To train for parenthood, I would recommend a training regimen of carrying a 15# dumbbell or kettlebell. Varying methods of holding the object, maybe by the handle, cradled against the chest, or even gentle dancing. Doesn’t matter, just keep holding it and don’t put it down.
Carry this object for increasing amounts of time. Maybe start with one accumulated hour of carrying every day. Build up to a few long (30+min) holds in there. Keep that thing close and with you all day.
So much has occurred over the past 13 days of life. I could write dozens of 500+word reflections without scrubbing the bottom of the pot for material. However, as a new parent of a newborn, I have neither the energy nor the dedicated time to start such an endeavor. So rather than jumping headlong into one topic, I will list some quick points to broadly cover the gamut of the past two weeks. Also, this better reflects my scatter-brained mind-space.
There is no way to prepare for the changes that you face ahead. The path to now, Current Eugene, is long and circuitous. You write “no two dogs, just a cat and an Andre.” Now, we have one dog, no Andre, and a baby on the way.
Ashley Caron! Ashley is a 36yo Burly human, athlete, and badass mom. I met Ashley through her spouse, Michael, a previous interviewee on the podcast who is equally motivated and inspirational. During this conversation, we discuss the challenges of motherhood at 26 versus 36, the early death of her uncle, and why she wants desserts on her deathbed.
With my time on the adolescent unit and interviewing folks for my podcast, I have a suite of skills that roughly translates over to the palliative consult service. The conversations are very similar in tone, depth, and length. The difference lies in intent and goal.
Having a baby on the way has opened up new conversation trees with my patients. These conversations require vulnerability on my part, relating personal details to my psych patients in a way that would cause some older psychiatrists to shake their head. These conversations also have great rewards, allowing me to ground the clinical discussions in the emotionally rich fabric of parenthood.