I have no “work” these days and the acceptance of that reality is bittersweet. I quit my professional career when we moved to San Jose from Chicago and I have not yet completely gotten used to that loss of identity. For a while until recently, I had things to do – a book manuscript to complete, another to review for a publisher, newsletters to edit and write for, and other minor “work” related tasks that kept me busy with one foot in my profession. Alas with the publishing of my book earlier this month, completion of my review of that potential book’s manuscript, and circulation of last month’s newsletter, I don’t have much going on until I need to proof an upcoming book chapter (a second one will come about in a month or so).
With all that needed to be done, done, now my time is mine alone if you don’t include the caring of two kids, a toddler and a newborn (which makes me wonder, how long is a newborn called a newborn? Should I be calling her an infant now?). Before I had E, I often complained that I had so much work to do and all I got were the two hours when J napped, assuming he napped the entire two hours. Now that I don’t have anything urgent straining my very limited time, I am often left wondering what to do. I was so used to the busy-ness of life that it is challenging for me to step back and collect myself in terms of developing new things to do. Thankfully, that is not such a challenge after all.
On great days, both kids are napping at the same time. That is when I squeeze a shower in. Given that California is in drought, I was showering every other day in the cooler months but post-partum and with our water bills in check, along with the city’s encouragement to stick to 5-minute showers, I am now watching the sand-clock as I shower. Other days, I have E on my lap on her boppy, nursing, while I catch up on on-demand television while browsing the internet on my iPad. That’s right…Moms and Multitaskers are synonyms.
Among things I want to try and accomplish in the time that J naps include:
- a workout (20-30 minutes of YouTube videos should be good for now)
- look up activities and events for the family to attend
- look for jobs and apply to ones I qualify
- browse mindless websites just because I can
- look up houses for sale just because I like doing that
- cook and clean
- update blog
- type Japanese letters – letters I actually wrote to my family when I lived in Japan in the late 90s
- nap (hmmm….)
So the list above should keep me occupied. This is what I want to do now, with all the right motivations but soon, E’s schedule will change because she is a baby after all. Right now, she nurses to fall asleep. Once we start helping her sleep on her own (better known as sleep training), her napping may be a challenge, temporarily anyway. She is also exclusively breastfed and refuses to take a bottle, keeping me close to home and unable to go anywhere much or if I do, force me to return within an hour. I will elaborate on these and other related issues in upcoming posts.