I’ve been at sea, guys. I’m sorry I’ve been MIA.
We were just in San Francisco for 5 weeks, and I had planned to find a babysitter (of course there’s an app for that) and keep up working and blogging as per usual – I mean, that’s a good chunk of time, I didn’t want to lose momentum.
But then I found out that nannies from any reputable service in SF command $30/hr for 2 kids (that’s a $70K annual salary for playing legos, if anyone is looking for a change in career and fancies the sunshine). And then one of them was charged with a horrific crime a day or two after we arrived. So my childcare plan took a long walk off a short pier.
The first half of the trip, I worked when the kids went to bed. I had several deadlines to meet (I do freelance writing, recipes and photography). I kept up with posting here for a while, because I’d done lots of cooking before the trip. But then as time went on, the blog content I’d prepared in advance dried up, and so did my all-around productivity.
You see, trying to get stuff done with a two-year-old and a newly-mobile six-month-old is like trying to brush your teeth with a mouth full of Oreos. And attempting to focus on something other than them leads to tears of frustration all around.
So I decided to lean in to the situation, and something magical happened. It turned into me spending almost three solid weeks just playing with my two babies. I didn’t feel tugged in two directions anymore. I wasn’t frazzled. I didn’t feel exhausted (despite a hungry chubster continuing to wake me up for milk three times a night). I had more patience, more energy, more happiness, more focus, better short-term memory. I got deeply re-acquainted with my older boy and really got to know my little radish-gnawing peanut.
And while there’s no chance I’d want to go on like that (with no work, no play dates, no hubby dates, no friends, no babysitters, no toddler gymnastics, no yoga class, not even a solo bath), it was a full swing in the opposite direction of my normal life of juggling and busyness. It was hard in a different way, but life in general was simpler. It gave me new perspective, and a strong desire to slow down.
It’s so easy to get sucked into the web whirlwind. There’s a pressure to constantly produce beautiful, relevant content, driven by a nonstop barrage from top-notch social media feeds. It’s hectic, it’s overstimulating, it makes you feel like you’re always a step behind everyone else, and never quite good enough. I’m not complaining, I love what I do and feel so grateful for it, but I needed the time off, the deep breath, the opportunity to reassess.
I don’t know what the right balance is, but I do know that I need to compartmentalize my life a bit better so that when I’m with the babies, I’m really with them – not one eye on an email, and half my brain on a project. And I want to move forward in this space with same lightness and playfulness and happy imperfection it started with.
If you’re a blogger and are feeling the same way, check out Aimee’s list of links for bloggers on Simple Bites from last week – it came at the perfect time for me, so many pearls of wisdom I found helpful.
Anyway, I don’t even know if I have a point. I just wanted to say hi, I have no recipe for you today because I have been busy making grass soup (above) with my toddler and taking frizzy-haired, makeup-free, bra-exposing selfies with my baby who, I didn’t realize, had barf on his face (#reallife).