July 16, 2007

establishing cruising altitude

Well, motherhood is starting to become normal. I think I got out of emergency mode about 6 weeks ago. Now I'm starting to get quite calm about things. I'm getting to that place where you can consider going for a walk on the south coast or visiting a gallery without having to climb a large hill of Things To Manage. Sure, I still have to manage a large number of things in order to actually do the activity, but they are things I've managed before.

I was reading an article on change management about 18 months ago. It referred to research which said non-habitual activities took up way more mental effort than habitual ones. The said that habitual tasks only use some simple part of the brain whereas non-habitual tasks use all sorts of expensive parts of the brain. The article said that this was one of the reasons we resist change - it is expensive for us as individuals, because we have to engage in non-habitual behaviour.

I think this is one of the reasons new parents are so flattened by the first 6 weeks of parenting. Yes, the baby takes a lot of work and doesn't sleep nearly as much as you need them to - but I think the most grueling thing is the amount of non-habitual effort you do. Simple things like having a shower are non-habitual if you have had a c section. Figuring out how to make a cup of coffee for yourself while keeping the baby safe and reasonably happy can be quite draining. As for getting the baby to go to sleep or learning how to breast feed. Phew.

So now I am starting to do things from habit and it is much easier.

p.s. I think the non-habitual nature of life in a house of renovations is a reason why people hate it so much.

Posted by carla at July 16, 2007 10:10 PM
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