Monday, September 9, 2013

The Art of Doing Nothing

Oddly enough, having a child has taught me how to relax. I spent the weekend rolling around on the floor, taking walks, romping around the park, going to breakfast and playing candy crush (damn it, I swore I never would). Because I had to. This is what you do when you have a child, you spend time with them. And that time is spent having fun and taking care of them...same thing if you ask me.

Prior to having a child, I would be cleaning, doing yard work, running a multitude an errands (some of which I probably made up simply to fill time), and in general just putting checks in boxes. Of course I also would have been sleeping in, going out to dinner and drinking more than I should, but I've already reconciled that these activities are going to have a take somewhat of a back seat for a little while. Well maybe not the drinking.

These days, I don't have that same sense of having to knock out a to-do list every weekend, because it simply will not happen. And through acceptance of the situation, I'm a little more relaxed.

That said, I did do a few things around the house -- vacuumed (to get the crap off the floor for when Oliver is crawling around), laundry (because this never stops with an 8 month old), and went to the grocery store (which was an educational trip for my child). But during nap time, instead of a) updating the baby book, b) finishing baby-proofing, c) working out, or d) working, I played candy crush. Productive. I was beat from rolling around on the floor.

So it's not really "nothing". Just a different kind of something.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What's One More

I thought I was pregnant. And last week I learned I wasn't. While there was some sense of relief, the stronger emotion was disappointment. Yes, disappointment. If I had been pregnant, my children would have been 16 months apart. Which is like running a never-ending marathon with asthma and a broken leg, blindfolded.

But nonetheless, I'm ready. I loved being pregnant. I love raising Oliver. I love children, all the craziness that comes with it, and I want them all over my house. This coming from someone who very seriously considered a childless existence more than once. My husband is incredibly lucky we waited to start our family because I am fairly certain I would have had a suburban full if we were a little more spring-chickeny. But I'd like to be able to get down and up off the floor while playing with my kids. Just seems like a necessary requirement.

Some people thrive with high levels of activity. I'm one of them. Productivity peaks when I take on more than I can handle. Oddly, I enjoy it. I'd rather be ridiculously busy for short periods of time than just chugging along, growing more bored with each easily accomplished task. So it doesn't surprise me that I'm ready. My husband, quite possibly a different story. You may think me insane, but I'm all about efficiency and we're already knee-deep in baby shit so why not knock it out all at once over the next three years?

It's time to get busy! Pun intended.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The New Cool Kid

There's been quite a lot in the news about introverts lately. To the Huff Post article (which I love) 23 Signs You Might Secretly Be an Introvert, to the Forbes article about how introverts can make particular stellar executives, to this book, introverts are pretty popular.

Oh, the irony.

Perceived as "quiet", "shy", "withdrawn" and even "weird" in recent history, its never really been favorable to be an introvert. But the focus has always been on the social behaviors of introverts, and guess what? You can go to parties and be introverted too! You can also be weird and quiet and be an extrovert, in case you were wondering.

Being an introvert is now an asset. Fashionable, even.

I myself learned I was an introvert while in therapy about 5 years ago. Introvert? None of those aforementioned adjectives had EVER been used to describe me (ok, maybe "weird" once or twice). I can't tell you how many times I re-took the damn shockingly similar results. Other areas fluctuated a little, but the "I" remained solid.

So I'm an introvert. Now what? It upended my life. Everything I thought about myself was challenged...and everything I felt about myself finally rose to the surface. All the things that brought me anxiety, why I often felt so conflicted, why I always had only a few really good friends and a lot of "acquaintances", why I always had to have a party at my house with people I knew (despite all the work) versus going to someone else' all made sense. Finally.

I've been much happier since discovering I am an introvert. I wrote a post shortly after taking the assessment for the first time, and since then have really embraced who I am. I know myself, and therefore how to conduct myself in relation to other people and situations. In essence, I know how to meet my own needs.  While I admit I'm still neurotic, believe it or not I put less pressure on myself to be everything to everyone.Granted, I spent 32 years forcing it and old habits die hard, but telling people to bugger off (or just ignoring them) and disappearing for several hours by myself feels so much more natural. And I give myself license to do it.

Not to mention I'm a now a cool kid, too. Awesome.

Jung Typology Test (a down and dirty assessment)
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Please Understand Me II

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Covet thy (Diaper) Bag

I'm an accessories whore. I prefer to buy them over clothing any day of the week. My wardrobe is very limited, and even more so since I refuse to buy ANYTHING until I reach my pre-baby weight. My bag collection, however, is a smorgasbord of kitschy, classic and everything in between. None of which now work, as a working mamma. All of which work, according to my husband.

I'm struggling with what to carry. I carried my LV Delightful for a full year, every stinkin' day, before Baby O was born. And now I float a wallet and a dated coach wristlet between my diaper bag and work bag. Both of which I love, but I'm looking for an update.

I don't think I'm going to get away from the work bag. Outside of an outrageous LV tote (and don't think I haven't been tempted...Merry Christmas HINT HINT here it is), there is nothing that will hold my laptop and my lady stuffs more elegantly than what I currently own.

On the other hand, I covet thee Storksak Olivia, but cannot fathom spending $200 (or $345, you know, whatever) on a diaper bag. But I did anyway. Because I could buy it at Buy-Buy Baby and used my 20% Bed Bath and Beyond coupon to knock that baby down to $165. Perfectly reasonable.

And now I'm perfectly happy.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Frequent Baby Flyer @DeltaAssist

With no family in town, my son has become quite comfortable traveling by airplane. It's a necessity, because 9 hours in the car with a 7 month old is not my idea of a good time...even when he is an absolute trooper. And it's free until he's 2 -- who wouldn't take advantage of that?

As a frequent business traveler and Delta Reserve Amex holder, being on the road does have it's privileges. Choice seats, boarding and baggage priority, and Sky Club membership -- all of which makes traveling with a baby that much easier.

Until yesterday. I booked a first class ticket -- as in I paid for it, did not get an upgrade -- for my husband and child to fly back from our upcoming trip this weekend. Last night, I called Delta to have the "Infant in Arms" added to his boarding pass, as I've done several times before after selecting infant appropriate seats and booking the flight online.

Here's how that went.

They made me change my seat on the outbound flight because I was in the second row window with a child -- not an aisle seat, not an emergency exit row, not a bulkhead. I'm still trying to figure out why, and then why it took 35 MINUTES for a supervisor to re-assign me a seat. Not next to my husband, I might add.

They then told me that I could not fly with an infant in arms in First Class. Really, Delta? Because we did on July 2nd, there isn't a damn thing on your website that states you can't, and this guy apparently did too. Oh, and I PAID for it. So after ANOTHER 20 minutes and some mysterious "supervisor" approval, my child is finally added to the ticket.

I will admit that maybe I didn't handle myself as respectfully as I could have with the phone agent after 45 minutes on hold. I might have dropped the f-bomb. I was frustrated. Beyond. And she only exasperated the situation by failing to explain to me the Infant in Arms policies (as in the super secret ones that aren't posted on that resulted in this debacle. Treat others as you would like to be treated I suppose.

Knowing I will be flying again with my child and likely on Delta as much as I would not like to, I took action to be an informed consumer (despite thinking, again, that their policies on the website would cover me). Having failed on the phone, I reached out to @DeltaAssist on Twitter for a straight answer. I'd like to thank them for also providing superior customer service...still waiting on that response.

Why Delta, why? I have been so loyal, spent millions with your airline and always choose to fly Delta even when it's more expensive than other options -- professionally and personally.

The happy consumer is a dying breed. But free drink tickets might make me feel better.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Who's Your Mommy

Becoming a parent is the best and worst thing to ever happen to me. The best because there is nothing in this world I love more than my son, and the worst because there is nothing in this world I love more than my son.Yep.

Having our child was life-altering in more ways than I could have possibly conceived pre-baby while enjoying cocktail brunches and movies outside our home. While I do miss these things (among many, many others), the everyday joy being a mother brings me far outweighs any sacrifice I have or will make, without question. I am often speechless and baffled, so I cry, unable to make sense of these inexplicable emotions.

But with this intense, enigmatic love also comes the self-inflicted expectation and hell-bent desire to provide the absolute best for my mini-human. And therefore the astronomical levels of anxiety ("X" is for Xanax!) and persistent feelings of inferiority.

Providing the "best" is subjective -- there is more parenting advice available than I will ever need, but the schools of thought are as varied as the seasons. Making sense of it all is a daily struggle in itself -- forget balancing a career and a family. I mean, I can't get a straight answer on how to balance solids and the bottle. My child's bottle, not mine. I've got that down. Pat.

I'm doing my best - that is, my definition of my own personal best.

Some days I'm pulling it off splendidly, and others not so much. Like this morning, when I failed to compartmentalize, and was checking email early and neglected to catch my child before he toppled over, activity board pinning him to the floor. Ripped my fucking heart out.

He survived, I barely did, but I know it won't be the last time. So I went work.

I don't have the working Mom guilt everyone likes to assume I should. Really, I don't. Which in some circles makes me a bad parent. I work for my family, that's our arrangement and what's best for all of us. Trust me. It is best for all of us. I manage the 9-5 (5-9) and my husband manages the household (sort of). We both love our child (and dog).

I'm trying, and will continue to try, every single day of my life to be the "best" mommy, wife, employee, friend, blogger, contributor to society, blah, blah, blah I can be.

And I think I'm pretty fantabulous, faults and all.