The Impact On Family Life

Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

From January 2012:

“The impact on family life is considerable. TheBarbarian wanted to make a winter poster with me. Last winter, I was pregnant, beginning my third trimester, and under orders from the doctor to take it easy as much as possible. I had just cut my hours down to part time during December, so in January I was feeling like I had a lot of time off, and I had to spend most of that time lying on the couch watching kid shows. TheBarbarian was not yet in school, just preschool for a total of about 6 hours a week. Princess was not yet 2, but a pretty independent not-yet-2. I did a lot with the kids – reading books, making posters for the house, talking, playing pretend, playing Wii with TheBarbarian and helping him beat the “hard parts” of Super Mario (I still have L33T skillz with Super Mario…it’s like riding a bike, I guess). I felt like even though the house was completely a mess (I was supposed to lie down most of the time because of the difficult pregnancy and a prior difficult pregnancy), I was being “mom.”

Now, I feel like I’ve got a much quicker temper with the kids. I don’t have the patience with them bugging me and interrupting my work. I try to get work done on Saturdays because that’s a day when Jefe doesn’t work. They interrupt me and I say, “Why aren’t you asking Dad for that?” TheBarbarian says, “Daddy’s working!” Really, Daddy is working in his basement workshop, which TheBarbarian has nicknamed “The Lair.” Jefe is working on his hobbies, which he has every right to do, and should do. The kids are used to bugging me for stuff like snacks and entertainment, so they do it on Saturday, too. TheBarbarian begged me to make a winter poster with him today, but I’m so absorbed by the startup that I can’t even think about it with him. I have no patience for it. I don’t want to read children’s books, I don’t want to paint, I don’t want to color, I don’t want to play puzzles or games. I’m having a very difficult time separating my work time from my play time. I need to make a division, but the interruptions make it so difficult. My work time is interrupted so often that I am not really getting play time. The play time that I do have is taken up by swimming lessons, necessary shopping, and my brain obsessing about how to tweak the startup or how to get it off the ground.

Things got a lot more hectic with the birth of the third child. With two children, I never really felt like our lives were slowed down. Yeah, we changed a lot of the things that we would choose to do, but we still did just as much and we did it well. And on time. After Sirenita was born, everything seemed to take four times as long. It was more difficult from the very beginning. When Princess was born, my parents took care of TheBarbarian for several days until Jefe and I brought Princess home. Jefe stayed with me in the hospital the entire time. When Sirenita was born, my parents took TheBarbarian and Princess for the first night – the night of our anniversary and the night that I spent in labor with Sirenita. Sirenita politely agreed to be born after the doctor had gotten his morning cup of coffee, so after a good chunk of the day was gone, Jefe went home and slept, then came back and visited Sirenita and me for dinner, and then went home and put the kids to bed in our house so that they could have their normal routine. Also, by the time the third baby came around, Jefe had pretty much had it with trying to sleep in a hospital, because even though they had a roll-out sofabed for him to cram his 6’4″ body onto, there are still interruptions all night long. I never sleep well without Jefe there, but it’s not like a new mom can sleep, anyway. It seems like there is someone coming in to check something about every hour at night in a hospital, with maybe a max of two hours of being left alone. The new baby breathing has kept me awake every time. The rest of the hospital stay, I was mostly on my own while Jefe went back and forth between the kids (who stayed with my parents for a few hours each day) and me. He brought the kids to the hospital and we all had dinner together on the last night there. I stayed in the hospital and enjoyed not being pregnant any more. I knew how to take care of a newborn by that time, and Sirenita has always been an easygoing baby as long as I am holding her. I enjoyed just having one baby to take care of. It was chaos upon coming home with Sirenita, and it’s never stopped.”

Current reflection: This is all still true. My life would be a lot easier if I didn’t work hard.

Reflections on Accomplishments and Obstacles
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