Machine Guns and the Art of Juggling
(Originally Published at Romance Roll Call on September 2, 2010)
I had a brief email conversation with my editor at Sapphire Blue Publishing this week.
Here’s the gist:
- I apologized for submitting such a rough manuscript and taking so long to rework it.
- She showed nothing but grace and understanding for all that I was juggling in my life.
I generally consider myself an underachiever but I stopped to think about that.
Yeah, I am juggling. I’m juggling like a fricking mime on speed!
When I was on active duty there wasn’t any juggling. There were 12 hours of work and 12 hours of play every day. A nice, clean slice down the middle. 12 hours toting a machine gun and 12 hours of gym time, tossing back drinks with the boys (I really did a great deal of drinking) and a little sleep once in a while.
There was never any juggling.
Now I’m a civilian mother of two small boys, one of which just started Kindergarten. I’m a wife, though I’ll admit a lousy one because my husband never gets his quality time. I’m a freelance writer at Associated Content. I’m a novelist with Sapphire Blue Publishing. We just PCSed to Texas and I’m trying to unpack all these boxes of crap we can clearly live without. I’m also trying to get my pre-pregnancies (there were 2) body back (these kids have really messed me up). Lastly, I’m trying to implement a 5-year plan aimed at a location independent retirement. (Yeah, we’re kinda young for retirement but my husband would like to retire and damnit, he deserves something for not getting his quality time.)
So maybe there is some juggling involved.
I was just looking over my calendar for tomorrow. I had to scroll the page to see everything. That’s when I know I’m in trouble. My day will go something like this:
0500 Wake, drink a pot of coffee while responding to email, purchase and give away books promised as prizes in recent promotions, post this blog, post an article at Associated Content
0600 Wake the boys, feed them breakfast, change 2-3 diapers on the little man depending on whether or not he drops a load or pisses like a racehorse, get the boys dressed, teeth brushed, faces washed
0700 Get the boys in the bike trailer (Mommy’s little rickshaw), helmets on, water bottles in hand and pedal Mr. Kindergarden to school (20 minutes of uphill biking in San Antonio heat and humidity), drop him off and pedal home (10 minutes of fast downhill coasting)
0730 Fight with the little man about how we will not keep riding around, clean up a mess or two as the little man is potty training.
0800 Down a protein shake and some vitamins, drain the coffee pot of any essence of coffee that might be left.
0830 Unpack 3-5 boxes and put more crap away, do a couple loads of laundry.
1030 Make toast and a bottle for the little man, say a little prayer to the universe that he takes a nap, fight with him about putting on a diaper.
1115 This is my only TV time all day so don’t judge. I watch The Young and the Restless from the DVR so I can skip the commercials.
1200 Work on the current novel.
1300 Little man usually wants some Mommy time
1400 Mount up to pick up Kinderdude.
1430 Pick up Kinderdude
1445 Go over school work, homework and notes sent from his teacher, ask him about his day, find out if he ate lunch
1530 Check on that laundry
1600 Make supper for the family
1700 Do the dishes, prepare clothes for me and the boys for the next day, prepare evening snack and bottle.
1730 I try to write but there is usually the pitter-patter of little feet as well as some screaming, airplane and train noises and crazy questions like “Mom, what a mouse house?”. I try to sneak away for a shower at this point since my neglected husband is home.
1830 Bath time for the kids then snacks and some Spongebob or Scooby-Doo.
1900 Bedtime for the kids, I write my blogs, catch up on RSS feeds and go over my calendar for the next day (all done from bed, on my phone)
2030 Pass out, phone in hand
2100 Wake up, pick my phone off the floor and put it on the charger, go back to sleep.
But who am I kidding? My day never happens in tidy blocks like ths!
On rare nights I can sleep from 9-5. Most nights the boys wake up for one reason or another. Last night, Little man woke at 2300, 2400, 0100 and 0200 and drank a bottle every time.
Yeah, I’m a juggling muther*!$#”&!
Some days I wish I was sitting in a leaky Hummvee with and M-60. Too bad I wasn’t writing back then. I had plenty of time for it.
PS: It is 0300 and the kids have been up coughing most of the night. They’re both sick. You can disregard pretty much everything I thought I was going to do. I’ll be running popsicles and apple juice all day. I am so grateful for my own health…and the fact that I had the good sense to stay with Sapphire Blue Publishing!
Come to my crazy little world for a visit sometime at http://www.LisaPietsch.com