Yesterday we saw the winds of change wreak havoc on an otherwise busy, yet fairly routine life. The change wasn’t considered to be a very significant one, but it turned out to be highly disruptive none-the-less.
Today we’ll explore another side of change. This time the disruptiveness of change can be directed, in part, to the invasive qualities of daily life. Even our best intentions towards planning our transitions can be derailed if we’re not aware of this phenomenon.
Meet Jodi, an independent consultant, and who is also four months pregnant with her first child. Jodi has always been a go-getter, and she took great pride in her work and the success of her company.
When she learned she was expecting, Jodi was thrilled, and she made the conscious decision to carve out time to begin planning for the arrival of her first child to ensure she’d have everything ready when the ‘big day’ arrived.
Best laid plans...
For the first several of months of her pregnancy, Jodi made plans for the nursery, found the colors, fabrics, and furniture she’d like to use, had numerous discussions with her husband about names, their wishes for the birthing process, even potential day-care providers.
She had hoped to read up on what to expect as a new mom, so she could feel prepared, and even purchased several books on the subject, but didn’t get the chance to read them because of her hectic schedule before the birth. She figured she’d have time once the baby was born and could reference as-needed if necessary.
Often go awry.
At first, Jodi’s work was steady and consistent. At around her sixth month, however, things dramatically changed when she secured a new and demanding client.
Jodi was also facing an elder care issue with her parents, who were showing signs that they were struggling to live independently in their home. Because of this, Jodi found herself in frequent contact with her siblings - all of whom lived out-of-state - and her parents, who were increasingly in need of her presence.
These more pressing demands resulted in Jodi finding less and less time to focus on her preparations for the baby’s arrival. Her husband, who traveled frequently for his job, was unable to offer much additional assistance during this time, aside from weekends, so Jodi primarily checked most of the things off her list by doing them herself. She didn’t want to burden her friends or siblings, and her parents were having their own issues, so she was hesitant to ask them for any assistance either.
When the time came, Jodi was proud of her ability to pull everything together; the nursery was finished, the names picked out, a child care provider secured, a preliminary schedule prepared for her new consulting client, and her siblings in town, staying with her parents…
Was Jodi really as prepared as she thought?
Before the baby, Jodi thought she did a great job of being proactive by preparing a client schedule allowing her to work from home for the first month after the baby’s arrival, assuming she could do her work during the baby’s naps. This didn’t really work out to plan, however, and Jodi found herself awake most nights to a fussy baby who seemed to want constant coddling from her.
Despite her lack of sleep, Jodi and her husband fell into a comfortable routine during his leave, and she pushed herself to get her client responsibilities delivered according to her original schedule. But things changed when her husband returned to work to a heavy travel schedule that took him out of town for most week-days.
Jodi could no longer depend on him to do those things he had done when he was at home, and she increasingly felt an increased tug-o-war between her mom and consulting responsibilities. This became especially acute when she was scheduled to attend an onsite meeting at the client’s facility, only to find that the child care provider she had arranged had to close for the day because of illness.
The stress and lack of sleep quickly took their toll on Jodi, and she herself became ill. A firm believer in self-reliance, and the belief that good mothers don’t need help, Jodi resisted the idea of asking for any assistance. Soon after becoming ill, Jodi contracted pneumonia, at which point her husband, who was out of town on business, contacted Jodi’s best friend to step in and help.
How did things get so out of hand?
About the Author
Megan Rounds, Ed.D. is owner and principle perculator of perculcha, llc.
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