serenity now!

I know this is probably the most cliche thing ever, but figuring out how to balance your time as a wife, a mother, and a lady is hard! I was going to say, especially if youre working, but then I thought back to when I wasnt working and found it equally difficult; back when I was home alone with Felix while Chase was working long hours, I often felt like I was going crazy--in part because Felix used to wake up literally every hour during the night. Now, Im the one working (Im sous chef at the local golf club, which may or may not sound fancier than it actually is) and Chase stays at home with the baby, who now sleeps throught the night but wakes up at about 4:30 literally every morning. Because I work, Chase is usually the one to get up early with him, and then we switch at around 7 or 8oclock so Chase can nap before I leave for work.

Having been on both sides of the division of labor, I can tell you that theyre both exhausting. When youre the one at home with the baby, youre sleep deprived and starved for adult company, but also yo have no time for yourself because babies have to be watched pretty much every single minute of the day, and you cant wait for the other person to just get home from work so they can be with the baby so you can just have a moment to yourself--but you cant, because the other person just got off work and needs a break. If youre the one who works, obviously, youre busy on your feet all day and you just want to go home and relax afterwards, but you can because the other person has been with the baby all day and they need a break. And who deserves it more? Obviously, you both do, but you cant both have it. Hence, finding some sort of balance. Which is fine in theory, but in the moment, it can be tricky.

Of course we both love spending time with Felix, and as he gets older hes becoming more and more engaging and is such good company, so its not like hes the chore I may have accidentally made him sound. But its not really about how much we love the baby, its about having some time to yourself.
These days, any free time we do have during the day is either spent as a family, or, once felix goes to bed at 7, as a couple, typically drinking wine and watching QI, which is sweet and romantic and relaxing, and its important to us that we spend time as a couple without the boy around.

But I find myself really craving some time alone. It feels silly that I should have to work it into my schedule, planning ahead for it, because sometimes you dont know you need time alone until you really need it, you know? And I think about all the ladies who have full-time jobs, and multiple children, and how some of those ladies are even single mothers, and I feel silly for being so selfish. But I can tell when Im too tired or overwhelmed and need to relax, because I become irritable and not so nice to be around, which is contagious. I hate that kind of discord in the domestic sphere.

These days, any friends I have, mothers or otherwise, live a million miles away in different time zones, so its hard to find a sympathetic ear. Its not the same, but Im so glad we have the internet and I can read about other mothers on sites like The Glow, or this series, by Joanna Goddard, on Finding a Balance, and realize that everyone has these problems and that the point is just trying ones best. Thinking about my sweet baby family and how much I love them makes me remember that I dont really have it so bad and that everything will be fine and Ill figure it all out, some day. But I just feel like my own families didnt always get it right and it still bothers me, and I want to make sure I do my very best for Felix.

Because getting it right is very, very important to me. You know?!

illustrations by Ati Forberg for Cindys Sad and Happy Tree by Doris Orgel

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