Wow. Have I really not posted in here since Savita was born?
Savita is now more than 8 weeks old. I had already forgotten (from Annika) how unpredictably crazy this time is. Savita is a much easier baby than Annika ever was at this age, although her fussiness is now appearing in spades. Her schedule changes every couple of days so she really hasn’t settled into any one particular pattern. I’m looking forward to the next couple of months when she gets on more of a schedule (like three naps!) and our lives can go back to being a little more predictable. We got spoiled with Annika, I think – she settled into a three nap and then a two nap and then to a one nap schedule pretty easily. She still does one nap, from about 12:30 – 2:30 or so (give or take) and then goes to bed around 7 and sleeps until the morning. And when she’s awake, she’s a HOOT. She’s starting the tantrum age now – we had a doozy of a one when we went out to the Colonial Farm in Mclean this past weekend. (If you were there, she was the one that you heard screaming non-stop for 20 minutes). She’s always been somewhat independent, which is a quality that I want to cultivate, not squash. So fighting for her independent about big things and small (mostly small) is par for the course. She’s such a parrot and a sponge right now – she already knows (at 19 months) most of her letters and numbers, and can use an IPAD like nobody’s business. Seriously. IF you say, for example, “Where’s the helicopter?” She’ll go to the ipad, swipe to unlock, navigates to the right app, goes into the app, swipes to the appropriate page, clicks on the helicopter icon, and makes a reasonable effort at saying “Helicopter”. What the hell?
Anyway, I am feeling quite squeezed overall. Sometimes breathlessly so. I’m often told that I must have it easy, working for myself. (“You must Love your commute!” “Your boss must be an asshole!”) Honestly? There are many, many days where I wish for the relative security and conventionality of a “real job”. It’s a really radical responsibility – in both real and subtle ways – to know that I am directly responsible for my own fate. It’s a very lonely place, sometimes. The unending need to make sure I have enough work in the pipeline, pleasing my customers, being on call, motivating my self to do what needs to be done (and *all* that needs to be done, from payroll to marketing to management to implementation)… it doesn’t end. Vacation? In a sense, but I don’t get paid. Benefits? Nope. It keeps me up at night at times, worrying about the pipeline and what’s coming in versus what’s coming out. It’s constantly in the back of my mind, the “runway” I have in terms of booked work, what’s in the bank, and what’s possibly coming down the pike.
Right now the biggest drawback is the lack of boundaries between my work and home lives. I wake up around 6. Usually I get Annika out of bed and get her morning routine done, sometimes cooking breakfast for the family if I have time. Then I walk to my office and go to work. My breaks? I walk outside and help take care of the kids when I can. And in these first few months, that’s a nontrivial amount of time. Evening time is all about dinner and getting Annika a bath and then to bed, and then working with Jyotsna to figure out what Savita needs. Then I go back to work until some ungodly late hour (hello 11:45pm!), drop into bed, Lather, rinse, repeat. There’s so little time for myself in all of this between work and the kids and family.
Yeah, I know there’s a good side to all this. I *don’t* have a mind-numbing commute. I *can* see my kids during the day. I *can*, for the mos part, work from anywhere in the world. I treasure all that on most days, the days where I have enough cope to deal with all that’s thrown at me. I’m feeling low on my cope as of late, for obvious reasons. I know it’ll change. Hell, I’ve been working for myself now for almost 5 years, and something has always come through, work-wise. In a bucket marked “problems good to have” I have enough booked work right now that I might be looking to hire again (although I might hold off on that), enough work that some of the business ideas that I want to invest some time in gets pushed to the back of the burner. Stuff that I really want to work on, but there would be little-to-no payback on immediately and now that I have two college funds, the paid work takes priority.
So all of that just means I’m feeling “squeezed” between all of the things that clamor for my attention. The other night I had to take a couple of hours and watch a movie when all my girls were asleep. I stayed up until 1 am to do so (“Unknown”, with Liam Neeson, not a bad little flick) and paid for it the next day, but sitting for two hours and not having to think about anything was an uncommon luxury. It’ll get even worse when Jyotsna goes back to work at the end of August, unfortunately. But Savita will be older and more interactive by then, and maybe even on a nap schedule.
Speaking of which, I really should go to bed.