I have not had the time nor the mind space to go near this dashboard. For the past three months, life continued to be a whirlwind of diaper changes and tending to sick twin babies and night feeds.
Oh, yes. Night feeds. Twice the load.
Then there is Work.
Reading Rebecca Woolf’s blogpost (Adventures in Sleep Deprivation) made me GRATEFUL. So grateful that I had to blog again. Pronto.
For months, in spite of the sleep deprivation, sicknesses (yes, moms do catch the bug from the babies!), work stress, physical weariness, I turned up religiously for work, determined to make a difference. Work is by no means an easy feat. Being head of an office means when I fight fire at work, it’s the “sh*t-hits-the-fan” kind of fires. It also means the buck stops here, cos I need to be the all-knowing, all-discerning problem solver, even though I sometimes wonder how could those problems have occured in the first place.
So sleep deprivation, sicknesses, work stress and physical weariness aside, I turn up for work, trying to solve as many problems as I can, and fight as many fires as I can, and then I head home to start “mom duty” in the midst of 8pm/9pm/10pm concalls, and then I sleep, and then I wake up the next day feeling like groundhog day.
Yet, everyday I tell myself, “Today will be better. It can only be better.”
Except “better” never comes.
The truth is, when tending to young babies, there are so many situations that can arise that you cannot predict or schedule, or reschedule! Everyday it was rough just maintaining sanity, let alone deal with all the stress in many forms. Keeping pace with this whole new life was tough. It requires mental stamina to keep going, keep positive and will the worn out body to keep functioning both as a boss and as a mom.
One night while working late in the office, a coworker’s insensitive remarks put a halt to my goundhog day realities. I decided it was enough to try and keep up, but I should just be darn honest with the darn challenges that I have to deal with. Just because I’ve been sucking it up and doing my utmost best to keep afloat doesn’t mean it is as easy as it looks, and I should not need to be apologetic for being worn out.
So I declared, “Well, because tending to two young babies, AND dealing with all these bad sh*t at work at the same time IS tiring!”
Thankfully, there are many more enlightened souls in the organization than the insensitive ones. And many are parents themselves, who offer their support and their encouragement. One colleague even commented that my honesty helps him to be a better manager towards his colleagues who recently became new moms. “We know it is tough, but we men don’t REALLY know how tough it is. So when I see your perspective, I can empathize better with my colleagues who are new moms. ”
Every mom whom I meet tells me that I must be superwoman, returning to work so soon (after just 2.5 months) and working such a stressful job while juggling two demanding babies for that matter! Talk about burning on both ends.
But I never knew for sure if my challenges were understood.
Sometimes, I even doubt if I understand how worn out I am. You just don’t afford that kind of indulgence to yourself anymore. You keep on going on. Every single day. There is just too much pressure to “keep it together”. But if you take a look at the moms blogs, or working mom websites, you can easily tell that keeping it together is the last thing on every mom’s mind. Keeping sane is more the theme of eternity.
And then I read this article by fellow twin mom Rebecca Woolf. And I realise, I am not alone. It WILL get better…. and shoo those who cannot understand and still penalise me for my fatigue because my fellow moms will know that I am doing is far and beyond what the “normal”.
So thank YOU, Rebecca! Thank you for bringing me a little piece of affirmation in the midst of zombieland.
This further inspires me to “keep it real” instead of “keep it together”. The idealist in me believes in humanity a lot more than thinking that people just want to see the Stepford Life.