It’s a little past midnight, Rob just called to ask what size of sneaker Riley wears, and I’m debating going to the kitchen for a snack. I feel like, the second I leave the room, Riley will wake up and go crazy searching for me, which has been going on a lot at this hour. I’m not sure if he’s suddenly more clingy because he senses that another baby is coming, or because I’ve been less available lately, or because he’s rebelling against toddlerhood and would rather stay my little baby for as long as possible, but I’m simultaneously tickled pink and getting salty at the thought of carrying him around forever.

These are my thoughts right now: I want to turn on the light to study, but we learned in class that sleeping with a light on increases your risk for a specific kind of cancer, and seeing as Riley is half Rob, and Rob’s mom’s side is riddled with cancer, I don’t want to risk it. I wish I remembered which kind of cancer lists “sleeping with a light source turned on” as a risk factor.

In truth, I feel myself slipping in my schoolwork. I’m not caring as much about getting high grades, and it definitely shows. I feel as though I’m not on top of my studying – not as much as I usually am, anyway – but when I step back and compare my studying habits of today to those of three months ago, I honestly feel like I’ve improved. Maybe the stuff I used to do just doesn’t cut it anymore, what with all the other priorities that clog my mind at any given moment. Or maybe the exams just got harder. (I’m leaning toward the latter.)  All I know is, my grades have fallen a bit and I’m positively aching to leave school the minute I step foot there. Point blank: I’ve been really salty when I’m anywhere but home. I just want to stay home, turn on the air conditioning, read, hang out with Riley, and focus on myself and my pregnancy for a bit.

Micah has been kicking like crazy, and I noticed that he kicks even more when I’m at school. My brother says that it’s because I’m the most stressed when I’m at school, which means my body temperature goes up, my blood pressure rises, my respiration rate also rises – pretty much all of my vital signs soar. This, in turn, causes Micah to go, “What the fuck, Mom? Get your shit together.”

Honestly, guys, I’m really wondering if I’ll make it to October. It’s not that I don’t think I can accomplish all of my goals – give birth to a healthy baby, bond with him for a week and a half, peel myself away from him to return to the grind, balance motherhood with work and school, launch a big promotional campaign for my editing business, learn about the dynamics of having two young kids, keep up communication with Rob, stay in touch with loved ones, manage a household, do lots of editing, take a full class load without failing any classes, have my first semester of hospital duty, and manage to SLEEP – cuz, strangely, that stuff? I know I can handle all of it – except for that last part. Sleep? Forget about it. Sleep and I are going to be distant acquaintances until October.

I tell myself that the next semester starts on June 14th, and then there’s approximately four months from that point until I’m on vacation again, and that four months is no big thing. But, really? Really, what I foresee in my near future in my hair a mess, my eye bags down to the floor, my appearance all kinds of unkempt and dissheveled, and my self-esteem plummeting because of that fact. Basically, I don’t see myself having any time for Me. For the myriad of responsibilities that I have to everything and everyone else? Yeah, no sweat, I’ll make the time. But for myself? Nah. I just wouldn’t be able to keep up the juggling act if I had to take care of Me, too.

I’m aware of how awful that sounds, and I really don’t intend on playing the martyr. I figure, in October, I’ll turn 27, and I’ll get a haircut and color, and buy myself some new clothes, and start doing aerobics on the regular, and I’ll feel better about myself. In the meantime, I’m fine with letting my grades slide from “uber-spectacular” to “better than average” if it means keeping my sanity intact.

That small bit of reprioritizing – giving my ego a rest from feeding on my “I got the highest grade on the exam!” high – is making all the difference. These days, I’m enjoying the hell out of every second that’s not spent in the classroom and making the most of my time in the classroom (usually by writing lists and making studying outlines). I’m learning to finagle the system to my liking, and that makes me feel like everything’s going to be okay.


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