Since Eben has been away working with the Adventurists with the Ngalawa Cup, I have been on a bit of blog vacation. I really enjoy writing on the blog, I find calm in it. But with the business of being a full time parent resting solely on my shoulders, my “Me Time” has been drastically shortened. And the little free time I do get now I spend mostly on mind-numbing nonsense like Facebook, pinterest, and chick flicks. That’s mainly because my free-time hours are when the girls are in bed and I am exhausted.
I have found that MY routine has changed pretty dramatically in my husband’s time away, and I often find myself chuckling at my new behaviour. That is one of the new changes, I chuckle all to myself. That may also be a sign of me going f#*&ing loopy because of the girls! This isn’t my first time in this rodeo (the solo parent one), but this time we are out of the comfort of our boat, and things just seem different. Some of these things I am embarrassed to admit, because they are about my personal hygiene and care of myself, but at least it is all temporary and Eben will be back in 7 or 8 days to restore order to this house. Until then, have a laugh about what has become the NEW solo-mommy me.
*My showers have been cut down to a bare minimum. That is both in time and occurrence. It seems I cannot step in the shower for more than 2 minutes without one of the girls screaming that her sister did something mean to her. For this reason I now have to shower with the door open (goodbye privacy) so that both of them can come and tattle on each other for the entire duration of my wash. In my 2 minute blitz cleaning I have started a new routine, I wash the essentials first (face, armpits, and bits). If the girls manage to go that long without killing each other I then get to quickly move on to my hair and the rest of my body. It is totally fair to say that I look like one frizzy psychotic mess, because my hair deserves much more attention than it gets, especially in this humid Zanzibari climate. That covers the amount of time I get in the shower, now how often do I get to shower? Because showering is oh so enjoyable for me these days *with a sarcastic tone*, I try and avoid that stress, as gross as that may sound. So I will go as long as I can stand the smell of my own armpits (eww) if that means that I can be present full time to avoid one of my children punching the other in the face. 48hrs between blitz showers is usually as long as I will go before my sniff test points me towards the shower. And I should probably try and get a sponsorship from Degree Deodorant for the amount of stuff I use to mask my cleanliness state.
*Finding the time to do a proper grocery shop (in a foreign country without a car) and to meal plan is completely on the back burner. Yes eating is essential, and yes I feed us well, but our meals have gone from being excellent every night to being mediocre and fulfilling a need to stuff our bellies. Without my partner in crime to cook for us, or to entertain the kids while I cook, our meals are now mostly based on, “What do I have in the fridge right now?” and, “How long will it take me to cook that?”. When I do get around to the market I buy in bulk, and the friendly owner of the store finds it pretty funny to watch me come in and clear her whole shelf of yogurt in one shopping trip, but I have to make sure that I have enough food on hand to feed my two little hobbits (who actually do eat 2-3 breakfasts every day!).
|Ice cream makes you happy and keeps you quiet!? Do you want one scoop or two?!!!!|
*Going hand in hand with the above, I may spend a little more money than usual when Eben is away. No I am not going crazy and splurging, but if someone suggests that we should go out for supper, meaning I don’t have to cook or do dishes, you won’t have to sell me hard on it. WE’RE IN! And I figure, the extra money I spend here I save on dish soap and…
*Drinking. I would have assumed the opposite. That with Eben away and me having solo charge of our two hellians, that I would be hitting the liquor pretty hard, but I just don’t. I may have one drink with supper, or a bailey’s at night as I indulge in a chick flick (!!!) but boozing without a drinking buddy feels strange. And I do have to be responsible given that I am the only parent around supervising; I can’t quite be walking around tipsy midday, or hungover in the morning. That would not mesh AT ALL with two kids that just want to run around and be entertained! That would be a total nightmare.
|I couldn’t keep up with these two if I wasn’t in tip top shape.|
*I have taken to drinking way more coffee however. And if I feel like I can’t handle any more coffee, you may find me with a coke in hand. My body is probably hating me right now, but at least my brain is functioning. Caffeine has become somewhat of a necessity to keep me walking, talking, and smiling. It’s that or cocaine, and given that I have never tried the stuff, I am guessing that I shouldn’t start while Eben is away! In the coffee department I have not gone overboard, I now drink about three cups a day. And I comfort myself in saying that they are rather small cups that they have in this house and that I am probably only drinking a cup and a half of any “regular” sized cup. I have been extra vigilant to also drink lots of water, to compensate for the dehydration I am forcing on to my system. But the jolt of the black liquid (with sugar and cream) are what keep me going every morning, until nap time.
|New morning entertainment, I drink coffee while they draw all over me.|
*Speaking of naps, I take those again. I have regressed to a 3 year old’s sleep schedule, where I wake up too darn early, am cranky by mid day, need to lie down if I want to be functional in the afternoon, and am exhausted by 8pm. All of this because I have two little girls that talk in their sleep, crawl into my bed in the middle of the night, wake up with the sun, and insist on coming to talk to me every 15 minutes there after until I’m fed up enough that I get out of bed. I have not slept this terribly since the girls were infants, and even then I didn’t find them this annoying because back then they were co-sleeping and I could just nurse them back to sleep while I slept next to them. Not anymore, nothing will get them back to sleep, only breakfast will shut their little mouths. Maybe why they get three breakfasts in the morning!
*The lack of sleep and the amount of energy drained from my personal stores from raising two energetic girls means that my mental state is taking a little bit of a beating. I call them my 50 shades of red! I have had to come to terms with the many different me’s that I have come to be. Some of them are not so pretty. I am good cop, I am bad cop, I am crazy mama, I am tired mama, I am happy mama, crafty mama, teacher mama, playtime mama, angry mama, zombie mama, sometimes yelling mama, finger waving mama, ignoring mama, silent treatment mama, fun mama, silly mama, selective hearing mama, loving mama, and on and on and on. But at least in all my forms of craziness I still get to be THEIR MAMA. I am comforted knowing that every night they fall asleep telling me how much they love me and of their grandiose plans of how amazing the next day is going to be. It means it’s another day where in their eyes I HAVE DONE THINGS OK.
Ok is ok with me, until Eben comes back, when I have some helping hands, and I can go back to being awesome mama!
~I wrote this post last night, today I got a comment on facebook that brought A LOT of negativity to my day, making me question myself, my blogging, and the way I am perceived. Some of my posts, like the one above, are written to be comical; they are to be taken with a huge grain of salt. Because, just writing about my daily life and (very important) “role” could get monotonous without a little laughter thrown in. I LOVE my role as a mother, as a wife, as a partner in marriage to Eben. Yes it is exhausting, but it is also funny, rewarding, and full of happiness. I am fortunate and thankful for all that I have, and we (BOTH Eben and I) have worked hard for it. Thank you all for your love.~
Glad to know I'm not the only one who skips showers due to kids! And love your photos of your girls! Can't wait till mine is older and splashing in the surf!
You are definitely not alone! Showers have become a huge luxury, and every time I am washing the stink off I tell myself, "I should do this more often, it feels good"!!!!
Well I'm so glad to see you are human after all. I have a tough time too with 3 kids, it's hard not to have the extra family support around. You're doing great and your kids will be better for it. P.S. I hear it gets better… well until their tweens. xx
ugh, we have the tweens to look forward to, and then the teens, and then peace?! We still have a long ways ahead of us 😉 I am hoping I get to squeeze in a few more showers in the meantime! haha
I happened to read the "mean" comment on Facebook but could not comment as I am not a member of Facebook! Anyway, that guy is a turd (sorry!) and is probably bitter that he and his spouse never even dreamed of giving their children the experiences that your two girls have lived. I am sure you are using it as a boost of motivation to continue your own trek in life no matter the naysayers. To assume you do nothing to contribute to your family's lives as a whole shows a lack of emotional intelligence. I guess he needs to be told (rather than sense) how hard you work toward your and Eben's life otherwise he could never come to the conclusion himself! What a dumb guy……
I was angry about it for a couple of hours, but now just have to resolve that that guy just really has no idea who I am, what we are doing, and anything about us really, other than what I put in print. Maybe he got his facts wrong, or severely misunderstood, but if Eben is working pulling all the weight, and I am riding coat tails, then who is taking care of the kids!? LOL! Thank you for the support. It's nice to know we have people in our corner 🙂
I follow you and your facebook updates regularly, and figured that now is a good time to let you know how much my wife and I both really love reading about your adventures with Eben and your daughters. We are around the same age and putting a plan together for going the same route you two have.
In short, you are an inspiration! Especially knowing that you've done this with young kids is a huge deal! We have a little one now, and we're going to be waiting until he is about 5 to hit the water (couple more years), but I don't know if either of us would have the confidence if we didn't "know" you and Eben.
Please don't let one comment by an insensitive person, who clearly doesn't read much about your life, to upset you. When I read that comment my FIRST thought was how little he knows about being a parent, or understanding all the work that goes into raising kids.
Please keep doing what you are doing and disregard that edge case comment. You totally kick ass in our book and we hope we get to look you up when we finally get our feet wet!
Hey thanks for introducing yourself. I am glad to hear that our adventures are serving as inspiration for you and your wife and little guy. It hasn't always been easy traveling around with the kids, but even with all the struggles, it has all been very worth it. You will not regret the choice to take your kid and go experience the world. And heck, if its not to your liking, then on to plan B!
Kids are a lot of work, and we are constantly learning as we go, and as our girls get older and change and adapt. It has been really awesome being able to travel with them and open up their minds to the bigger picture.
Please look us up when you get your feet wet. We can hang out, have a drink, and commiserate!
I used to shave my legs over the course of several days, one calf on day, other calf the next and so on when my son was a baby.
And the mean comment? It amazing what people will say on line that they would probably never say to your face. Don't let I get you down.
BTW – I ordered Turkish towels and Peepers sunglasses thru your site. Do you get $ when I click thru to Amazon? I have my eye on those duffle bags as well for an upcoming trip to Virgin Gorda. What size do you have?
Shaving your legs over several days, that's hilarious. I just wait until mine get embarrassingly long and then "attack"! Let's not even talk about my bikini line! hahaha
I have already let go of the comment. I couldn't let it bother me for too long, no time to waste energy on that, when that energy could be going towards other things, like spending time with the girls.
Yes we do get a small percentage from Amazon when you click through the site…so keep on shopping 😉 It's a great system really, it doesn't cost anything to the buying and amazon throws us some coin for sending people their way. I love both the things you bought. What duffles are you talking about, our travel Gregory ones (http://fave.co/1RiukCF) or the Sailorbags ones (http://fave.co/1PNVgIZ). The sailorbag duffle was only a giveaway, I don't have one of those, although we do have their backpacks, purse, stash bag, and wine bottle cooler!! And the Gregory duffles we have the 95L and 115L and LOVE those.
Keep in touch, and happy new year!
You are fine, a great caring mom. I grew up with a brother 2 years older and a sister 2 years younger. I guess we drove our mama crazy too, probably complained a little. My grandfather used to tell her: "are they running around the house wild? Never still for a minute? Never quiet? Then be grateful – because that means they are healthy." So true.
Now my eldest is 30, my girl is 27 and my youngest son is 20. I was so busy with them… Baseball, cheerleading, track meets all at the same time… It goes so fast… I assure you… Then you miss it. It is magical, your way of live, the experiences the girls are having, and so many moments captured in your camera lense. You are truly LIVING more than most every people out there. Keep cherishing it all. They grow way too fast…
It is something that we all go through, feeling like our kids are crazy and driving us crazy! But it is normal. I do my best to stop every day and appreciate our girls and the life we lead. It is very easy to get lost in the routine of it all, but to take a step back from it helps realize how beautiful our girls are, how big they are getting already. I feel like before I know it they will be so big and I may miss those crazy moments.