Apparently 3 weeks of Fall is all we get this year! The top photo was taken last night around 4:30 as my husband and I walked to my parents house after class/work to see Emery, and the bottom photo was taken just 24 hours earlier as I went running with a friend while the first snow was coming down. And it's STILL snowing!
I had plans to be in Camrose with the running team right now for a race, but after watching the road reports and hearing about the driving conditions all afternoon yesterday I decided to stay home. The rest of the team decided to still go, and as they were preparing to go on the bus I felt so much guilt to join but the thought of leaving the town that Emery was in to travel bad roads terrified me and didn't seem worth it. It was in that moment that I realized yet again that motherhood has changed me.
I've been having that realization over and over again this Fall- and I use the term "Fall" loosely because, HELLO, all the snow - and I think it's because this Semester my life is looking the most like it did before Emery, but yet it's so different because of course there's Emery. It's so interesting. My school schedule is back to being the same as before, the running team is the same, my evening job is the same... but I am entirely different.
Earlier this week my class was learning about the different self attributes that students bring to the classroom (like self-handicapping, self-motivation or social comparison for example) and the attribute that stuck out to me was Self-Perfectionism. A common form of self-perfectionism is when students set such demanding standards for themselves that when they are not met they see it as failure. While a certain sense of pleasure can be derived from taking such painstaking efforts, it can be very stressful on the student as well. I was SO this student before having Emery, being only content with a 4.0. I took such "painstaking efforts" to make my notes perfect even though no one but me ever saw them and spent almost all of my spare time in the library (if it weren't for part-time jobs I would have spent a lot more). I remember writing a final for one of the advanced math courses I took and not falling asleep until I found out my marks the next day!
I laugh now thinking about the student that I used to be only 2 years ago because MAN has she changed. My approach to school has relaxed so much, but interestingly the marks have stayed the same. The main reason for the relaxation is that I have something I want to do so much more than obsess over school work now, and that is to be with Emery. Plus, the time just isn't there. The hour and a half nap times she gives me don't leave room for re-writing notes and quadruple checking assignments, so when she wakes up I close my books and windows on the computer and have to be content with what I've done. I actually handed in a rough draft 2 weeks ago because after I printed it to read it over Emery woke up (probably because of the printer sounds, next time I'll press print after I hear her stirring haha) so I packed the rough draft into my backpack and handed it in unchecked. And you know what, it was fine!
I don't think that there is anything wrong with setting high standards for oneself. In fact, I think it's great. If a 4.0 is the highest grade that can be achieved why not aim for it! I'm just glad for whatever the switch in me that was turned off when Emery was born was because school has been a lot of fun lately because of it. The first class I took after Emery was born was an english course that I started when she was 4 months old and I remember having so much fun in that class, and assumed it was because it was kind of like my social outing 2 days a week and because I really enjoyed the literature we were assigned to read. But now I'm thinking maybe the real difference was ME.
Man, who knew that skipping races made me so rambly. Time to lace up - and gear up in Winter running wear - and go for a hard tempo run to simulate the race I'm missing.
Have any other mamas out there noticed a drastic change in themselves since having a baby?!