As friends around me have their first babies and I listen to their panic over visiting the grocery store with baby in tow, or trying to make dinner, I realize how much my life has changed. 3 years ago I couldn’t have imagined having the energy, never mind the organization, to get out there with my two kids to run errands, go on adventures, or host playdates. The idea of even making it to those first NEST Philly classes was a challenge. I remember literally feeling like my heart was going to come out of my chest THUMP THUMP THUMP as I packed us up and headed out. I was so nervous and had to pack a million things in order to feel comfortable to leave the house. I’d also plan my escape route and excuse before leaving so I wouldn’t feel trapped. I’d be nervous that Raf would cry (um, babies cry) or that he’d be hungry the second we finally made it to checkout at the store, or God forbid that he’d spit up in public. It was the last thing that had me in the biggest panic.
Those early months were so hard.
Raffi as a baby:
Ali as a baby:
Raffi as a toddler when Ali was born:
The kids now:
Then Ali came around and it seemed so much easier the second time around. I was out and about with BOTH kids almost immediately. I nursed Ali everywhere, including in the middle of the city while perched on someone’s front steps. When she had poopsplosions or spat up, I only sighed, cleaned it up, and went on with my day instead of panicking or freaking out. I also quickly learned that having a solid routine is the key to my kids’ and my personal happiness. I live and die by our schedule.
On that note, I wonder when my life won’t be dictated by the 1 PM naptime. I can’t imagine my life the way I used to live it – staying out all day if I chose. It really feels ridiculously foreign, and I realize how crazy that sounds.
Today life seems so much easier and more natural than it was at the beginning. Although I felt I was born to be a mother, it didn’t come naturally or very easy to me in some respects. It is now though. I think the difference is confidence. I no longer care what other people think about basically anything, and I do what I feel is best for my family in every small and big decision I make. While I still feel tired some days, I somehow mostly have the energy to do all my chores before my eyes are fully awake. I take my kids on a fun morning adventure, and pound through work while they nap. I then pack them up again to do errands or head to the playground, and somehow when I come home I still find the energy to make dinner, clean up dinner, do bathtime and bedtime. Some days I feel like it’s not enough, but then I look back and realize it’s a miracle I survive every day.
Where does that energy come from?
One problem I do have is saving some of that energy for my husband. I feel like I spend 99% of my day doing something for my kids, and 1% goes to taking care of myself or my husband. Hopefully as our kids grow older and more independent with tasks like cleaning up after themselves, that can change.
I recognized, early on, that my life is not going to be perfect. It’s hard to let that go though. Most days our kitchen will be cleaned up and the toys will all be away. Our kids will be freshly scrubbed and happily read books in their beds. Other days are really challenging though. On those days I take a deep breath and try to focus on the main blessings – that our kids are healthy, that we have delicious fresh food on our table, that we have a beautiful home to live in with our beautiful family, and that we both have careers we love and care about. The crumbs can wait just a little bit, and the toys won’t stay out forever.
I don’t really know what the point of this is. This time of year always makes me reflective. It just amazes me that 3 years ago I was navigating the world through the eyes of a new mother panicked at every little thing, and today I feel like a well seasoned mom, ready to tackle any challenge that comes my way.
After a lifetime of cable TV we’ve canceled it!
I’ve watched as a lot of friends have canceled their expensive Comcast or Verizon accounts around us. I kept saying we were going to do it too, but I couldn’t suck it up and just DO IT. I was worried that I’d miss our mindless flipping. We don’t watch that much TV in this house, but we do watch a show in bed after the kids go to sleep. The kids watch a show every morning or evening, depending on when we need the quiet time most. And my husband is in love with CNN. Oh, and my guilty pleasure is working my way through my DVR in the background while I work. So, um, yeah I guess we do like TV.
We did it though. It’s been about a week now and it’s going great. We kept our Verizon account because we obviously still need an internet connection and a good one at that. I work from home, and a slower internet connection doesn’t allow me to VNC the way I need to. It would have been over $100/month for my internet connection alone, but somehow with the “bundle” of basic cable, strong internet connection and a basic phone line our bill would go down to $70/month. For comparison, our original bill with basic phone line, internet, and premium cable on 3 TVs with one DVR was $180/month. I’m embarrassed we paid that for as long as we did. $70/month sounds far more reasonable to me.
Since it took me a long time to understand how it works, let me explain how we are still watching TV.
Part 1: Hardware
We are using Apple TVs. We have two, one is in our bedroom and one is in our kitchen. We don’t sit on the couch too often, but eventually we will get one for the living room too.
Part 2: Subscriptions
1- We have “FiOS TV local” which I translate to basic cable. This means we can get all the fun PBS shows for the kids (as well as Downton Abbey!) plus ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and CW as well as a few Spanish channels and a few other random channels. The curious thing about this is that instead of being channel 10 or channel 8, the channel numbers are strange combinations like 70-10 and 102-04. Weird and hard to remember.
2- We are Amazon Prime members. This means we have access to plenty of movies and TV shows. I found several documentaries I want to watch. We have been members since having Raffi as I really love the free 2 day shipping.
3. We joined Hulu Plus for $7.99/month. The biggest negative thing about Hulu Plus is that there are lots of commercials. There are even commercials during the exercise videos which is annoying. There’s nothing that I can imagine breaking your yoga groove more than a loud, colorful commercial. The biggest advantage is that many of the current seasons of shows I like are available, and new episodes seem to be available within a day or two.
So now I’m no longer an avid Facebook user and I no longer have cable. What could be next? And since I know you’re going to ask for an update – my Facebook account is no longer deactivated. I needed it too much for random work and personal reasons. However, I no longer stay signed into it. I have to enter my email address and password anytime I want to visit Facebook, so I’m less likely to go on unless I have something I actually need to do. It was a good compromise.