If you have an idea of what you want to do in your future, you must go at it with almost monastic obsession, be it music, the ballet or just a basic degree. You have to go at it single-mindedly and let nothing get in your way.
– Henry Rollins
I’m in a mood. It’s 9:00PM and both boys are asleep. I can hear David clicking away on his keyboard. It’s a blessing and a curse that he works from home. He can help out with the kids whenever I need, but usually it comes at the expense of our personal time in the evenings.
I go to my yoga mat and in the dim light of our living room, I begin to flow.
It’s basic. Just some deep breathing followed by cat cow and downward dog. The farthest I push my body is from plank to cobra back to down dog again. But it’s enough.
As I get lost in the comfort of motion, I allow my mind to wander and pause on thoughts as they flutter in and out. I start to feel relaxed, less tight, the release of pressure on my eyes that I didn’t realize was there until this moment. Once I reach a state of calm, I know my time on my yoga mat is enough.
Sometimes I’ll continue, just because it feels nice. But tonight, I stop. I sit. I absorb.
Life with two children is complex and much more detailed than I had imagined. I love both of my boys. I love my life with them. I love my husband and all that we have built, are building, together. But there is an edge… one no one tells you about or wants to really talk about…
Life with two kids requires vigilance. You must always be conscientious of emotions and situations beyond the immediate moment. Like when the kids are both in bed and you only have an hour or two before your own bedtime. How will you use those moments? Do you practice self-care? Spend time on your relationship with your partner? Work on a passion project? Call/see friends to catch up?
The balance between your free moments and burnout is always on the edge. If you focus too heavily on one area, the others falter, which in turn affects your ability to be OK. That’s why it’s so important to always be aware. And if you find yourself coming out of balance, knowing quickly how to correct it.
The other day I posted a video on my YouTube channel and a good friend of mine asked me “What do you do to take care of your relationship?” After I responded, it got me thinking about the history of me and my husband’s relationship. While we are good now, there was once a time where we weren’t…
I’m sure most parents can relate to the ice bath that is becoming a parent. There is no way to prepare for how much a tiny little human can alter your life. For us, we took for granted the ability to go somewhere, anywhere, on the spur of the moment. Once that was taken away from us, we began to drift out of balance. At one point, the worst point, we were spending all day apart (I was working full-time) and all night as well. After we’d put our son to bed, we’d either do solo activities – me reading, David playing video games – or we’d just watch T.V. together… not talking. We stopped going to bed at the same time as each other too.
For a long time we thought we were fine. Until one night we realized we weren’t. Busyness has a remarkable way of masking issues you don’t want to deal with. Luckily, we were able to figure it all out. But it was hard and taught us the valuable lesson of keeping balance. We both need time alone, but we also consciously have to make time for us too. It’s not romantic, but it’s what keeps the romance alive.
Now that we are the seasoned parents of two little babes, we are somewhat better at catching ourselves before we get to a dark place. I’ll go to my yoga mat, work out my issues, and patiently wait until David does the same. Then, no matter how busy, we come back together again, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. And now we ALWAYS make it a point to go to bed together.
We have an idea of what we want our life to be like, so we focus on the things that are important to us – our children, our self-care, our marriage – and we let nothing get in the way of that.