Chatting with Chai: Volume 14

Y’all things have hit the fan since I gave my last monthly update.

First of all, we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. Brah.

And then I delivered twins ALONE in said pandemic. Read that here.

And when we came back from the hospital, we were in the middle of the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement.

If you’ve seen my stories and the posts I share on Instagram, you know I’m not down with that “All lives matter” sh*t so if you’re here for that, BYE.

But if you’re passionate about black lives and the senseless deaths from police brutality, then I suggest you make the calls to get the cops who killed Breonna arrested. MAKE THOSE CALLS DAILY.

Even though I’ve got five kids that are five years old and younger in quarantine with me, I’m making those calls. Let that sink in.

It’s just been insanely loud in our house. The energy has definitely shifted and we’re all different people from who we were 6 months ago, kids included. And I’m not sure if it’s the BLM that changed how we parent and the dynamics of the conversations at home, or the newborns that are taking away attention from the older kids, or just the quarantine going on; or even just a combination of all of it. The kids are still at that age where they prefer to be with Mom/Dad over their friends, but they are definitely getting exhausted of each other.

Anyway, I decided that I wanted to change my strategy in life. Instead of acting like I have it all together, which I clearly do not (read: have no showered in 5 days), maybe I can take a page from the BLM movement and just stop to learn; absorb information like a good student so that I can grow and change and teach my kids the same stuff. I’m being more intentional of how much time I spend on social media and really, how I use my time during the day as a whole.

Honestly, I’ve had cereal in the late afternoon be my first meal of the day more times than I can count this quarantine. If I had a dollar for each time a kid said “Mom” or even just cried, I’d have replaced my pre-kids salary by the middle of the week!

All jokes aside, the mom guilts is heavy for yelling at the kids because it’s a shitty situation for them. I wake up each day hoping to be a better mom than the day before. One day, I feel like I can do all the things, and then there are days where I realize that I haven’t showered for 5 days.

The first couple of weeks, we had been surviving on two sets of two hours of sleep at night and that was tough. And since we have the older kids, there are no naps and no breaks during the day. I get this question all the time: How am I surviving with 5 kids and no help? TV. Not even gonna lie or be ashamed about the ridiculous hours of screen time they got the first three weeks.

Yes, they’d play outside, do arts and crafts in the evening, sit with me individually to practice for “school” but seriously, how long can a 3-year old sit quietly to paint? Or play well in a group setting before I have to come break up a fight? When I was feeding the babies alone while Sanj was working, you better believe they were watching TV.

And for us, it’s a big deal because they have never watched TV this much before. In fact, we didn’t even have a TV downstairs; we had to get one! And I honestly don’t even feel bad because the times are unprecedented. In different situations, I’d have more help; but being that we’re still in quarantine, there is just no other option than to put my big girl shoes on and tackle the day little by little. Now that the newborns are sleeping more and I’m getting more rest, the big kids have more structure in their days.

For a short while, though, all of the sudden, it was like everyone’s home, wanting to eat snacks, not meals. They’ve forgotten how to be nice siblings, and my throat is constantly dry from yelling all day.

So in between the videos that I’m sharing online of the kids listening to classical music and doing work, or the plates of food that I’m preparing and sharing, or even the toys and activities I do with them, please know that there are moments of anger followed by tears followed by cuddles followed by play followed by fighting followed by anger followed by tears until I get so annoyed that the TV goes back on.

I have friends that will be like “Oh it’s movie night, what movie should we watch as a family today?” First of all, what. Y’all only watch a movie together once a week? How? What do your kids do? Because Sanjay has probably seen every episode of Puppy Dog Pals with the kids and I’ve seen Zootopia like ten times this past week so what’s your secret?

How are you surviving?? If you have any tips, please share in the comments; I’d love to know!

Anyway, on to the good stuff..

Reading: I am doing a lot of this lately. Part of it is tied in with my aforementioned goal: I want to learn and contribute more. If input = output, then I really need to be careful about what I take in. I’ve been reading this book as a recommendation from my FIL. It’s definitely given a different perspective on parenting. Actually, now that I think about it, this one has, too. Both go into the constructs of the mind and how that impacts your decisions, including how you parent. They’re not parenting books per se, but they do provide an alternative view and insight. In fact, they’ve changed how I parent quite a bit.

Watching: Truth be told, we’ve been watching a lot of Joshua recently. He’s funny, but his teaching is also very simple; he explains not just the how, but the why, too. We recently made his banana bread using this GF flour and even made GF spicy chick sandwiches. We topped them with this spicy honey (yes, you read that correctly!) and a homemade Nashville hot sauce to make it more “Nashville Hot” type. DAMN BRO. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Listening to: Soooo I’ve been waking up before all the kids wake up each morning to listen to podcasts. Some have been about leadership, business development, NPR, NYTimes. I also have listened to “Stuff You Should Know” and several Ted Talk Daily episodes. The best podcast was “1916.”

Working on: Blogging. Like, sitting down and writing, staging photos, creating printables. The whole nine yards. I’m just sinking my teeth into this after a long hiatus and it feels fantastic. If you’re new here, I’d love to connect with you on the ‘gram. If you’re my OG, let me know in the comments what else you’d like to read from me.

If you’ve taken away anything from this post, it’s that you still need to do your part today and make those calls to have the cops who killed Breonna Taylor arrested. And wear a mask!

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