One thing I quickly realized when my baby boy was born was how hard it suddenly became getting things done.
People did warn me that babies, especially breastfed ones, take a lot of your time.
I considered this and told my mom, “I guess I will need a week to figure it out.” I asked her then, woman to woman, to pass on to me all her secrets about managing motherhood and balancing it with work.
Yes, I was super naive. There are no secrets. My mom is just a super-woman who managed to raise 3 children while working, not unlike many other mothers out there who are not me.
Six weeks later, I can only congratulate myself on being able to keep my child alive and healthy. As for getting things done in the mean time, I am struggling.
I am a mess of a stay-at-home mother/aspiring author. Dishes pile up, the bed doesn’t get made, laundry doesn’t get folded, food gets burned; also blogs don’t get written, stories don’t get published, novels don’t get edited or sent out. Instead I increasingly find myself (figuratively) sitting in a corner of my apartment reciting all the ways that I am a complete and utter failure.
Combine that with sleep deprivation and you get depression lurking at every corner, sharpening its claws and teeth, ready to attack.
But, I should be happy with my life. I have wonderful husband and a healthy, sweet baby boy…what else could I want?
I want to get things done. I don’t want to be just a mama; I want to be an accomplished mama whose son will be proud of her.
Take one step at a time.
When I had difficult projects at my former jobs or at college, I panicked for 5 minutes, got depressed for 10, but finally I made checklists.
Accomplishing one thing at a time not only made me feel good, but got me closer to my goals.
I thought, if I do one new thing a day, get used to it, make it part of my routine and then introduce another, I will, maybe, be able to get things done!
It may not make me an overnight success as a wife/mother/author but each day will be a success.
It’s been some time that I have not been publishing regularly on Ceecee’s Stories. The reason is that I got pregnant and the nausea was crippling.
While this is so #blessed, having to admit it puts me in a weird place.
On one hand, I feel guilty and ashamed that I let nausea keep me from writing regularly, mostly because I had lots of help with the housework and cooking. Truly, I asked myself every day “How can I be taken seriously as a writer if I pull things like this?” and “What kind of work discipline do I have if I stop working every time I feel sick?”
On the other hand… Excuse me while I go throw up.
It might be just the tired version of me talking right now, but: Are the expectations we have for the modern woman actually healthy?
I’m not talking about me, but for the every woman out there, who is expected to perform 100% at work, while maintaining a stellar home, being there for her kids and looking like the tireless fairy of your dreams, despite the constant changes of her body including hormones, periods, pregnancies, and menopause. Something has got to give! When it does, we are told this why some believe the sexes could never be truly equal.
But we are! It’s just that more is expected of women than of men.
I hate the “us versus them” argument because I love, respect and appreciate the men in my life, but how many men are expected to be successful businessmen, while spending a good amount of time with their families, work around the house after work, and actively try to look like the Greek gods while their bodies undermine them?
I am sure some perfect men exist, like there are superwomen out there who are able to do it all, but the thing is, men “doing it all” do not set the bar to a man’s success. With men, it’s enough to be successful at one thing, mainly with their career, and this is not the case with women.
Yes, it’s definitely the tired version of me talking right now, but can we cut some slack to the business woman whose house is a mess? And to the family woman who sacrificed her career and settled for a job with lower pay—or, gasp, quit her job altogether—so that she can have more time with her kids?
No, I am not asking for sympathy because I was not fruitful for 3 months. I am definitely not setting the ground for making excuses for any future shortcomings. I know that if don’t produce good enough work in a competitive world that does not take into consideration individual shortcomings, I will never be successful. The point of this blog is to say screw it, my house is going to be messy sometimes. On some days I WILL leave the house knowing full well my hair is all over the place and you can’t say anything about it. Sometimes, I have to throw up all day.
I am not weak for it. We are not weak for having the bodies we have. Our minds make us weak, our minds make us strong, and if we are not superwomen all the time, that’s OK.
Whoever thinks a time machine is a fine idea, they’re wrong!
I know time travel is the stuff of fiction but suppose there is a scorned mad genius somewhere in the world right now, or a group of scientists in a secret, underground, government facility and they are close to making this a reality.
I mean, flying was the stuff of fiction at one time, so in case you crazy scientists exist my message to you is this: Don’t do it!
I can understand the fascination with time travel: you can undo wrongs, meet important figures, witness historical events. Plus, I believe scientists such as geologists, archaeologists, and zoologists could really have a unique perspective of how things truly were, if they only could only go back. But is it worth it?
Who would you meet if you could go back in time?
Now, if I also ask the whole of humanity this question today, I bet some specific figures — could be religious leaders, artists, or conquers— will get 100s of millions of mentions.
Time travelers wouldn’t have to meddle with anyone’s affairs, or actively try to change history, for time travel to be bad. Just being there to, let’s say, watch Da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa in Florence during the renaissance, it would create quite the crowd.
The reason I am against time travel is because people will find a way to pollute everything, and the time line is no exception.
Yes, I have no doubt that if people can be greedy and inconsiderate, they will be. If they could be able to pollute a time line, they will do it.
No doubt, the rich will be the only ones at first to be able to afford “time-tourism” (I am sure this is what time-traveling will be called), but before long everyone will be able to do that, effectively ruining history.
So please secret government scientists in the underground facility, and scorned mad geniuses of the world: Don’t do it; don’t create time travel! Let’s just read, or watch a terrible movie about it now and then. Let’s imagine we are there through fiction, without actually being able to have tea with Queen Elizabeth the first. Remember, they say you should never meet your heroes…
By the way, crazy scientists and people who disagree, I published a time-traveling story on the Medium publication: Curiosity Never Killed the Writer. Read it and just think about it, it may open your eyes.
If you grow up and have great empathy towards others, I will consider myself a successful parent.
This is the one greatest thing I could teach you.
And this may sound like a sweet trait that nice people have, it is also a trait that tough people have. It is a characteristic that could help you change the world for the better, but it is also one that will cause you great pain.
I am going to warn you first. Empathy is not something that you should expect to be reciprocal, even by the people closest to you. But, my child, if you have it you will not only feel with your fellow man, you will also know people, understand their joy, their anger or pain. You will be able to see where they come from and what drives them. Even if you don’t agree with them, you will be able understand why they are acting the way they are.
I want you to try to understand everything; understanding is power.
I am going to explain to you what “understanding is power” means, because I don’t believe in using important words for pure wow effect without providing any real essence.
Understanding and empathize with others, gives you power to cause change. This is because if you choose to help, or intervene, you will act in a way that matters.
Sometimes you will be able to predict behaviors, even.
But the number one reason I want you to have empathy is that you will be unable to hurt any living creature. Treat others as you want to be treated. Be gentle. Gentleness is not a weakness either. The world has enough harshness, cruelty and darkness, but if there is one individual willing to make it just a little better, there is hope.