It’s been a while since I’ve done a coffee date-style post (although, don’t worry, there’s been plenty of coffee consumed). Here are a few things about my life that I’d share with you if we were having coffee.
-Life with two: getting easier.
I am hesitant to put this into writing (because if mothering has taught me anything, it’s that as soon as you find something that works for a stage, the stage changes…) but I think I’ve found a good rhythm with the two girls.
About two months ago, I sat down and listed Zoe’s main needs (peer socialization, exposure to kind adults at church, arts and crafts, music, some unstructured play time in our house, time outside, and physical play,) my daytime needs (finishing work projects, some exercise, seeing other moms, and getting the heck out of the house), Riley’s needs (eat, nap, and get bathed from time to time), and our household needs (buying groceries, food prep, bottle washing, Target trips, not living in a hovel). This is actually a rather annoying amount of things to juggle without a plan, so instead of looking at each week as a blank canvas and trying to figure out how to fit all this in, I made a weekly schedule that include all of these needs.
Now, Sunday through Thursday, my job each day is just to execute “the schedule,” adjusting as needed based on the girls’ needs that day. For everyone’s sanity, this schedule includes 20-25 minutes of TV for Zoe. It also includes a valiant effort at getting the girls to nap together (which works most days for at least 20 minutes—THANK YOU, JESUS!) and an iced coffee around 1 pm.
When Daddy’s home on the weekends, we change things up, but during the weekdays everyone seems happy and my sanity is intact—so I’m not changing a thing until I need to.
Also, did you notice that I’m letting the girls sit next to each other in that picture?! That hadn’t happened since Riley was about 3 weeks old because Zoe was getting violent with Riley. Happily, a few weeks ago, she decided she loves Riley and wants to be a great sister. It was like someone suddenly flipped her switch from “destroy the invader” to “love your sister with all your heart, soul and mind,” so although our massive intervention efforts had to have helped, I ultimately give God praise for softening her heart towards her sister.
My day-to-day life is SO much better now that going to the bathroom is no longer a perilous choice between taking two kids (one of whom can’t sit up and thus needs a baby carrier) into my tiny bathroom, or peeing as quickly as I can hoping I won’t come back to screams and blood. Zoe’s day is no longer spent in and out of time-out. And Riley has an adoring fan and playmate instead of a need for a restraining order.
Buddies! My soul sings.
-Ministry anecdotes: they write themselves
A few weeks ago, David shared with the congregation how we sing “Jesus Loves Me” to Zoe before bedtime and naptime. After the service, I shared with him that earlier that week, she had screamed, “No ‘Jesus!’ Want ‘Bout That Bass!'” before naptime.
You guys probably won’t get that update from the pulpit.
(Related: that disconcerting moment when your daughter rattles off in her little 23 month old voice, “yeah, it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size 2.” Right, because you’re a 2T…needless to say, I am paying more attention to song lyrics now).
This theologically rich exchange also occurred last Sunday:
Zoe: (trying to grab my keys away from me) “NOOOOOOOOOO! MINE!!!!”
Me: “Zoe, who’s the boss?”
Boom! goes the dynamite.
-Taking care of business:
I’ve been contemplative for the last few months about what type of professional life and family life I want to have in the next two years now that I know I have two girls. The question before me: am I building a job for myself, or a business?
While I really want to build a business, I’ve concluded that for at least the next next year or two, I am just building and maintaining a job for myself—a job that has the potential to become a business, and that is set up on sound business principles, but is just a part-time job of no more than 8-10 hrs a week. I can always build a business (how braggy does that sound? But you know what I mean), but these “little years” are the only time I’ll have these girls home full time with me. I see an impact from my efforts with them and I don’t want to regret missing out on this time, so I’m capping myself off at a very small number of clients per year. Just call me a boutique consulting firm. Ha.
In the meantime, I can still implement principles like diversifying my client base and utilizing good accounting practices that will pay off if I do “go bigger” in future years, so thinking those things through has been fun.
One of the main reasons I like working is that I like to make money. I don’t care about accumulating wealth; to me, money is just a tool to pursue what you value. And one of the things I value most is this guy.
I don’t write a ton about our married life on here because my husband is an adult and can share his own narrative with you (also, I don’t know if people really want to read much about their pastor as written by his wife. Hashtag potential awkwardness).
But let me just say this about our married life: having two kids kinda makes you partners in controlling chaos. And escaping the chaos is OH SO IMPORTANT.
Me as a mom of one: should we have the sitter come before she goes to bed, or afterwards? I don’t know. I don’t want to traumatize her! Maybe afterwards. And there’s only one or two sitters that I really trust…ok, here’s a 3 page document about all of Zoe’s preferences. Even though she’s sleeping and will likely be sleeping the entire time you’re gone.
Me as a mom of two: You have a pulse and two arms? Cool. We’ll see you later. AFTER THEY ARE ASLEEP.
Yes, that is exaggerated.
But my point is, the intense feeling of I NEED TO GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE ALONE WITH MY HUSBAND strikes way more often with two than with one, so I’m so glad that I am working and it is financially possible for us to have a few date nights a month. Also, Zoe thinks the sitters are her friends and talks about them all the time and even prays for them to come, so I am really thankful for them.
-Writing: I harbor a secret dream of writing a book. There. It’s out there. And although sometimes I just have time to write a grocery list or a Facebook post, I’m trying to keep writing something every week.
What’s new with you?!!