What a difference a year makes.
Today, as I was speaking with a colleague from work, I realized that at this time last year I was in the throws of working on one of the projects I am most proud of, personally and professionally.
I work in Business Development at TELUS in their Content group (yes, I am one of those lawyers who no longer do the traditional law thing). A year ago, we were just about to launch the BlackBerry Storm. My team worked furiously through complicated new media rights issues, and negotiated and drafted complex contracts with artists and a record label to have said BlackBerry Storm pre-loaded with music and videos from such uber-hipster Canadian bands as Broken Social Scene, Stars and the Constantines. And even though I was already few months pregnant at the time, I put on my highest stiletto-heeled boots and my coolest not-quite-maternity dress to attend the phone’s launch party, where Stars performed for a small and exclusive audience of high-ups at TELUS, RIM execs and too-cool-for-school Canadian celebs.
I was, in short, cool — in my own mind, at least.
Fast forward to today. Right now I’m sitting at home with my 6-month-old son, Archer. We just got back from Archer’s weekly music class at Rainbow Songs. And this week at class it was Animal Week. Yes, Animal Week: a special week where every song was about a different animal, where we were all encouraged to bring our baby’s favourite stuffed animal (for Archer, Julio the Elephant) and where I may or may not have put on a pair of blue, fuzzy antlers supplied by the teacher.
So things have changed.
And had you told me a year ago that I would actually be going to a baby music class, I wouldn’t have believed you. It just didn’t seem like me; I was going to be one of those laid-back parents where baby fit into my life — where we’d listen to the music I was actually listening to, while we both wore black and sat at a cool café where I would be at my laptop actually doing some work.
It hasn’t worked out exactly as planned. The closest we get to listening to cool music is our Rockabye Baby CDs (lullaby renditions of music from such bands as Radiohead and The Cure). And as for wearing black? Not entirely practical when you realize babies occasionally (okay, always) spit up on you. And although Archer has a cool black onesie made by local designers Babes in Black, he looks better in blues and greens. And doing actual work in a café? Try wi-fi at home, blogging, with a strong coffee while Archer plays on a mat in front of me.
I’m now resigned to the fact that when you go from professional life — particularly one as a lawyer — to life at home with a new baby, lots changes. I spent a whole nine months worrying about how much it would change. And I hated it when all those parents who came before me said not to worry because the moment Archer came into my life it would all change and I wouldn’t care about anything else.
Now that Archer’s here, I realize that what they were probably trying to say is that nothing is as important in life as him — and that is indeed true. If Archer likes his Fisher Price chair given to him by Grandpa and Grandma better than the ultramodern Oeuf chair that we bought him, and that better matches our décor, then he gets his chair and the Oeuf is out (or at least on Craigslist).
But it’s also true that I am who I am — and having a baby doesn’t change that. Or at least it shouldn’t. I’ve found ways to scratch my fashionista itch on my new E.I. budget; that’s what H&M is for. I like going out and socializing, and I’m determined to keep doing it — only now it happens during the day, with other new moms. But there’s a ton of stuff out there; we just came back from a comedy bar in Toronto that was hosting an afternoon of comedy for new parents (who all had babies in tow) called Mother Suckers. Moms were even drinking beer!!
Next week: I’ll tell you about how I learned to plan out my new workweek.
Christina Litz is a lawyer on parental leave from working business development at TELUS. She’s guest blogging for us this month about life with her son, Archer.