Where Am I?

The day after I gave birth I had this moment of panic about needing to immediately start job hunting. I need a job, like NOW. My brain was in manic get-back-to-it mode and thank god in that moment I was in a hospital bed and not anywhere near a computer. First of all, maternity leave. Second of all, I don’t fit into any of my clothes yet. How would I even go to a job interview?

Oh please disregard my leaking breasts and the fact that these trousers are unbuttoned, I just had a baby.

I definitely need a minute to sort myself out before I go trying to convince other people to pay me money for my savvy professional writing skills. But the fear and holy-shit-ness is real.

For several nights in a row my dreams consisted of a sudden realization that I needed to take care of a lot of people unexpectedly. First I dreamed that Kamel had some sort of head wound and I needed to wrangle our 5 children and convince him he needed to go to the hospital all at the same time. Then the next night I dreamed I discovered yet another fish I needed to keep alive and had forgotten about and now needed to bring back from the brink.

Having 2 kids is a kick in the ass. One kid was good. I felt on top of it, like I had leveled up in life enough that adding another complication to the mix was just… fun. I upped my difficulty level but I was prepared for it. I had the bandwidth. Having two kids makes me feel like I’m constantly juggling…sticks that are on fire… while balancing 3 stories of plates atop my head.

I’ve got to make sure Gabe gets enough attention and 1:1 time with each of us.

I need to be aware of Fae’s eating schedule and remember I can’t just up and leave the house without her for long stretches.

Omg baby vaginas. Don’t get poop in the baby vaginas!!

I have to encourage and foster Gabe and Fae’s relationship even when I want Gabe to stop touching his sleeping sister, to be quiet so she doesn’t wake up, for the love of god wash your grubby daycare hands before touching her face! Don’t squish her eyes! Be careful of her head!

… but I don’t say most of these things. I don’t want him to feel like she is off limits. She is his as much as they are ours.

There are still meals to prepare (Even if that just means popping something in the oven thanks to my dad and friends), diapers to change, a thousand more loads of laundry, and floors to vacuum. Now I just have less hands, less sleep, less time. I am never not parenting. I am either nursing, holding, burping, or changing one OR playing with, talking to, supervising, bathing, changing, snuggling the other. There is no “handing off the kid and taking a minute of me time” because there is always another one seeking attention.

I could be napping right this second, but I’m writing this instead. If not now, when? And I need to write, I need it. It’s how I set down a thought and walk away. I’ve never been very good at sleeping when the baby(ies) sleep. That’s not how I self-care. Even when I am so very tired. Even when I should actually probably shower, tend to my stitched nethers, change my nursing tank. Sometimes I would just so much rather be here. So I am. And I will be for the foreseeable future, even if it’s no longer cool to blog. Even if it is. And honestly, I’m too busy and in the thick of it to really know which is which anymore. Are people still reading the internet? So many of you reached out to me when I was wondering what I was going to do with a space I feel I can barely keep up with myself, that it looks like at least a good handful of you are still out there. <<waves>>

Even if I’m not on HuffPo. Even if I never get a book deal. Even if I never sell advertising. These things are not actually my real goals anyway. I just want to write really honest, really great stories that people read and have some sort of reaction to. It’s a constant work in progress.

22 thoughts on “Where Am I?”

  1. and I love your posts always. Maybe it helps that we are just in the exact same stage of life but every time I read a post I find myself nodding along with everything you’ve written. The never having a minute alone is the biggest switch with 2 kids I think, you just never stop there’s always someone to held or comforted or fed.

  2. Still here! Waving back! Enjoy your family. Heal. Keep writing. We’ll be waiting.

    FWIW, I don’t sleep when the kid sleeps either, which I think is slowly sucking the life out of me, but also keeping me sane. Reading/writing/video-gaming is way more fun than sleeping.

  3. *waves back*

    I know I don’t comment much (more on insta than here), but I still read the internet and you are one of my very favorites. I love your stories. I am in awe that you’ve managed any posts at all since adding another kid to the mix. In a lot of ways I feel like we are pretty similar and in approximately the same season of life (we will be adding another little this winter), so I like reading your perspective.

    Enough fangirling – just wanted you to know you’ve got one more loyal reader, no matter how much you decide/manage to post! 🙂

  4. Hang in there! Was just about adjusting to two kids with my cousin. She has two daughters and lives life with 80% of her list completed. But once adjusted, she found a way to get comfortable with it. Hope to join the two-kid club soon and trade stories with you. Hope I get to meet you IRL someday. Love, Caitlin

  5. I’m going to email you instead of writing a novel of a comment, but hi! YES! Obviously, I’m here, reading and always wishing for you to show up on gchat. I’m going to go ahead and also put a vote in for my mom, who likes to ask, “Did you read Lauren’s blog about…?” as if the answer is ever anything other than “YES.”

  6. Hi. Still here. Enjoying being a voyeur into your life and reading the real talk that is – all of this. These are the stories I want to read. I love reading along and seeing how you navigate things, especially now with a new little one in the mix. You do what you need to do and find the time to check in when life permits. And your clothes will fit again. And you will find another job. But for now just relearn what it is to be a family, and navigate the newness, and know that you have a support system that is in place in many facets of your life that isn’t going anywhere.

  7. I’m still here! Hardly comment these days because, lazy and always on my phone. I still love and look forward to your posts though.

    Re not enough arms, can I suggest a ring sling or moby/boba type stretchy wrap until Fae is big enough for your lillebaby? then you’d have your hands free for Gabe or whatever else and she can snuggle/snooze xx

  8. I am also still here 🙂 And will be.
    However, I am really amazed/shocked how hard you are being on yourself – I mean, gosh – you really JUST had a BABY – and are already worrying about job hunting and balancing two kids. I don’t have kids yet but it seems to me that this is a real big adjustment and will take time! The US is crazypants with the no real maternity leave bullshit – I am from Germany where you get 6 weeks PAID leave before and 8 weeks PAID leave after giving birth + you can take a year of maternity leave if you want to and get 67% of your pay + if you get really sick during pregnancy you can get a occupational ban which is FULLY paid. Your blog always reminds me that’s something to be very, very thankful for.

  9. I didn’t comment on your last post because it feels selfish to say “Hey don’t stop writing because I enjoy it!!” But I am happy you will be continuing to write, I so much enjoy it!!

    Today as I find out whether I need to be induced or not more than most days I rely on your smart honest posts. Your people are still here!!

  10. Lauren,
    Your posts are awesome. Funny and raw and honest. Keep them coming when and if you can. I need to know that there are other people parenting in the toddler trenches with a newborn who are real about parenting. I’d rather have the honest, authentic Lauren sometimes posts than any other blogger talking sunshine and rainbows and Pinterest crafts daily into my feed.

  11. Waving!! Hi!! 🙂

    I always love your honesty, about everything (parenting, bodies, career concerns, writing). Ha!

    Wow, two is really more than twice as hard, eh?? Also, give it time. Time always helps to sort things out. You got this, just maybe not all at once, you know?

    Thanks for the update! Lucky us to get to keep reading your words during this special time.

  12. if you keep writing, we’ll keep reading! 🙂 and good luck with the juggling… i’m sure you’ll find your rhythm soon!!

  13. I love your writing and I love knowing about your life! I feel the same way about my blog and my writing goals. Being acknowledged is good and important and actually earning an income from writing is even better, but the connection is what it is really all about. It’s clear you have an incredible talent for it.

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