My training as a lawyer required me to always think fast on my feet, make crucial decisions for other people all the time and take a barrage of abuse pretty much all the time, not to mention that I have been known to have a certain finesse when it comes to baffling the layman’s minds and getting myself out of sticky situations from time to time using some of my cunning and crafty negotiation skills . However, notwithstanding all this prior training, I could never be remotely equipped to deal with the constant need for me to be making decisions all the time as a mom. Yes, I admit in the past my friends have accused me of being a little on the indecisive side when it comes to making mundane decisions, such as what colour should I paint my nails, should I wear opaque stockings today or not. Little did I know that all my umm-ing and ahh-ing would actually play to my disadvantage and handicap me a bit more than your average mother. Let me elaborate. I simply cannot make a simple decision, at all.
I can, however, defend myself rigorously on this front by explaining that all this indecisiveness results from the needs for a competent lawyer to always err on the side of caution and be that little bit more pragmatic than regular people on this earth, because the very nature of a skilled lawyer is to anticipate all the potential outcomes in a future scenario and not to plan for the present only but also to take into account all the possible repercussions that a decision you make now could possibly have. You have to also forgive my indecisiveness, because, after all, until I became a mom all my time was accounted for in 6 minute increments on a sophisticated billing system, every call, letter, email and conference was timed and recorded. Every decision was signed off my a partner and side-lined with the appropriate relevant case law and followed a tried and tested precedent. Then, all of a sudden, I was out on my own, left to fend for myself in the dark, unchartered waters of motherhood, with two screaming babies to answer to if I made the wrong decision. Talk about liability issues! The stakes were upped by 200% plus I had no experience and was suddenly promoted to senior partner in charge without the requisite experience or specialist expertise in mothering or domesticity.
Simple scenarios that probably do not require much forethought by the average person are really a challenge for me, like:
- should I go for a walk with the babies in the pram or not in case in rains?
- have I got time to go to the loo and shower before the baby wakes up from his nap?
- should we digress from the routine today and put the kids to sleep later than 7pm on the dot?
- what on earth am I going to feed them today for lunch/dinner?
- should we go to the park, but there might be sick kids there, but it’s not ‘peak hour’ so maybe it be fine?
- can I have a small glass of wine before I feed the baby?
- will the baby be permanently damaged if I ignore his incessant crying from the cot so I can st least finish this blog post?
and the list goes on and on!
Lately, I can say that I have made progress and I have being trying my hardest to relax and be mellow of late and run with my decisions. Albeit that it’s taken me nearly 2 years of being a mom to get to where I am now. At least now I can admit myself the rare luxury of deciding to eat lunch when the babies have gone to sleep or have a lie down in the middle of the afternoon, or I might even decide to do absolutely nothing. Now, how ever do I bill for that time??