Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just Like Always...

When I originally started blogging I swore I would better define 'how I do it?' and I guess I haven't really gotten that far yet. What reminded me of this was Super Manny and I were at the Swedish Embassy (aka Ikea) and ran into a young couple that had a measuring tape to a chaise...which I thought was genius because I couldn't remember the name to my Swedish couch. While Tim tested each couch with his rear side I started chatting up the young couple at how smart and prepared they were. She kindly informed me they forgot the measurement of their space at home. So they were still gonna have to wing it! I felt much better about my lack of preparation for my own excursion. -- Back to the great debate of the bubblegum pink couch cover that was on sale...as Tim and I discussed...they over heard my two major arguements...Number 1- We have 3 little girls at home,2 female cats, 1 female dog, plus myself TOTAL of 7 females. Number 2- The handsome pilot while absent for the final voting process had already approved said purchase. (defense of pink couches has ended).

The woman and I began conversing...she too had a child. She was in 'the industry'. Her husband traveled a lot (a handsome musician). AND THEN 'how do you do it?' she said 'I only have one!'
I then had to confess that I worked in the industry as well and had a the handsome pilot who traveled everyday for work. Both of them looked at me like I had 10 eyeballs and I must say in that moment I was almost embarassed. I cheated. I have Super Manny. That is one way. But I have been without him. Watching them look at each other and then back at me at least 5 times I knew they were seeking a secret answer. So I just blabbered it all out. Now I will share with you what I shared with them...

First, I am not a new parent. Their little one was barely a year old and so far their only child. Having one child is hard, because being a new parent is 10 levels past difficult. The chances are that its not second babies that are easier...second time PARENTS are just smarter! Third time parents are just relaxed...and based on watching my own mothers, even more kids will make you God-like with wisdom. The first child has you running to the doctor with EVERYTHING. We knew NOTHING. A nurse told me once to take a rectal temp on my 1st born and I cried...then rushed her to the ER. Yup...it was a 101 temp... which isn't cause for an ER visit by the way. Not for a baby... they tend run high. Just a luke warm bath and some Tylenol. Really?! I stayed awake that ENTIRE night watching my sweet 1st born sleep, but I tell you what after a 6 hour trip to the ER I learned to get over my fear of rectal temp taking! I was just a nervous wreck all the time...constantly thinking about her. Worrying about her health. OH BOY and the allergies to everything and the special diet. Colic. Color of poo. Everything I was obsessed with. I read novels on parenting, magazine articles, online anything. I debated both sides of every piece of advice with the handsome pilot. We tried everything and eventually figured out what worked for us as parents and what worked for Grayce ... meeting in the middle creating a perfect balance. ALL of that was a time consuming lesson...but so worth it by beauty number three!

Secondly, making anything work is about priorities. After AJ came college was a bit tougher. Classes were so hard with two babies. I guess healthy babies that could attend childcare would have been easier, I know that mothers out there do it all the time and much credit is due to them. I was making a 90 minute drive one way 3x's a week to take Grayce to see a specialist, then eventually down to 1 time a month by the time AJ was born. With both of them I never missed a day of classes after giving birth. LOL freaked my fellow students out! I had Tuesday and Thursday classes...so I was just back at it after giving birth on Friday!  After AJ I walked straight into finals...then had winter break. Sadly she had developed RSV and couldn't be around other children for 7 weeks. I tried daycare with both of them and both times major problems to include physical harm and neglect! So the handsome pilot and I arranged our classes at opposite times...one of us was always with the kids. I took a job working nights. Slept when the babies slept. Daddy was a stay at home daddy for a few months. By the time AJ was a few months old we had our first live in nanny. She was awesome. I got sleep and studying done. I also got my wedding planned. She moved away with her boyfriend after 2 months and then Tim filled the position about a month after she moved.  Living in a small town daycare options were limited, besides I am a fan of having them at home! I knew eventually they would go to school and have activities finding a million ways to get out of the house in the years to come. I would just prefer that when not doing those things they are HOME. It was important to both the handsome pilot and myself as their parents...remains just as important today. During college I was trying to find a career...something that would make me feel like I wasn't 'working' my life a way. I did just that. Eventually, I was offered a job in film and came to LA leaving college behind. A choice I don't regret at all.

Finally, organization...communication...and the occasional desperation! When we came to LA back in 2007 there were 3 adults vs. 2 little beauties! Tim took on less of the full-time Nanny role. He worked and stayed busy. We had another friend that is in the 'industry'. The handsome pilot was flight instructing and flying private planes. Together all of us made a family. Before I went to work I organized school uniforms by day of the week down to the socks. Funday Sunday was our collective day to clean the house. All school paperwork waited for me at the end of the night to sign and review. Daddy took care of rides to and from preschool and kinder. On NO school days a grown up was there. When I went on location (which was EVERY show in the beginning) Daddy took less work and balanced the schedule with Tim. Family dinners every night to talk about the days happenings and the next days schedule. I worked from home. Daddy worked 5 minutes away and was home several times a day... if even for an hour at various times. He took work out of town or out of country and I would adapt to be home. I had a more accurate calendar in those days....writing down everything! Keeping track of everyone. I did all the grocery shopping, bills, and the guys did the garbage, yard and pool. Flying by the seat of our pants was not an option. Whenever we ran into a desperate situation we got creative! Work with Daddy days. Work with Mommy days. Work from home days. I was forced to be more organized than ever before...still today it takes the well oiled machine to run the brood. I am just less neurotic about it all now. Tim would probably argue not much less.

With all that said. I guess the most honest answer is...'we always have'. That's how I do it everyday. The same way we always have. With the same people we always have. Tim always gets the Super Manny award, but really he is and always has been Super Family. The handsome pilot and I made choices many years ago and never strayed. We knew what we wanted for our girls and made them top priority. HOME our whole lives revolve around it! We knew it would mean sacrifice from time to time. As long as the girls were never the ones sacrificing. The pilot and I both have an office view we would not like to give up. Tim has the chance to write and be in LA. We are extremely well oiled. Extremely close. We are family. This is Home... in Hollywood.

I am certain that this set up won't last forever, but as my new Ikea friend and I discussed the beauty of the 'industry' is that we can choose to NOT take work. We can be at home with our kids for how ever long we choose. We are not committed to the same job all the time. Both a beauty and a burden of freelance. That wonderful couple was doing everything perfectly, they were doing what was right for them I just know that as new parents...they deserved to hear it from someone that already came up through the ranks! Right now I have been home with the beauties for a month...it has been so nice and I don't forget to take advantage of every moment with them. Whether I have 1 baby or 500 babies...this life is managed the same way. Just now my worry and fear have been replaced with knowledge and experience! To sound cliche 'if there's a will, there's a way'. My way wouldn't work for everyone...but everyone can make it work for them. I am a firm believer that if we hadn't figured this out...we would have figured something out that we were comfortable with as parents and happy with as a family.

Right now my creative side...the side that has to always stay engaged and busy is totally fueled by getting settled into a new place,writing,painting,cooking and laughing. Tim has read two novels and caught up on video games with his free time. Us grown folks are prepping for preschool at home and looking forward to Dru being old enough in a few short months to start attending more playdates and activities. Working on little human potty training for the third time. We are constructing an indoor treehouse in the weeks to come. Life is beautiful. My life is beautiful. The film industry is beautiful.

The road to success is paved with those who gave up.

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