“This too, will pass.” This is one of the ideas I live by. Along with other favourites like “a revolution is a way of life” and my personal invention, “there is no pure place for resistance.” There’s more. I live by metaphors, rhymes and reasonings, but I’ll get to them later. Yesterday a colleague on campus who, like me, is steadily climbing her professional ladder, asked about Zi. Is it worth it? she wondered, noting my confession of complete exhaustion. She had her argument down, it’s one I hear and respect. For her, children are associated with loss of time for yourself, disposable income, sleep, leisure, focus, sanity, productivity, career, freedom and autonomy. She’s right, I get in a more than 35 hours of super productive time each week when I used to be regularly clocking close to 50. I look back wistfully at days I spent sitting for ten hours in front of my computer, writing my thesis, thriving on endorphins from a successful few paragraphs and an addiction to focus. I also look back longingly at the days when I’d be grumpy if I got less than eight hours sleep.
I don’t think that women “ought” to have babies—nor that they are missing out if they don’t. Women live fulfilling lives if they do what fulfils them, and its up to them to choose. I know that for me though, I learned that a baby is a joy unparalleled. I think back now and feel struck that I was so close to going through life not knowing that cliche called mother’s love. That depth of feeling only possible with someone you’ve borne. So, I answered that, for me, being pregnant was miraculous, giving birth was powerful beyond measure, and breastfeeding was sheer magic. I’d have never known these immense riches were it not for Zi and the lifetime of sacrifices ahead would always be worth it.
Through motherhood, I experienced depths of emotion I didn’t know existed. I continue to be pushed to be a better person, to do right for a next generation, break patterns, teach truths. For me, no stack of writing can compare to the production of a life that unfolds in front of you, sprouts wings and soars. This is what I keep in mind each day, through the challenges, the hours, the many fronts to manage. This moment too, will pass. Live it, experience it for its ups and downs, learn the lessons meant for you, be real about what it is. Know, well hope, there will be more time and inclination later for sleep, leisure and liming as well as work and writing. For now, feel it all. Since the parts of work and life and love and family can’t be unglued from each other, I’ve got to make it all totally worth it. This moment too will pass. Yet, with all that it brings, may it not pass too soon.