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The hectic life as a mom, wife, daughter, + writer equates a continuous and simultaneous running of all cylinders.

The ‘B’ Word

It occurred to me the other day, while surrounded by brimming piles of overstuffed laundry baskets, thousands of teeny-weeny pieces of legos strewn across the house like sprinkles atop an ice cream cone and a laptop whose cursor was condescendingly blinking back at me, just why, as a working mother, balance is so difficult to achieve — something by which finding the Holy Grail or the ever-elusive Fountain Of Youth might be more easily attainable. But to answer this question, it’s imperative to take a stroll marathon back down memory lane.

Once upon a time, when kids were a mere dream and my own comfort and happiness were an actual consideration, I had what I would have considered, a really balanced life. I worked hard and I played hard. I allotted ample doses of ‘me’ time as well as time for my friends and family. I focused on my professional achievements as well as personal ones. I read, watched, and wrote till my heart was content. I was for all intents and purposes, content and balanced, living a life peppered with variety and harmony.

But looking at that former life, however, it’s become blatantly obvious why my life is so out of balance now… I’m attempting to apply the same subset of expectations to a life that doesn’t even begin to resemble to my former one. I’ll never again exist in a world steeped in such freedom or solipsism. So why then, am I looking to it for answers on how to achieve it now?

Just as my role and responsibilities have changed drastically with the addition of each child, so too, does the need for my expectations in an effort to fully comprehend what balance actually looks like within the confines of such framework. Over time, a seismic shift has occurred, by which most of my day is spent tending to the needs of my children. Therefore, balance can’t mean having as much freedom as I do obligation, or dedicating as much time indulging my own desires (or even the occasional solo trip to the bathroom) as I do those of my children’s. The scales will always be tipped in the direction of my kids, and after all, that’s what parenthood is all about, rendering the theory of balance to be truly what you make of it and not at all about the actual evenness of reality. Motherhood catapults you into a new balance which while certainly does not favor me, overall, I favor it.

 

 

You Are Here.

Have you ever noticed that there’s no sense of contentedness when you’re a parent? You barely make your way home from the hospital before people are already asking you when you’re planning to have your next one. I can distincly remember comprehending the ridiculousness of such a question, and the fact that I’d just dedicated the last 10 months to growing a child and more recently, at that point, the last 22 hours birthing said child, yet I too, still fall victim to the continuum model of motherhood. It’s this ever-present parental momentum that seems to plague me throughout each stage of kid’s childhood. And while I’d love to be focused on the truly astounding characteristics my children are currently exhibiting, basking in the gloriousness each stage brings, I feel this nagging pressure to be constantly looking forward to those things my child should be doing next, keeping me from being —and enjoying—the present.

Take for instance: crawling. A truly imperative milestone in and of itself and one with which has been proven to increase brain functionality, stimulating those areas which help with memory capabilities, better reading comprehension, and lifelong hand-eye coordination. Yet, instead of celebrating this crazy talent that my little one had so proficiently mastered, I set my sights to the next stage: walking. How insane is that? I mean, let us take stock of the fact that a mere 6 months ago, he were more a stationary object than anything else, akin to that of a decorative pillow over an actual human, and by all intents and purposes, he just sat there eating and pooping. But alas, he’s mastered a fundamental skill all by himself and I can’t even give him enough credit to let him just do that for minute? What a jerk he must think I am. I mean seriously, can you imagine such pressure? What if adults were expected to learn at such lightening speed? ‘Ohh, you just learned quantum physics? How cute! Now, teach yourself how to perform brain surgery.’

You Are Here.

Yet, I can’t take total credit for the complete and utter sabotage that I place unto myself. It’s also part and parcel to the fact that as parents these days, we’re inundated with milestone reminders that tell you exactly where and what your child should be doing at that exact, finite moment, similar to those mall directories that give you the ‘You are here’ coordinates. And so, if perhaps your child is not ‘right there‘ and say, ‘over here‘ instead, they give you this artificial cause for concern and so starts the cycle of constant trajectory thinking and your time for relishing in the beauty of today’s talents, are thrown swiftly out the window.

So, in an effort to satisfy the ubiquitous resolution in the new year and preserve a bit of sanity for myself and wonderment surrounding my children’s childhood, I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to shut off the continual mile markers and establish my own coordinats for happiness. And so instead of measuring my child based on are you here?, I’m starting to think in terms of how happy are you here?

The glass half empty

I wish I could say that there weren’t any resolutions to be made this year due in large because I’d done such an amazing job sticking to those that I’d resolved to make last year. However, that just isn’t the case. So, as with most everyone I know, I too, find myself joining the ranks of trying to set a few resolutions for which to abide in the new year.

One of them has been to become more consistent with my water intake throughout the day. Now, let’s rewind to 5 years ago when my children count was zero and my biggest responsibility was to make sure my dog ate in the morning and my husband and I ate at night. Done and done, right? Back then, I drank water like it was my job and my skin was glowing and my energy was plentiful and my body was hydrated and happy. The key for me, was to always remember to have my waterbottle next to me, filled up. That way, it was a consistent reminder to constantly drink throughout the day. Now, fast forward to the present day and assess the current situation: dark circles have permenantly taken claim over my undereyes like that of a football player preparing for play on a sunny day (think black grease). My energy levels, while still high by most people’s estimation, I do feel like I coul on many days, in fact fall asleep standing up. And I wouldn’t even be picky about it, I mean, the grocery store? Sure. The preschool drop-off lane? You bet. The Target dressing room? Yessss please. And then that leads me to the last assessment: my body… Probably less ‘hydrated and happy’, and a little more similiar to ‘abused and adandoned’. Kind of like that of an old bike tire, deflated and left for another day.

So I’ve started putting together a game plan for how I would combat my less-than-stellar water intake in an effort to put my resolution to action and return to a good water regimn, and it occured to me why this has been such a challenging task to master. It’s actually not as a result of my lack of disipline in remembering to fill up my water bottles or to even keep them with me throughout the day, it’s because while my children both have their own multitude of drinking apperati, they for some reason, insist on drinking from mine! So, not only are they not left where I put them, they’re almost always empty, to boot. It’s like having two little water thieves that break into my house, daily. Two cute water thieves, but thieves, nevertheless. And while it’s true, they do rob me of my hopeful hydration and wishful vitality, they do provide me with quite a few other pretty amazing things, and maybe even sleep will be one of them, one day. So I’ll consider it a wash.

So, now that I’ve gotten to the bottom of why I’m always thirsty and longing for the water that I was sure I filled up in my waterbottle that I’m certain is somewhere around here, that leads me to my next resolution: no more little thieves. 🙂

Do you hear that?

take control iconI remember very distinctly back to the days when, upon getting into my car, no sooner did my door close, my hand was already on the volume button turning up whatever song happen to be a favorite at the time. The tune, melodically carrying me along, until I reached my desired destination and I went on with my day. And while I’m sure I daydreamed a bit, the music was front and center, the focal point of my rested mind.

This ancient memory came to me after driving yesterday because of its almost humorous nostalgia; the stark contrast it cast on my current life. Let’s set the scene:

After getting both kids dressed (Hudson out of his pajamas and into school clothes, Hawkins into his second set of clothes for the day after he spit up his oatmeal no shortage of 3 times — and all by 8:45), I navigated to our shoe cabinet (yes, we have to keep shoes on lock down like razor blades at a CVS, for fear our littlest one will devour their unsavory soles). Then it’s the overwhelming important decision of picking out Hudson’s hat choice of the day (Spiderman, Batman or 49ers, respectively). A reminder to grab his lunchbox on the way to the car, and we’re getting all strapped in the for car ride ahead. But wait– I forgot the sunscreen. Back into the garage to lather him with his daily dose of SPF’s and we’re once again, on our way. However, by this time, Hawkins has lost his shit with his hand-held mozart piano and is in hot pursuit to find the next toy of enticement.

Did I sent out my invoice for my newest client? Coastal is having their buy one, get one on glasses and it ends today- ehh, I’ve got to call my eye dr. and get my prescription so I can order them! I must remember to pick up the gift for our birthday party this weekend. Speaking of, it’s only 17 days until Hudson’s party…I really need to make a list of design ideas and apps for his party. I’ll go on Pinterest. I need to do some outreach for one of my clients on Pinterest today too. Damn Pinterest and your ridiculously cute and stupidly unattainable ideas for everything, I wish I were more creative like my Sister. God, I’ve got to call her back. Her little ones have birthdays coming up too! Add birthday cards to my list for Target. When should I go to target, before or after naps today? Hmm, if after, then traffic sucks — but then at least I’ll have a few minutes of modified solitude since I’ll be driving and unavailable to be climbed on like a jungle gym or play assistant to Hudson in the formation of farm animals made of play dough. Add wine to the list. I’d really love to take Hudson back to the Pumpkin Patch this weekend again- it was so much fun.

This was my monologue. Our car ride to school is 6 minutes. And while there was no radio on, the thoughts were so absolutely deafening, it was as if I were blasting AC/DC for the whole neighborhood to hear. In fact, I wonder if this is a slight humming sound that emits from my head like the adulation of a refrigerator cooling itself down. It amazes me how all-consuming our lives can be when our mind is on over-drive. How truly loud our thoughts are when there’s so many circulating at once.

So while most days I don’t have the luxury of pumping my favorite playlist, at least I’m melodically reminded that my life is full, and my heart even fuller.

Words

blog post #2I am a writer, therefore, my relationship with words has always been an intimate one. I make sense of life based on the words I use to describe it. They help me define and articulate my thoughts and have long since been my tool for healing and providing comfort. To me, words are the window to my world, and yet ironically on one of the most important days of my life, words were noticeably absent.

The inescapable loss for words on the day I first held my son was something I’d never experienced. His beautiful, rhythmic breathing left me mesmerized as I held him against my chest and found myself in a trance-like state of just staring. This perfect being, my perfect being. The cosmic union of sperm and egg stared up at me with almond eyes as I caressed his soft, buttery skin. His intrinsic understanding that I was his entire world, the lifeline to everything, and right then and there, him, mine.

And, it was in this moment I said nothing. No words. Not a single adjective could adequately convey my feelings because in that place, words were not enough. They couldn’t explain the majesty of what lay before me, the magnitude of love I had for him. The life I’d wanted, created, carried and fought to bring into this world now peacefully grasping my finger. He instinctively nourished his body from mine and all I could do was stare back. That which always provided comfort and afforded me the ability to express myself was now somehow completely and woefully inadequate. The typical flood of words, which pulse through me in clips and phrases like blood in my veins had left my body entirely, and in that moment I was simply one with him, words excluded.

Edit:Undo

blog post #3

There are few things that excite me more than an orderly life. And I realize how insanely boring that makes me sound, but it’s true and utterly inescapable, really. I blame it all on my Grandmother, who, when I was very young, showed me the wonder of an overly-organized spice rack, and the rest was history. So now in my adult life, my perfectly manicured linen closet (organized by size, shape and color, of course) as well as the multitude of baskets for sorting my kids’ toys, sings those same praises. Even if the toys only stay put away for 10 minutes, in that fraction of an hour, all was right in the world. (Damned, legos. Who needs 900 pieces anyway?)

And as if that weren’t enough, I actually fantasize about applying those same obsessive methods for organization to real life. For example, since most days are spent writing, my love affair with Edit:Undo has reached epic proportions. It does my Type-A self good as I go through the lovely little sequence of restoring order. But what if we could use the same method for remediation for life’s mishaps? Forgot your computer at home for an important meeting? Edit:Undo. Left the kid’s lunches on the counter when leaving for school? Edit:Undo. Stepped on the 14th lego of the day? Edit:Undo!

And in this day and age with 3D printing and companies shipping via drones, it seems that at the very least, there should be an app for that, no? In the meantime I’m not saying that being over-the-top, fastidiously organized is the best way to be, but I kind of am. Whoops….Edit:Undo.

It’s really funny, actually… (right?)

blog post #1,jpgEver heard the saying that if you can’t find the humor in life and its inevitable and otherwise host of unsavory situations, then you’ll pretty much be miserable for the whole duration of it? Yep, well that’s kind of how this blog got its start. As a mom of two under 4, a wife, a daughter, and a social media strategist and content writer for several companies and start-ups in the Bay Area, my life doesn’t contain much down time. And I’m not playing the woe-is-me card AT ALL, it just goes with the territory (a territory that I happen to love, btw), but one in which can be pretty difficult to navigate some days. My life literally always has too.many.open. tabs.

Take right now for instance, open right now on my computer I have (not in order of importance, of course): ‘The 10 best spaghetti squash recipes’; ‘Take action, save the bees petition’; A Special new baby food purée ice cube trays; A pair of Vintage Collection Nikes I’m coveting (I need to run more); Dropbox; Facebook (of course for both me and my clients’ pages); ‘Are BPA-free cans healthy?’ article; An MS Word Doc; ‘6 stretches for a sore neck and back’; 3 Excel Spreadsheets; A new skincare line I know I need, but have been putting off; Huffington Post; Activities for 4 year-olds; Pinterest; Clients’ webpages I’m editing; WordPress; And another damn article about one of the Kardashians (Why do I even care?). And it’s only 9:30. AM. Whoa.

But again, if you can’t find humor in the fact that I’ve set up my day (and expectations) to make a spaghetti squash in my brand-new nikes, just having washed my face with my fab new skincare regimen while checking the current news, editing work for my clients, saving bees from extinction, writing content with my right hand whilst gluing a popsicle stick for an arts n’ crafts project for my 4-year old with my left and whipping up a batch of baby food purées in those new designer trays I bought, then I’m in the wrong job. Because that’s life, or that’s my life at least, and as much I do enjoy downtime without the stress of multi-tasking, let’s face it: that comes once in a blue moon. Whoops, just remembered I forgot to do my neck + back stretches… I guess that one will have to wait til’ I have at least 1 free hand. The next blue moon perhaps?

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