Have you ever seen a recipe online and become obsessed with it? I have. These crinkly chocolate chip cookies have been haunting me for quite some time now.
I have been seeing these gorgeous cookies all over the Internet for a few months now, along with their slightly unorthodox method of baking. The are unforgiving in their size and have beautiful crinkly tops and crispy edges.
Making them is a bit weird: you literally bang the pan on the counter to get those beautiful crinkly edges.
I am not kidding; my family thought I was nuts as I kept banging the pans against the counter every few minutes. But they didn’t have anything to say when they took a bite of that crispy on the outside, ooey-gooey on the inside chocolate chip cookie.
These cookies are not for the faint of heart. The original recipe called for 1/3 cup of dough per cookie, but I thought that sounded too big so I scaled back a bit to 1/4 cup. But they were still big and wonderfully chewy and crispy. They are about the size of Starbucks cookies and one will set you back for your sugar intake for a week (or day, let’s be honest).
They’re called chocolate chip cookies, but they actually have chocolate chunks. If you haven’t made the switch from chips to chunks, do it now! Look at those gorgeous rivers of chocolate running through that cookie. I use Ghiradelli baking bars, but you could use any kind of baking chocolate you like.
The key is to chop the chocolate yourself and not use the pre-chopped chunks. The pre-chopped chunks are definitely easier and I love to use them too, but it’s worth it to go the extra mile on these bad boys. Trust me.
I ended up using semi-sweet chocolate but you could also use bittersweet or a combination of both. I also added a generous sprinkling of chopped pecans because nuts make everything better. I loved the added crunch and texture in these cookies.
I’m well aware that it might be bad taste to talk about the past year when the new one has already begun. It’s the first week of January and people are writing about their resolutions and goals and I’m only just sitting down to write down my recap of the past decade. Because a new one has begun.
This past decade has been transformative. That’s the only way I can describe it. I was twenty, and in University when this decade began, and I’m ending it as a thirty year old. I’m at a stage in my life that I always dreamed and fantasized about. It’s crazy that I’m actually here. But I still have a long way to go.
This decade is split into two chunks for me, literally down the middle. I spent the first half as a bachelorette and the second half as a wife, and then half of that as a mother. I went from a girl, with zero responsibilities and all the free time in the world, to a woman with a family who depend on her, and zero free time. It’s been quite the flip.
I graduated University in the past ten years, went on to do a creative book publishing program (during when this blog was born!), started working at Chapters (a lifelong dream of my book-loving heart), started and graduated teacher’s college, started another blog, got married, moved away from home, got pregnant, moved back to Canada, gave birth, became a mother, and moved into my own apartment. It’s definitely been a busy ten years!
I also wrote and wrote and wrote: novels, poems, essays, articles and much more.
During these ten years, I found myself. I found myself in the words that drift around in my head and in my heart, the words that I wish to see on the page. I found myself in the pen that I hold, rather than the pen of others. I found myself in books, in words and worlds that I devoured, page by page.
But I also lost myself. I lost myself in the battle between editing the words of others vs writing my own words. I lost myself in baking, in the mixing of ingredients, to create something delightful and delicious. I lost myself in teacher’s college, in the vision of myself I saw for my future. But mostly, I lost myself in motherhood.
University, and my subsequent schooling were amazing experiences. I have always loved school and learning, and have always thrived in a school environment, and so it’s not surprising that I loved those years of my life. They were enriching and enlightening, and I learned so much. There were subjects and areas of knowledge that I learned about during those years that I never knew about and never knew I would enjoy. And that was the greatest joy.
After leaving school, I became the master of my own fate and it was a bit of a wobbly ride as I tried to figure out what it was I wanted to do. But then fate took me for a ride to another country as I got married. It was like learning another language.
Those early years of marriage were definitely tough. I think fondly of the naive girl I was and the fairytale I thought I was about the walk into. Marriage is definitely no fairytale but I had been brainwashed by too many Bollywood and Disney movies to know any better.
Living in a new city, without any of my friends or family, meant I was again the master of own fate. I focused on blogging and baking, and discovered an unknown love of Brush Calligraphy. It was during this time that I stumbled upon my agent, or rather she stumbled upon me. And this is probably one of the greatest joys in this past decade, as it has given me the tiniest sliver of hope of being published one day.
During this time away, death took two of my family members. In 2015, less than a year after my wedding, my uncle lost his battle to cancer. And then less than a month later, it took my grandfather too, unexpectedly. I wanted to go home so badly but wasn’t able to. I still remember this period of time as a time of longing; the place I had left was the one I wanted to be.
The next year, I became pregnant and so began a new chapter of my life. Pregnancy wrecked havoc on my life as I began to pack up to move back to Canada. I moved back to Canada in January of 2017, a few months before I was due to give birth.
Coming back to Canada wasn’t what I imagined it to be. I had been away for a few years and so many things had changed in my absence. My family was no longer the same. The gaping hole I thought I had left had been stitched up so that you could still tell something had been there, but it was no longer a hole. My family was different now.
But I had my own, new family to focus on now as the birth of my daughter in April 2017 is the brightest, shining light in the entire decade. She is the person who makes me happiest, makes me smile the widest, and laugh the loudest. But she is also a challenge; she is extremely stubborn, strong-willed, active, and doesn’t sleep well.
If 2017 is a bright light, 2018 is a grey blur; I honestly don’t remember most of it. I traveled to NYC to visit my best friend, and then a few weeks later went to Chicago to attend two family weddings.
2019 is the worst year of my life. I recently revealed in my last blog post that my brother was diagnosed with brain cancer this past year in March, and this diagnosis has rocked me and my entire family to our cores. There are moments that take place in slow motion in front of your eyes, as if God is super gluing that scene into the inside of your skull. My brother’s diagnosis in Trillium Hospital in Mississauga is such a scene.
This past year has been the most physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally one of all. If I had lost myself in motherhood, I lost what was left of myself. I stopped writing, stopped eating well, stopped taking care of myself, just stopped everything. I was on survival mode for most of the year as I felt like I was sitting on a roller coaster that was going at breakneck speeds, sometimes soaring up and sometimes plunging down. I was trying to hold on for dear life.
Even when the roller coaster stopped, I was still in survival mode. I didn’t know how to do anything else. I ate a lot of junk food and packed on the pounds. I was paralysed at the thought of going outside and interacting with strangers. I liked the safety of my apartment and didn’t want to leave it. I didn’t know how to write about what had happened to me, there were no words inside anymore.
When I was younger, I used to imagine the year as a big long scroll, with separate sections for the months. So basically a big, long calendar of months in a long row. But December was the end and then you jumped back to the top of the scroll in January.
I’m on the other side now and I can see clearly. I have spent so many years of the past decade losing myself that I am ready to find myself. I know it sounds a little cheesy, trust me.
I want to find the pieces of myself that I lost years ago, the pieces that made me happy, the pieces that made me me. I want to be that girl again. Of course, I can’t go back to being that twenty year girl who had zero responsibilities and all the free time in the world. But I want to find some of the pieces that made that girl who she was: curious, inquisitive, optimistic, creative, and excited for the future.
I want to do the things that set my soul on fire. I want to create words and worlds that others will want to devour, stories that will inspire. I want to open my mind, and feel the joy I felt in learning when I was in school. I want to be the best mother I can possibly be, and teach my daughter how to be good and kind and honest. I want to take time to pause and relax, so I can enjoy the gifts God has given me. I want to thrive, and not just survive. I want to be me.
This was the year of books! I read more books this year than I have since my daughter was born, and probably also since the year I was expecting her.
When I became a new mom, I was so tired all the time that I chose to sleep when I could, instead of chosing to read. Or, I watched a lot of TV.
But this year, something happened. My hunger for books re-awoke and I tore through them at an alarming rate, devouring and savouring the words and the worlds inside of them. I wanted to return to my old self, the self that read for pleasure and lost myself among fantastical worlds and characters.
I read a lot of books this year, 41 to be precise, according to my Goodreads account. I had aimed for about 25 and then surpassed that and then I changed my goal to 30 and then soon surpassed that.
I used to post book reviews after reading each book, and that’s kind of how this blog got its humble beginnings. But I don’t have time to do each book anymore and decided to do the whole year in one long post, a sort of year in review.
The year isn’t over yet, but I wanted to share the most remarkable ones I have read. If I read something that completely blows me away after this post is published and the year still isn’t over, I’ll add it. Let’s get started!
A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES SERIES BY SARAH J MAAS
For those of you who have followed this blog for awhile might remember my love for teen books. I haven’t read many this year; to be honest, the plots of most of them just don’t excite me or interest me anymore the way they used to.
I bought A Court of Thorns and Roses the year before I think and it sat on my bookshelf for awhile before I finally decided to read it. I had read Maas’s Throne of Glass series a bit; I had tried it out and while I didn’t end up continuing the series, I enjoyed Maas’s writing.
The description of this intrigued me. It’s about a girl who kills an ancient predator while trying to feed her family. Feyre ends up killing a faerie and as punishment gets dragged to the faerie world, where she becomes enslaved. She learns to befriend her punisher, Tamlin, a faerie who keeps his face hidden, and eventually falls in love with him. Tamlin is under a curse and Feyre has to break before his mask becomes permanent. The story is basically a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, one of my favourite fairy tales of all time.
The writing is exquisite, but the story is just fascinating. Maas is a master storyteller and the world she creates is beautiful and dark. The characters are three-dimensional and filled with complexities.
While I was reading this book, I shared it on my Instagram and a fellow booklover told me that the second one is even better. I was really enjoying the first one and couldn’t imagine how the second one would get better. But it does.
The second book took my breath away. It basically took the world that Maas created in the first one and turned it on its head. Everything Feyre knew gets turned upside down. Everything seems so perfect in her and Tamlin’s world but then things change.
I have never read a series where the love interest changes halfway through the series. Granted this wasn’t halfway through the series but it was amazing to see loyalties shift. It isn’t an annoying love triangle but a complete shift.
It’s been awhile since I’ve read this series, but each book just gets better and better. Maas continues to build the faerie world with each book. Feyre changes and blossoms into a formidable young woman who can make up her own mind and can battle any faerie.
The last book left me breathless and speechless. It was a perfect ending to an amazing series; most series mess up the ending, but the final battle among the faeries was epic.
If you love fantasy stories with an amazing cast of characters, romance, adventure, and beautiful writing, you should definitely read this.
THE HATING GAME
I read a fair number of chick lit/romance novels this year. They are usually easy reads that I like to read when I want something fun and light. The Hating Game did not disappoint.
It’s about Lucy and Joshua who work in the same office in a book publishing company. Lucy and Joshua hate each other. They are constantly trying to one-up each other by undermining the other person. They have different work ethics but end up competing for the same job. If either of them gets it, they’ll be the other person’s boss. But things suddenly change after a steamy elevator ride, and Lucy is left wondering if she really knows Joshua at all.
This was a fun read that felt like I was watching a fun romantic comedy. Equal parts funny and romantic, it had depth where most romance books don’t. Both Lucy and Joshua have detailed back stories about why they are the way they are, which is why when they finally get together at the end, it is so satisfying.
This was marketed as a psychological thriller, but it definitely wasn’t that.
The One takes place in a not too distant future where there is an app that matches you to your soulmate. Science has progressed to the point that we have discovered through DNA testing that each of us has a soulmate in the world, the one who we are genetically made for. There are no more dating apps, because once you find the one, that’s it.
The book follows a series of people who are ‘matched’ and what happens to them. One character struggles in his current relationships once he realises that his current partners isn’t the one he was made for. Another travels all the way to another corner of the world to meet her Match to find out that he’s nothing like she expected. Another man is a serial killer, one on a rampage in London, killing innocent women. His life gets thrown into a disarray when he gets matched with a beautiful young woman, who ends up being a police officer, the one who is tracking him down.
There is a bit of a thriller element towards the second half of the book, but the book is more of an examination of love and how people act and react in their relationships. It was actually fascinating, since it depicted a world that isn’t too far off from our own. DNA testing is quite advanced now so it isn’t too far-fetched to imagine a world where we are genetically matched.
THE ORACLE YEAR
This was an interesting book. I feel more enamored with the concept than the actual book, but it was still an entertaining read so it makes my list for this year.
The Oracle Year tells the story of Will, a bassist from New York, who wakes up one morning with 108 predictions in his head about the future. He starts a website and quickly becomes known as The Oracle. As his predictions come true one by one, Will quickly becomes the most powerful man in the whole world. Everyone wants a piece of him, from the president of the US to local warlords in war-torn countries.
But with power comes responsibility, and before Will knows it, the whole world is on the brink of war. An unknown force is at work, so that the results of his predictions start colliding and Will discovers there is a ripple effect from his predictions. With his best friend and a journalist by his side, Will races to save the world before his last prediction comes true.
This book started off really strong and the concept of the story just blew me away. It was so different from anything I usually read and I loved that. It started to drag towards the second third of the novel, but then the ending ramped things up again as it became a race to save the world. The predictions that Will had weren’t all big, world changing predictions. Some were small, like about how a man will add pepper to his steak. It was interesting to see how small actions had small ripples that got sent into the world, and how they became bigger and bigger, until they had huge ramifications. That was probably my favourite part of the book, the idea that our actions aren’t taking place in a vacuum. Everything we do has consequences, whether big or small.
THE MOTHER -IN-LAW
This was the year of the psychological thriller. I read so many of them that I have forgotten what the plot of most of them were. Most of them had similar plots that weren’t very memorable or well written. The thriller high from Gone Girl is still going strong, but most thrillers coming out now are forgettable. Yet for some reason I kept picking them up.
I kept telling myself I would stop, since I was getting bored with them but they somehow kept finding their way into my hands.
I discovered that there are some plot lines in psychological thrillers that I can’t read and those are about missing children. So many thrillers feature missing children, whether it’s infants or teenagers, and I had such a difficult time reading, let alone finishing, these novels. Ever since I became a mom I just can’t do it.
This book was completely different. It was also marketed as a psychological thriller, but it was more in the vein of Big Little Lies. I think Big Little Lies was also marketed as a thriller, but it was more about the relationships between the characters and the secrets they were hiding. The Mother-In-Law was very similar.
Lucy’s mother in law, Diana, is dead. Our story starts off at the end and we work our way through the years, in a series of flashbacks, to unearth the relationship between these two women. The book is told through alternating points of views of Lucy and Diana and we discover how fraught and tense their relationship was.
I especially appreciated reading both perspectives because it made the characters more real. We got to read about Diana from Lucy’s eyes and then got to hear Diana’s story in her own words, and vice versa. Diana wasn’t the evil two-dimensional mother in law that you would expect; we get to hear about her struggles and her story and it made for a fascinating character study.
The book culminates in Diana’s murder, and it ends up being someone you don’t expect. This is the only part of the book I didn’t love, but I highly enjoyed the rest of it.
These are just a few of my favourites from this year! I read so many books this year, it was a challenge to pick a few. Here are some other notable mentions: The Runaway Princess and Swept Off Her Feet, both by Hester Browne. I love Hester Browne’s books; her writing style is similar to Sophie Kinsella, and her books are fun and light, usually with a romantic element. Both were highly enjoyable.
It’s been such a great book year. My library card got frequent use this year, but I have a STACK of books on my bookshelf that I have purchases that I still haven’t read yet. So maybe it’s time to make a dent in them!
I had a lot of fun writing this post; I hope you had fun reading it! I can’t wait to see what next year brings.
Hello world. I’m not sure if anyone will read these words since it has been months since I have posted anything. It has actually been months since I have sat down at my computer and typed more than a handful of words collectively. My fingers are cramping as I type this; they are rusty and have forgotten how this works.
I never intended to take such a long break from this blog, this space of mine on the internet where I have been posted random ramblings since 2011. I have been attempting to write some version of this blog post for months but the words never made their way to my fingers. Or rather, finding time to sit down and actually pause to think about how I was feeling has been impossible.
My last blog post was in January, and shortly after, we had planned on moving. I was busy with packing and of course just day to day stuff with my daughter. We were supposed to move in April but at the end of March something happened that changed my world.
At the end of March, after an emergency visit to the hospital, my brother was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Writing these words is something I never imagined I would do. It has been several months since the fact but the wound is still so raw. Putting this truth, a truth that I have been living with for the past few months, out into the world feels both right and wrong. It is something I have kept to myself since it happened, letting only a handful of friends know. It felt too huge to share with strangers.
I will never forget that moment in the hospital when the doctor, a polite but caring young Middle Eastern doctor, came in to deliver the news. We had been joking only moments before, my brothers and I, making light of the situation, dealing with the fact that he was in the hospital for a headache, with the only way we knew how: humour. I still remember my brother saying that he had Voldemort growing out of the back of his head, as joke about his headaches, the symptom that brought him to the hospital in the first place.
But there weren’t many jokes or laughter after that moment. Instead, there were tears. Tears that were sometimes shed in front of him, but more often than not, in private so as not to scare him. But it was hard. We were so scared. He must have been petrified.
The days after his emergency surgery were the most difficult ones I have lived through. I tried so hard to be a pillar of support for my parents and brother, but inside I was crumbling, bit by bit. I left childhood behind many years ago, but at this time, all I wanted was to be a kid again, to return to the comfort of my mother’s lap, when she would make everything okay. But she couldn’t make this okay. None of us could.
I never envisioned what his road to recovery would look like. In my mind, the surgery would fix things and he would be home to recover, but then be back to normal. But normal never happened.
I never imagined that we would get another shock. A few weeks after we got home and he was starting to slowly get up and about, another doctor uttered the C word with such casual elegance, a word that strikes fear in the hearts with many. Four years ago, in this same month, it took my uncle and then a month later my grandfather. The former spent several years fighting in, while the latter received his diagnosis on a Monday and was gone by Friday.
Four years later, it was back in my family, but in someone who was so young, proving that this disease does not discriminate: old or young, all are fair game.
This began a furious round of treatments in which my brother became all too familiar with the hospital. But despite how careful we tried to be with him, he caught an infection and was back in the hospital on course for another brain surgery.
In total, my brother ended up having three brain surgeries since his initial diagnosis, two of which were basically a few weeks apart. The time we spent out of the hospital between these two surgeries was like a dream. It felt like we spent the entire summer in the hospital; if he wasn’t having surgery, he was suffering from complications from the surgeries or an infection. We all became familiar with the many nurses and doctors who took care of him.
But by the end of August, he was released from hospital and hasn’t been back since then, alhamdulilah. He is still undergoing treatment for the tumour, but is much more mobile than he was before.
There has been little light in this dark period that my family and I have been going through. As a wife and mother myself, I had to try and retain some sort of normalcy for my own family, especially since my daughter is still so young. In these few months, we ended up moving to a new apartment and a new city. This has been the most challenging thing for me, since it meant being away from my brother.
Before, we were living in the basement of my parents’ house. Being close to him during this turbulent time was so comforting, but when we moved, things became so difficult. Most days all I ever wanted was to be near him; it felt like an invisible string was pulling me to him but I couldn’t go. I had to take care of my daughter.
I still went when I could but it wasn’t the same as living in the same house and having that peace of mind of seeing him. Instead, I became the annoying sister who called and texted constantly, always worrying.
In some sense, life went on. The days became weeks and the weeks became months. The seasons changed and the days became longer before they became shorter again. Things continued to happen around me but I couldn’t see them. I was stuck in a bubble.
The bubble sucked all the life out of me. Inside, there was a barren desert where nothing grew.
In these past few months, I have thought so often about putting my feelings into words, but it seemed impossible. The feelings were still too raw and ugly and painful and huge to even begin to understand and to translate into mere letters on a small page. I couldn’t do it.
Instead, I continued to give and give to my family, even though most days it felt like I had nothing to give. I became a zombie who just ate, slept, and took care of my daughter. Taking care of her is so all-encompassing that by the end of the day, I didn’t have the time or energy to do anything else. I drowned myself in thriller novels, plots that were so far-fetched and terrifying that they lulled me to sleep instantly. I ate my weight in pasta, cookies, and cake, using the extra fat as a shield to protect me from the scary world. I stalked the Internet like a madwoman, scrolling and liking and staring, but not putting up much of myself out there. I didn’t know what to share.
It’s now, that the year is almost over, that I am slowly trying to force myself out of the cocoon of my own making. Some days, it’s easier. While other days, I still want to hide, exhausted from fighting my own demons.
Before, I used to pray that we could go back to that moment in the hospital when our lives changed forever. But I now know that that’s a silly prayer. Since it was that moment in the hospital, where we first discovered my brother’s tumour, that began the journey of his treatment. Any moment later and we would have lost precious time, and time is something we so desperately need.
So today, I don’t pray to go back. Instead, I pray that he goes forward, that he regains his health and gets stronger, strong enough that he slays this cursed dragon, this beast which is attacking his body, specifically his brain. I pray for strength for my family, for us to keep our faith in God as He leads us through this turbulent time. The smoke is thick and blinding, but there is a path. Only He can see it.
Thank you for all of those who have reached out during this difficult time. And thank you, as always, for reading.
Recently I read an article on BuzzFeed about how millennials are the burnout generation. It was a long article that talked at length about the changes to modern life that makes living life as a millennial so difficult and overwhelming.
Modernity has made life easier but also more complicated as it’s filled with mundane, small tasks that take up our time; tasks that we become so consumed with doing, thinking that they are part of the bigger picture, but in the end don’t get us much closer to our ultimate goal. We continue to add things to our checklist, and things do get done. But the checklist never ends because more tasks are constantly added.
Motherhood is a such a checklist. There is another part of the article that talked about a mother going through the motions with her kids at Christmas time. She described her day as an endless checklist of Christmas related activities for the sake of the kids but said she felt no joy doing them. This part resonated with me so much, except instead of a Christmas checklist, it’s life itself.
As a mother in 2019, I am part of a generation of mothers who talk about how hard it is but are immediately shut down by our elders with phrases of “You have it easy!” “Things are so much easier for you kids these days” etc. There is no sympathy in our plight and we are often told we are entitled. We live in a modern world where everything is available to us and everything has become so easy. So why is it still so difficult?
One reason is that darn checklist. The mental one that is running through my head daily as I go through the motions of taking care of my daughter. What’s more, it isn’t just one checklist. It’s MULTIPLE.
There’s the household checklist of chores and errands. There’s the running grocery checklist of things needed. There’s the physical checklist for my daughter, which revolves all around her eating and everything I do with her during the day (changing her diaper and clothes, bathing her, brushing her teeth, etc). But then there are these other checklists, for example the educational checklist (I need to teach her the ABCs, but she still doesn’t know her colours or numbers or ANYTHING else!), the spiritual checklist (am I raising a good Muslim? How do I make sure she knows and loves God?), the motor development checklist (does she know how to throw a ball? Or how about running or hopping?). And on and on and on. (Oh and did I mention the self-care checklist? Make sure I brushed my teeth/showered/changed/look like a human being, eat healthy, exercise, lose the baby weight, and be a functioning member of society).
Some of these items get checked off on a daily, or rather hourly, basis (diaper changed, check; teeth brushed, check, etc) but there are other checklists and questions that linger in my mind from one day to another. They are deeper issues, more about my daughter’s spiritual, emotional, and mental development and they aren’t as easily checked off. They are things we work on over days and weeks and months.
With this many things to think about on a daily basis, it’s no wonder more and more mothers feel burnt out. While modern life has made things easier for us, it’s also made things more difficult. Part of this had to do with the mental load that mothers bear. (Check out this definition of the mental load here.)
The sheer amount of new information and research that is being presented on a daily basis is crazy. There is information on how much your kid should weigh, how much milk they should consume, how often they should nurse, how many diapers they should soil, the milestones they should achieve by which age, the food that is unsafe and unsafe for them to eat, how many veggies they should consume, how much screen time they should get vs how much time they should spend outside, how much time they should spend in directed play vs independent play, and on and on and on. There is so much information and research out there on how to parent, and it can overwhelming to keep up with it all.
Each day we are presented with new and different facts, facts that make our head spin when we try to fathom how to change our parenting philosophy around them. For example, in the almost 2 years since I became a mom, I have heard nothing about screen time except that it is bad for kids’ developing brains and should be avoided completely until age 2. The other day I came across a new article that suddenly said that there is no evidence that screen time has a negative effect. Um, sorry what?
We are living in a time of such rapid change that it’s impossible to keep up. So at the end of the day, as a mom, you just have to decide where you lie on the fence and stick to your decisions.
But modern inventions have made things more difficult for mothers. Namely the phone. The phone is a great tool when you consider how you can tell your husband what an awful day you’re having or check in on all your friends who seem like AMAZING mothers who never yell at their kids. But then it’s the thing you use to pay bills, take pictures, respond to messages from your husband, mom, brother, friend, etc, do your banking and online shopping, and browse on. If you’re not careful, you can get caught up in the world of the phone and actually forget about the child that’s tugging on your pants.
And that’s because there is no time to unplug. Workers complain about this when they go from work to home, but mothers are in a similar boat. Their house is their work and they never get to leave. And when they do leave, their phone is their tether to the house.
Because your whole life is on your phone (grocery list, calendar of appointments and important dates, pictures of your kid(s), etc) there is never a time when you can actually unplug from it all. You are constantly attached to that device because it’s so hard to function without it as you try to organize and manage the kingdom that is your home.
And that’s why, when people ask me if I’m enjoying motherhood, I don’t know what to say. Am I enjoying running around like a chicken with my head cut off? Not particularly. Am I enjoying not sleeping every night? No, I’d love to sleep some more. Am I enjoying the feeling of always being behind and never catching up? No. Not at all.
My daughter was born 2 years ago and I have felt this constant need to go go go. Yes, I only have the 1 kid. And yes, she’s still so little. But there is still this need to stick to a schedule and a routine for her. So that as I’m doing flash cards in the morning with her, I’m thinking and trying to plan her activity for that day. And when I’m doing the activities with her, I’m thinking about what her lunch is and when to stop so she has enough time to eat. I’m constantly thinking of the next thing and it’s exhausting. There is no enjoyment in it. I am simply going through the motions of being a mother, but am I even a good one?
There are some that love to tell me that I have inflicted these schedules and deadlines on myself, which is partly true. But how else are you to cope when your mom friends send you lists of things that your kid needs to know before Kindergarten?
Yes my daughter is not even 2 yet, but Kindergarten isn’t that far away, especially when I realise she knows NONE OF THIS STUFF and I am made to feel like I am behind. So very, very behind since I started ‘late’. I didn’t even know I was supposed to start teaching my kid the alphabet when she was barely able to keep her milk from spitting up. If I knew, I would have started in the womb!
So right now I’m like the Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, looking at my clock, and going “I’m late! I’m late! So very, very late!”
I think back to my own childhood and remember a time of peace and contentment. My mom had a full-time job but I don’t think I ever felt rushed. But I wonder if my daughter feels the same kind of contentment when I’m constantly rushing her and telling her to hurry up so we can move onto the next thing in the schedule. It makes me sad to think that even though I’m at home with her, I’m not 100% with her.
Being a mom, whether you’re a millennial or not, is tough. Mom guilt is real and it’s so hard to try to reconcile the image of perfect mom in your head with the mom you actually are. All of these checklists and schedules and routines are our way of trying to give our kids the very best, and be the best, even though we are overwhelmed and exhausted. But do they need all of it? Or are we, imperfect and flawed, just as we are, enough?
I’m a millennial mom and I’m still trying to figure it all out.