First, let me set the scene. All things going on in my life right now are set against a backdrop of sleep deprivation. Our weeks of the flu set the little guy off his sleep schedule, and this made for a series of sleepless nights all in a row, which I've found one doesn't instantly bounce back from... it takes some time to build a good foundation of functional sleep when you get too far in deficit. And while I've mostly kept my insomnia at bay with a mix of herbal remedies found at Whole Foods (more on this in another post) and good old-fashioned deep breathing, I'm still by no means a person who falls asleep in the evening and wakes up in the morning, refreshed. Even on my best nights, I'm up at least once or twice, most recently to see if that sound I heard coming from the baby's room is the onset of another episode of violent puking, or rather just him shuffling around in his sleep.
And then there are The Dudes. Do you remember back in February when a bunch of guys in their twenties moved in upstairs? Things could be worse, I suppose, but it has been a really tough adjustment for me to live with so much ambient noise. If they were throwing wild parties every night, we'd have some recourse, but as it is, they are just living in their space, but living like people in their twenties: playing music till 1am, walking around heavily till 2am, drinking and talking (loudly) on the back porch until 3am. They're not blaring the music, or tap dancing, and they don't have a barking dog, plus they warn us when they're going to have a real throwdown of a party (so what if it is on a weekend when we have long-standing plans for friends with kids to come stay with us, which we then have to cancel and leave town for fear of the whole family being kept up all night), even with all of this, I know it could be worse. We just live in an old building with thin walls, and when the bass only stops thumping at 1am and your kid wakes up at 5:30am... well, you do the math... this does not for a rested mama make. Between flus and dudes, I'm working with a maybe six-week deficit on good, restful, high quality sleep. So, there's that...
Then there is the daily schedule now, dominated still by a very active toddler, and my twin searches for daycare and work (aka, chicken and egg). I can summarize these elements in three swift bullet points:
- Toddler: is a skilled climber, curious and mischievous and must be watched at nearly every moment for reasons of both safety and comedy. I've given myself a daily "Sesame Clause" wherein I buy myself an hour to accomplish things while he hangs with Elmo, but beyond this and his one to two hour nap, I'm on duty roughly 6am-6pm daily. I love every blessed minute of it, and wouldn't trade it for anything, but it takes a lot of energy, and other than the occasional auntie drop-by and the two hours of rock-star parenting my husband somehow manages to pull off nightly after he gets home and despite his own frenetic schedule, it is all mama all the time. It's a lot, and I'm not afraid to admit it. People with more than 2 or 3 kids, I tip my hat to you. Seriously.
- Daycare: hard to know what to look for when I don't yet have a job, yet once I get an offer, I'll need to pull the trigger on some sort of arrangement within a week or two, presumably. I was spoiled in Vermont by the lack of choices (ironic, I know, but deciding between 2 or 3 places is a whole lot easier than deciding between 20 or 30) and the quality and availability of the choices that existed... no waitlists, open green spaces, loving caregivers, reasonable prices... I didn't know how good I had it. I now find myself looking all over metro-Boston, and have yet to find one place that doesn't have a pretty fatal flaw or two. Places based out of trailers, old storefronts and apartments barely beyond the level of the husband's college frat house (no offense, boys) charge a monthly fee as much or more than our rent. I have yet to walk away from a place thinking, "Wow, what a great fit! And worth every penny!" Plus, even the worst of the worst places seems to have a months long waiting list. I have faith I'll find something, but there's an agita associated with this search that is hard to quite describe. This is an energy suck to say the least.
- Job Hunt: it is tough out there, people. I have a really diverse skill set, and when I find that right match, I know it is going to be fulfilling and energizing to be back in the work force. In the meantime, despite some good phone interviews, nothing has panned out yet, and there seem to be a lot of people going for every possible job on the market. It is slow going, and I'm feeling the pressure inherent in that, coupled with a love for my current job as a mom that is distracting to the focus of my hunt (see: bullet point one re: time for drafting brilliant cover letters and following up doggedly on leads).
In the meantime, in the rare instances of the day where I find myself in a quiet moment, I'm usually busting out cover letters, or calling daycares, or tending to household chores, or stealing a needed nap in the case of some of those worst weeks of the flu. We've had visitors and short trips out of town to make. I'm in a wedding this weekend! I'm still trying to find the time to run the pond and hit the odd yoga class, plus sneak out for an ever so sanity-saving chat with one of my best Boston gals here and there. In short, the days and weeks are flowing by, and I've been without the time and spirit to really give SMJ my best creative energy.
I hope this doesn't come off as a litany of complaints, because it is not. I just feel you're on this adventure with me, and had to give you the legit debrief as the month begins. I'm actual feeling rather grounded and content, all things considered. Just a bit busy, tired, and not terribly creative in the cooking and blogging realm of things. I've been kind of dialing it in for both (let's just say, there's been a lot of pizza involved). Something's gotta give, and in this case, it is my creative juices.
I need a muse, and I think her name is Spring. Every lighter, warmer day seems to signal a shift and an impending newness that I know will carry us with it. Until then, thanks for stopping by, even when there isn't a new post up, and thanks to all who came around for the Hayfork giveaway as well. Your reading and commenting means more than you could know!
What do you turn to for creative inspiration?
With this guy around, I'm easily distracted...