Where am I right now? What is in front of me? How am I feeling? What is necessary? Why am I here? How can I make this moment better? Am I and those around me safe and happy? All of these questions sound, objectively, like a person who has reached ultimate awareness and mindfulness. Or it’s a mother/homemaker with two under two and a dog who runs her own business with neither parent eligible for family leave.
There are days, or really most every day, when I can’t hear my own thoughts. My left eye has been twitching constantly for the last five months. A day where I’ve had time to floss is the ultimate indulgence. As I write this, I have a vague idea of what I want to say, but really I am only taking a mere blip to think of the words as they exit my fingers. As I exist now, I know I am living my best days, even in my hardest moments.
I have my laptop propped on my sweater which is lain on my one month old beautiful baby boy’s legs who sits in my pretzeled-leg-lap (this is the only place he wants to be without crying) as I sit on my couch looking out at the trees as my toddler is at an indoor gym class with his father. Kieran, born January 7th at 6:07pm, examines the delicate flowers on my shirt with a smile on his face. I am in delight staring at his little eyelids as they slowly open and close around his slate blue peepers.
I have known I wanted two children since I was young. An only child myself, I remember asking for a sibling, but it was not in the cards for my family. I’ve always had friends, but in a way, I’ve always felt alone, despite having an abundance of love, care and affection from my family. I wanted my children to have their person to go to, despite the ups and downs. Someone who could understand them on a deeper level.
In the sweet-spot moment of that 10-month bliss where Weston had finally started sleeping through the night and the two of us could enjoy activities together, I thought it was the perfect time to try for a second baby. I even remember the moment I knew it was the day as a glimmer of spring sun came through the window while we were baking blueberry muffins. Alas, Kieran’s arrival has come upon us and neither of our children sleep through the night, but somehow, I really don’t mind. I know and can see that I am raising genuinely good people who love and care about others and they, in turn, are raising me to be a more empathetic, happy person as well.
After I gave birth to Weston, I was in my vocal booth within the hour of the nurses releasing me from the hospital. Once again, the same was true for Kieran. Oddly enough, despite being busier than I have ever been, I get more done in one day than I EVER have before in my entire life. A colleague of mine from a theater I am a member of emailed me a week after Kieran was born asking me if I would be able to participate in a reading of her musical. “Is it possible with two little fellows to consider this?” she asked. Well, yes?…(with the gracious help of my mother who comes over a few times a week, my generous husband’s employer who lets him work from home and move his schedule around and my own schedule that I make up as well) I think I can make that work.
‘To the Busiest Person’ was the title of her next message to me - thanking me and reciting a proverb from her childhood music teacher, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” At first I chuckled, because I know a lot of people who have a lot more time to assist. However, I keep a very short to-do list these days. I clearly remember my to-do list used to be quite a lot longer before children or “B.C.” as my husband and I call it. If I think of something that needs to happen, I pretty much get it done as soon as possible in the fastest amount of time I can complete it, within reason. Because 1) I will forget and 2) there will be no other time in existence to do it!
I am, naturally, a very detail oriented person and have never enjoyed the card game, ‘Spit’ as its speed and haphazard nature stressed me out. My husband used to (and still sometimes does) laugh at how I put leftovers in the Tupperware. One spoon, by one spoon. He took a pot from me one day: lifted it up out of my hands and poured the whole lot of sauce into the Tupperware in one fell swoop. At first, I must admit, I was quite triggered. He interrupted my way! My system! My sense of peace! But now…man, if something can be streamlined…I’m gonna do it. In a somewhat shocking, but not so shocking result, I realized that in the last year (my first whole year as a mother), I doubled my income from my voiceover business. Mind you, I wasn’t makin’ the millions to begin with, so it’s not a HUGE feat, but it does feel like a huge accomplishment to me.
It is very easy to feel bogged down with clutter of the literal and metaphysical sense. There is always so much more I can do and so many people who do things better than me, but with a lack of time to worry about all that nonsense, does any of it really matter? I am proud of myself for the work I have done, yes, but I am even more proud of myself for being the mother that my toddler comes running to with a kiss and a cuddle as well.
I am even proud of my very existence. Just to sit here and breathe is a miracle. Since having Kieran, that has been on my mind every day. Maybe it is because I have no plan for more children and I’m trying to take in every breath I can or maybe it is because of the nature of Kieran’s entrance into this world…an unintentional natural birth that truly connected me with the tectonic plates, space plasma and the core of subsistence. One of the nurses announced to my husband that her Apple Watch warned she was in the presence of ‘dangerous noise levels’ as I shouted, “WHY DO PEOPLE EVEN EXIST?!” I felt profound. I felt like I invented life. No one else could have possibly achieved what I just did. The worst yet most fulfilling pain of all time!! Alas, hundreds of thousands of women do this every single day. And with that, I can never feel alone.