thank you, Ted!) I spent several hours reading a book. I haven’t done that in so long I don’t remember the last time. I did feel some guilt about it, since I needed to practice. But I also needed a rest, a time for my body and mind to relax. I am in a period of five rehearsals in four days, and have been working hard in what feels like a non-stop way.

As I sat in a comfy chair or lay in bed reading, and thought about just how rare that occurrence is nowadays, the thought came to me that parenthood has stolen many things from me. This sounds bitter. It is not. But one loss that has been pretty hard for me to handle is that of unconstrained time. There is always, always, a responsibility waiting around the corner. There is always some necessary piece of emotional work to be done. There are always other people. The ability to laze around for a day on the weekend if I feel like it is gone. I know I’ll get it back. I know I won’t always be in the intensity of three kids 5 and under. But it is a real cost of having children, particularly more than one child.

Pretty soon I have to get going, go off to another rehearsal, after which there will be a short break and then a second rehearsal. Tonight I have off from childcare, but I need to practice the repertoire for the other concert next week. It’s full of fast runs that I lose if I don’t play them frequently enough.

Life feels like Bach right now; it’s going full tilt with very little rest in between phrases. I think I need to dig in and enjoy the harmony.


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