Before we started our family, I absolutely lived for travel and also for my career. We are yet to venture overseas, but we did get passport photos for Master S this week, so that will be on the horizon this Christmas.
As for my career, my approach has changed as I am taking a break from the full-time teaching workforce. I now work from home as a writer. This gives me flexibility, but also some fairly unique opportunities. I enjoy it.
A few months ago, a professional in the area of fertility psychology contacted me to see if I wanted to share some of my own journey at a conference – to tell my story about why I wrote a book, both from an academic perspective and a personal one.
Clinical professionals benefit from hearing about lived experiences intertwined with interdisciplinary research, so I jumped at the chance to provide this.
So, we committed to the just-over-an-hour schlep to the Gold Coast, knowing we’d have a three-and-a-half-month in tow.
And we decided to make a weekend of it.
This is how it all went down….
The week before the conference was scheduled, I organised Granny-Care – my mother – to come over and help with Master S while I packed, ran errands, and organised our food for the weekend. Going anywhere with an infant is certainly an exercise in organisation!
I made list upon list upon list. I cooked and created snacks and meals, packed in an insulated bag. I realised that the car would be so full…….. and the bags would be heavy. But it was worth it, because we had a nice dinner when we stopped en-route for a breastfeed.
We arrived at the Gold Coast at about 8pm on the Friday night. It all went well. Master S even slept in a strange cot, in a strange room, in a strange place…..
When I arrived at the conference on Saturday, I was included in the whole event. I was able to spend time in conversation with fertility psychologists and other professionals in the field from around Australia. This included many rich conversations with others about resilience, early disclosure for donor-conceived children, and ideas around donor anonymity. I also had the privilege of hearing a presentation by a donor-conceived adult – it was fascinating to hear of her journey.
All of these conversations reinforced the importance of what I advocate for – early disclosure for donor-conceived children, with a range of resources to suit unique family needs and structures. It also enabled me to tell my family’s story of life, and I have so much pride in that.
On Sunday, we spent time as a family – my favourite part of the whole experience.
Before I had Master S, people loved to tell me about how my life would change so much. They seemed smug about it, how I would feel limited – how I may even fail to achieve my dreams.
I have found the opposite is true.
I manage my time better because I’m completing tasks around a tiny human’s napping schedule – I have mastered the art of writing 100 words in 12 minutes (yeah… cat naps happen) and also the art of accepting that some days are more limited on productivity than others because once he’s awake, I am present with him.
The real ‘fire-cracker under my butt’ in using my time wisely is my baby boy.
I keep on going, because I want to contribute to the world he is going to inhabit. I want to be a role model for this child who is watching my every move in this world.
Most of all, I want to model pride, passion, and the pursuit of dreams.
I think that’s worth working for. Even if I get distracted a lot.
Anyway, play time is fun.
Until next time…. I hope to tell you more about the journey of writing my book!