Struggling to find the time to do the many things that I love.
One of those many things is to journal. A few days ago, I started using the voice function on my phone to journal in the car at red lights. Too many thoughts that I don’t want to see vanish. Another of those things is blogging. So many topics to blog about, so little time. One late night, I wrote a long chatty “one month alone” update blog in my drafts but sadly, somehow when I went back to it this morning, I found it blank. Sigh.
So, to use a cooking term, here is the essence of that blog post in a 20 minute “reduction”. No, really. I just started my stop watch. 🙂
Truth be told, I love a good reduction. Usually, by boiling, you reduce your mixture, thus also intensify the flavors…
Délice is seven weeks young and Ayo 23 months. That means that I have been handling the two on my own during the week for one whole month now. Someone recently asked me how it is going with two under two. I had to respond this way: It is both harder and easier than I thought. It is lonelier and yet busier than I had imagined. It’s way more fun and way more mundane than I had thought it would be. It is more thankless yet so full of snuggles and hysterical laughing. Finally, it is more of a wonderful challenge and a more frustrating than I had thought it would be. For example, last week, I realized it had taken me a full two hours to get out the door. You remember the children’s book “Everyone Poops”? Well, the more accurate title for our life phase would be its sequel: “Everyone has Pooped AGAIN!”. I counted nine poops between two kiddos one day. Sometimes it feels like these are the only thing I am doing: changing diapers, clothes and feeding. It’s a lot. Both for me and for TM – even if I am the primary care-giver during the week. We have not fully figured out a good balance between kiddos, time for us and time for each of us yet…but that will come in time. Still, mentally and emotionally, I think I am in a fairly good place.
I am in the thick of the tension of not being sure I actually enjoy being at home full-time and yet trying to be diligent in the task before me, knowing full well that I am giving to these two munchkins what only a parent could give linguistically, nutritionally, educationally, spiritually etc. This is the hardest and most mundane job I have ever had. Give me a board room jam-packed of Chinese architects to present to in that urban design firm in Shanghai. Give me the volatile French boss who wanted me to decide if he should buy a company that evening based on my report. This job now is simply harder. Yet, I am the luckiest mother in the world not to have missed out on a single moment of my babies’ lives for the past almost two years. Surely, that is worth a short-term sacrifice?
The reason I feel in an okay place mentally and emotionally is not only because I am slowly getting the hang of things with two under two (namely learning to endure the inefficiencies of small humans) and easing back into running, but because a few life-giving opportunities seem to be cropping up. It’s often feast or famine like that in my life. First, there are good reasons to believe that I will be starting a sizable translation project this week. Translation is what you might call my “Starbucks job”. Nothing too exciting but pulling shots is sometimes more therapeutic than the repetitive task of getting a toddler to wear a jacket. Secondly, a company I had contacted five years ago (!!) would like me to host a cross-cultural training seminar for soon-to-be-expats. To put this into context, if I had to pin one down, I think this would be one of my dream jobs. I just had to say yes! Sure, these are “only” side gigs, but truly solid opportunities I am really excited for. I honestly don’t have the time for much more than this. Actually, I do have a couple of night feedings during which time I can research opportunities for the future. Nothing I am comfortable sharing yet as I am still in the dreaming phase. Still, it is SO life-giving to think about life after diapers. Will that be in the birth world, in the cross-cultural marketing world, in the speech and language pathology world? Only time will tell..
I also still have one personal branding client. Sometimes, I regret having kept any work at all as I feel guilty for not exceeding my clients’ expectations but as I am learning about mothers of small children, they just make time out of not much at all. They sleep less. They prioritize more. To be blunt, whether they are working at home or going into an office, they work their ass off. I pray to God that I will remember to encourage that frazzled mother in the grocery store for her freaking amazing work when I am older and not just tell them to “enjoy the moment for they pass by so fast”.
So, I see I went over my time by seven minutes. More thoughts later…