Oh hello, Tell me your name again…July is it? How did you get here?
One minute it’s the dead of winter, I’m cooking/blogging every day waiting for my baby to arrive, when suddenly I blink and it’s a Tuesday in the middle of summer, I have a four-month old daughter, and realize I’ve neglected my other pride and joy, That’s SO Jenn. (We’ve all heard of mommy guilt, but blogger guilt is a whole new concept…)
I don’t know if we realize how much we rely on a routine until we break it. Before our smiley, giggly, precious MnM became my entire world, I used all my energy to focus whole-heartedly on TSJ. I would awake in the middle of the night with great recipe ideas (especially during my ultra creative nesting stage!), think about them while I leisurely washed my hair, and spent hours in the kitchen experimenting.
1. Any waking in the middle of the night is due to me jolting out of bed to obsessively stare at the baby monitor, making sure our peanut is breathing even though she sleeps through the evening.
2. I’m lucky if I have time to rinse out all the shampoo, never mind allow my mind to wander during the washing process.
3. The only time I’m in the kitchen is to rinse bottles and make a puree while Miss Emma naps.
“I’ll do it all,” I said. I’m going to be that mom. The one who seamlessly balances the full-time job of a stay-at-home parent in addition to my other work-from-home position of being a cook and writer. I’m going to have my eyes on the hot stove and on my little one at the same time. I’m going to take step-by-step photos of dishes and taste-test, while photographing every moment of my daughter’s life, as I simultaneously make cooing noises back at her.
I’m going to consistently conquer the regular laundry load that comes from two adults and a baby (who by the way requires more clothes washing then I’ve ever imagined in my entire life!) and the day-to day upkeep, and the workouts and the infant activity classes and give the dog, our first baby, plenty of attention because there’s enough love to go around, and greet Hubby at the door looking refreshed and perfectly quaffed. Every. Single. day.
Bahahahahahaha. Oh silly pre-mommy Jenn. You crack me up.
Here’s reality: I do many of those things. Most of them, in fact. Just not necessarily all in the same 24 hours. We make it to baby yoga and music class and the library, but I may or may not have shaved my legs that morning.
We have playdates and playgroups and social time with important people in my life, but I’m most likely running a few minutes late.
I make time for my friends and we have honest, adult two-way conversations that aren’t all about mommyhood, and go for lunch outside while MnM sleeps in her seat, but when she wakes up, I instantly switch to a high pitch tone and start making silly faces at her.
One minute, I’m writing a poignant freelance piece and the next, I can barely string together a cohesive thought. Like trying to figure out how my lipstick ended up in the freezer.
Some days, I keep my house immaculately clean—counters glistening, carpet vacuumed, bed made and laundry neatly folded in each drawer. You’d be amazed I have a baby.
Other days, there are playthings everywhere, piles of laundry to be washed and dishes sitting in the sink—You’d be amazed I don’t have six children.
But that’s life isn’t it? A perfect, harmonious balance of sweet imperfection that keeps things interesting, ensuring no two moments are exactly the same.
It’s about understanding that having it all and making it work is often about prioritizing, and accepting that not everything can be done in one single moment. If we bite off more than we can chew, we just choke.
But more is coming. I promise. Just as I tell Emma when I run into the other room, even though you can’t see me, I’m still here.
I have three months worth of published columns to share, more monthly TV spots coming up, and yes, even some recipes. So here’s to hoping absence makes the heart grow fonder as you welcome That’s SO Jenn back into your lives.
Stay tuned for my very exciting interview with renowned chef Daniel Boulud, and many more delicious posts to pile onto your plates.
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