When I got pregnant with my little girl, I knew it was going to mean big changes in my life. I knew I would be riding less, and hoped that I would be okay with that. ThrottleDaddy, having quit riding to raise a child once already, said that it hurts at first, but you eventually get to the point where you would rather do something with your kid, anyways.
I wasn’t sure I believed him. I was afraid that not being able to ride would always hurt. I clung to the thought that I wasn’t giving up riding. So how’s all that going?
I’m definitely riding less. In fact the last few months have found me riding once or twice a month, and the R6 has had so many mechanical issues lately that I realized it hadn’t been ridden on the street in several months. I’ve been riding ThrottleDaddy’s street CBR1000 on my rare outings.
How does it feel? Right after ThrottleGirl was born, I was a mess, trying to figure out all the new mama stuff. Taking care of a newborn is hands down the most challenging thing I have ever done. It’s like running a marathon. You have to focus on putting one foot in front of the other, without a break, for about six months. You figure out breastfeeding, pumping, milk storage. You figure out how to get baby to sleep and try to get bits of sleep yourself. You learn to do everything with one hand, because baby doesn’t want to be put down, ever. You shower once per week. Your brain melts and short term memory disappears.
While all of that was going on, my old self was slowly being burned away. All I did was take care of ThrottleGirl, and that’s all I had the energy to do. In the beginning I was angry at all the changes I had to make, everything I had to give up, including all my privacy, time spent with ThrottleDaddy, control over my life. But eventually I had no real desire for anything except sleep. My ego and self esteem pretty much disappeared, all I wanted to do was make it to the end of the day and get ThrottleGirl in bed and asleep for her long stretch of sleep, sometimes four or even five hours before she woke up again. So I could not hold her for a while, not worry about her for a while, have a glass of wine and some peace and try to get some sleep.
After the first two months or so, I didn’t have the energy to miss riding.
Now, nine months in, she is slowly, slowly starting to sleep longer at night, at least when she’s not teething or sick. I am slowly starting to catch up on sleep. I am slowly starting to feel more like myself again. But, I don’t feel like my old self. I am starting to feel like a different version of myself. I feel calmer, less anxious, less energetic. I’m not worried about riding less. I’m not worried about much at all, worry is a waste of energy, an I’m realizing that energy is a finite resource. And I’m realizing, as ThrottleGirl is on the brink of walking, that her babyhood is almost over. Suddenly waking up with her at night doesn’t bother me as much, because I know I won’t be doing it forever. Soothing her to sleep, especially nursing her to sleep, is something I am trying to be emotionally present for every time now, because that will all come to an end, and I will miss it. I miss it already.
And so, when I have the choice to either go riding on the weekend or stay home and hang out with ThrottleDaddy and ThrottleGirl, it is a tough call. Our days as a new family with a little baby will soon be over, and I really don’t want to miss any of them.