I have a love-hate relationship with writing. Lately I’ve felt nearly a CONSTANT impulse to write – to purge negative emotions, to process life’s craziness, and to reflect on what’s truly happening in the world and in my life. When I’m actually writing, I genuinely love it. I love the process of getting something down on paper (or screen), editing, seeing how it flows, rewriting, starting again – it’s very similar to how I approach painting and mixed-media work.
Also lately, I’ve felt extreme frustration for not having the time I would like to enjoy creative pursuits.
It’s rare that I have enough energy during the week to write or be expressive. After a full-time job, meal prep, and dinner, I am usually physically and emotionally exhausted by 8:30 during the week. So, I try to set aside some time during the weekend – and it’s usually pretty doable with Marcus around.
Today was kind of weird because Marcus was on a long motorcycle ride, so Mila and I were left to our own devices. I had planned on having a fun morning with her, and then meeting a few friends over on the Westside Trail to grab a beer and then hike a bit around lunch time.
Mila skipped her early nap, and I didn’t have time to gather all of the 800 baby-on-the-go supplies, so I’m trying to shovel lukewarm chopped up broccoli in her mouth (are the pieces chopped small enough??) while attempting to figure out what container to put formula in to take on the road (Where are all of the dang matching lids?!?).
How does my husband make this look so easy?? When he was on paternity leave, they went on a new adventure almost every day. He always managed to have a clean pair of clothes (perfectly coordinated of course), snacks, clean diapers, and her favorite Frida Kahlo doll. He had the ability of changing her, packing her bag, and getting her in the carseat in 15 minutes or less. Witchery!
Here I was, unable to gather those aforementioned items in TWO HOURS.
Aaaand she’s screaming. I hand her a few quinoa puffs or whatever beige crunchy thing is in this tube conveniently located next to me while I attempt to load the dishwasher to rinse off all of the deadly germs that are no doubt festering all over her unwashed bottles and plastic cups.
I hear a giggle, and look over to see her holding a puff between her fingers, holding it as Carl (our pup) licks it enthusiastically. She lets out a shriek of joy as she puts that same slobbery puff BACK into her mouth.
HOW DO PEOPLE HAVE TWINS??
kick gently maneuver Carl away as I toss some more broccoli on the child’s tray, while spraying the cat with water for eating out of the dog’s bowl, and realize that I’M also starving. Thanks to the modern marvels of Uber Eats and my sugar addiction, I procured one dozen Krispy Kreme donuts at 11:15 PM the night before, so I inhaled one of those perfectly glazed rings while my baby happily eats her healthy broccoli. She tries to feed it to Carl, and he runs away. I can relate.
WHERE IS THE DIAPER BAG?
I feel my stress level rise. I’m SO looking forward to being outside, getting out on the BeltLine, hanging with my friends. Why is this so difficult? I’m simply trying to feed myself, my baby, and get out the door.
We attempt to go in the carseat, and she begins to practice her newest gymnastics move. It’s very creative – she twists her arms around while arching her back, and tosses her head from side to side. She is either working on her prep into a backflip, or telling me that she doesn’t want to go in her carseat.
OK, so the Westside Trail is NOT happening at this point. I’m over it. My enthusiasm for the day is gone, but I am NOT letting this beautiful day go by without getting outside. Since the car isn’t an option, we’ll walk across the street to Glenwood Park.
By some miracle, the carrier is in the middle of the living room. 20 minutes later we’re in the park with our Golda Kombucha, 2 turkey sliders from Drip Coffee Shop, and a backpack filled with all the baby gear we don’t even need.
Babycakes practices standing up for a bit, then becomes entranced with a patch of fluffy clover. I enjoy watching a sweet family take maternity photos around the park, kids playing tee ball, and feeling the sunshine and relaxing breeze, whispering to me “CHILL OUT JEN, LIFE IS SO GOOD”.
We made it back to the house, and after a full bottle of Milk, Mila Rei was ready for her nap. Finally.
And FINALLY, I can type! Finally! I flip up the screen, and am greeted by the bright red battery icon flashing cheerfully. Of course the charger is not where I left it.
It’s a sign I should just finish the dishes, and start on the load of diapers I’m perpetually washing. Nope. Not this time! I will prevail. Got the cord. She’s still asleep.
Two seconds later, Marcus gets home from his ride. Gotta catch up! Try not to sound like the day was so stressful! Baby’s awake, but Papa is home to tag in for me. WINNING!
Now, they are gone to the store, getting something for dinner and I’m here, typing away. I’m doing better about staying in the moment, and actually enjoying all of these little ‘stressful’ things that will someday be a distant memory.
I know I will miss them.