Parenting

In the Blink of an Eye

In the Blink of an Eye 150 150 rebekahrosler

In the blink of an eye, in the second you sip your coffee, in the moment it takes to turn your head, everything can change.

Most of the time if doesn’t.

But it can.

For the last three months we have taken every single precaution like it was gospel or came directly from the lips of the big guy upstairs. We have done everything – and mostly nothing. We have been so careful. So cautious. I have not left the area we secluded ourselves in – more than 4x in almost 4 months. Yesterday – for the first time – I decided it was time to let our guard down a little. I hadn’t seen – or had any version of interaction with a non-family member – since basically February. Leaving NYC meant we had space for our children – but it meant true isolation. On a whim I invited a friend and her children over. We would continue to follow the rules to a T. Remain vigilant. So nothing would go wrong. But my mental health was craving something more.

The day was lovely.

Friendship feeds the soul.

I felt like I was more than “mom” for a few hours. It was like I found a little piece of myself, my past life, dare I say, normalcy.

We spent time 6ft away on a deck.

6ft away on a hammock.

6ft away in the yard.

And 6ft away at the pool.

We are always overly careful around the pool. You have to be.

You hear too many horror stories.

At our house the rule is no pool area without swimmies.

Nathan has been sitting at his computer since 1pm last Sunday. I have been with my children virtually alone since then. And it has been taking its toll more I was aware.

So when I was able to breathe a little, I did.

We have five children between us.

There was a lot of action.

A lot of doling out snacks.

A lot of jumping in the pool.

A lot of smiles and laughter.

My kids have missed having friends around. It felt beautiful.

We returned to the pool area after a little bouncy house break. Some of them wanted to snack. Some of them wanted to swim. We wanted to be two friends who hadn’t caught up in far too long.

And we did.

And we were in mid conversation. I couldn’t tell you what it was about. What we were doing or saying.

Neither of us quite knows what happened or when.

One second my youngest girl was sitting eating snacks at my feet.

The next my oldest was saying “Marley doesn’t have a swimmy on” and looked in the direction of a penguin float.

And in that moment I couldn’t wrap my mind around what she was saying. Because I was standing and scanning the pool and it didn’t register that what looked very blonde under the water was the top of my daughters head. My friend and I both ran, we were on the opposite end of the pool as my daughter’s lifeless body.

It’s all a blur.

But my friend jumped in – threw herself across the pool. Grabbed my daughter under her arms and lifted her up. All I remember were blue lips, scared eyes and little noises gasping for air. In total shock I scooped my baby girl into my arms. She said “I couldn’t see anyone”. She wasn’t choking. She wasn’t coughing. She was scared, but she was breathing. “I couldn’t see mommy” she said again. I still don’t know how long she was under. It could have been 10 seconds or three minutes. And of course my mind runs through it all.

What if my oldest daughter wasn’t facing that way and didn’t see her?

What if that float was a fraction further and we couldn’t find her?

There were five kids.

Seven swimmies.

It was chaos.

And it was almost the tragedy you read about.

But, it wasn’t.

As a mom I rarely worry about my kids safety. I’m very go with the flow when it comes to what they do.

That said – I am not that way around the pool.

And even still, this happened.

This is not one of my typical pieces, because I’m not in the mindset to joke at the moment. It was the most terrifying moment (though it felt like an eternity) I have ever experienced.

I will be forever endebted to my friend who didn’t think twice while I stood there screaming “holy fuck holy fuck”. And to my oldest who saved her sister that fateful day.

Friends.

Please remain vigilant.

Please make pool rules so strict that you and every single person who comes by knows don’t bend.

I am a big “what-if” er. And I know it’s not helpful, and not productive. But for 24 hours that is literally all my mind would allow.

I spent 4am staring at my child, holding my hand on her body for fear of secondary drowning. I spent all morning cuddling with her and kissing her. I am one of the lucky ones that had a near miss. I know there are far too many who have lived through the “what-ifs” as real life – and a piece of my heart is broken for them, knowing what that felt like.

Hold your loved ones close. Or call those you can’t touch right now. And for kids who can’t swim, make damn sure their swimmies are on before they leave your site and then buy a fucking life vest they can’t easily step in and out of because it all happens in the blink of an eye, so fast you will miss it.

The Middle Child

The Middle Child 150 150 rebekahrosler

I’m writing this during a time that almost no one could have predicted. I’m writing this while the citizens of the globe at confined to their homes. I am writing this while each and every one of us is being tested in ways we never imagined. I’m writing this during a truly unprecedented time. I am writing this while scared, confused, overwhelmed, anxious but also surrounded by all my love.

I am writing this from a six person tent. A six person tent that two people are currently inside of. After three weeks of stress trying to get my two year old to nap I waived the white flag today. He is somewhere doing something with his older sister. And I am in the tent with my “middle” child.

When you give birth to a set of twins when you have a year and a half old child at home – you’re simply in survival mode for an indefinite period of time. As they grow up, and each of their personalities begin to shine, they are better defined as themselves – as Harper Paige, Marley Reese and Jory Bonham. Harper is clearly the first child (though interesting tidbit, I did one round of IVF and all my embryos were products of that one retrieval. So TECHNICALLY they’re all the same age. But, I digress). Marley exited my body only five minutes before Jory did – so by definition she would be the middle child. And Jory though he outweighs them all, is the big little brother.

Harper and I have a very special bond. We co-slept for a year. I nursed her for 18 months. I spent every moment I could with her – and in fact did not leave her for a single night until I went into labor with the twins. Jory is a mama’s boy. He adores me. He needs me. He loves me. He’s connected to me. He would have kept nursing until he was 18 years old, but I was ready to stop. I adore him. He cuddles with me. Gives me the deepest hugs. Tells me he “loves me so much” as frequently as he can. He has my heart and though I find myself yelling at him more than I praise him, he knows how much I adore him.

And then there’s Marley. Marley is a special little girl. From go, she’s marched to the beat of her own drum. She’s hilarious. Adorable. Crazy. And makes me smile all the time. But I believe unknowingly she has accepted the role of the middle child. I would never say she’s neglected. She’s as much involved as anyone. But Jory is always getting himself into trouble and in turn vying for negative attention. Harper, eloquent, verbose, gregarious lights up the room – and though a little bit of a tattle tale, easily makes everyone smile. And Marley just does her thing. She walks around with her Lolly. Her Mommy Nice. And anything else that feels soft and yummy. She’s been a little slower. Keeps to herself a little more. Where Harper and Jory run around playing with each other – Marley will be found hanging back, sitting with adults, or finding a nice spot on the floor to lay down with all her “softies.”

Marley looks like a delicate little doll with a wild Albert Einstein hair-do. She is the sweetest little thing in the world.

My kids have all been in daycare since they were babies. They have grown up with other caretakers. We have been weekend parents and we have let them tell us who they are.

During these last three weeks I have been the sole caretaker (for the most part). Attempting to balance all of their needs, personalities, likes and dislikes. It’s impossible to give 100% to each child – that’s just the truth. That said, since we have access to our children now approximately 14 hours a day, seven days a week we are having very different experiences with them. And learning about them – and us – so much more than before.

I’m not going to pretend I’ve got it all figured out. In fact I’ve entirely not gotten it figured out. But within the chaos. Within the crazy. Within the uncertainty. We are being given the greatest gift in the world. We are being forced to slow down. To prioritize. To stay close. To stay home. To be with ourselves. Our loved ones. To experience moments we literally never have in our lives. To just be. As we are. With no pretense. No falsehoods. To our authentic core.

When you have twins – you don’t have separate special time with them as individuals until they’re…well, I still don’t know. But today –

knowing that my son wasn’t going to sleep – I decided to take my middle child, my beautiful Marley Reese and lay down with her. She said “it’s Marley Mommy time?” I said it is – she told me it made her happy. We both laid down on the kids “nice” pillows. We closed our eyes. And then every so lightly I felt her touch my cheek, she gently placed her first three fingers down and ran them gently up and down two times. Then she picked up her “mommy nice” which is a pair my soft pajamas that she has taken as her own, and rubbed it on my cheek – the way she does on her very own. She put her hand around mind and gently fell asleep.

I don’t know that I’ve ever felt a peace like that in my life. I inhaled, exhaled and truly forgot it felt like the world was ending for the moment. Right then the dog scratched on the door to be let in, and Nathan texted he needed help with the other two as he’s working full time and can’t keep the other two alive at the same time.

I’m back downstairs listening to Harper sing Frozen at the top of her lungs, while Jory, wearing headphones and a single glove is climbing all over me with dehydrated strawberry crumbs caked on his hand, face and now my pants. I’m back in the chaos. But I’m looking at this chaos differently for the moment. I don’t know if it’s the self care I’ve been implementing. The fact that I’ve been saying “no” a little less to JB today. Perhaps I’m shedding a different light on our current life situation right now. I’m trying to live in gratitude instead of anxiety. I’m working on relishing in the love and not the unknown. Or maybe it was simply the touch of the middle child that put it all into perspective.

Whatever the case may be, for today, for right now, for this moment, sitting by the fire, listening to wind chimes and birds – while the sun is shining down – I could not be more at peace and as in love.

The Girl Sitting Under The Morning Moon

The Girl Sitting Under The Morning Moon 150 150 rebekahrosler

I happen to be a particularly insightful person. I’m not sharing that to toot my own horn, it just happens to be one of my strengths. I’m in touch with me, my core, my soul, my personality. I’m aware of my actions and the reasons behind why I take them. I try to question my motives. My intention. My purpose. My reasoning. As with us all I’m aware of things I could do differently, better. Behaviors are hard things to change. To shift. They’re so ingrained within us. 40 years of identity is a hard one to crack.

In day to day life I try to be cognizant of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. Sometimes I do or say something – and from the depths of me a little voice says, “just don’t.” And often times I do it anyway. That voice is a hard one to listen to. Thought it’s right 99% of the time.

There have been moments in my life where something big, or small, has made me take a good hard look at myself. ‘Do I like who I am? Where I am? Are there things I want to change? Things I’ll commit to changing?’ As someone who has committed her life to “helping people” and toting the line “people can change, you change, if you try hard enough” – sometimes I reflect back and think, “you can…but it’s really fucking hard.”

I’ve never found myself to be an overly bubbly-happy person. But I don’t think I’m a downer either. I’m not silly but not serious. I have strong convictions. I love hard. I’m loyal and committed. And very very stubborn. I know what I like. I know what I want. And since I was a child, it’s been virtually impossible for me to shift my ground once I decide on sometime. Right or wrong. I’m opinionated and persistent, demanding – have high hopes and high expectations. If I feel that someone I love has been wronged – my wrath is harsh and deep. And don’t even thinking about fucking with me. It’s just how I’m built. It wasn’t a choice. This is my chemical make up. Is it how I always want to be? react, respond? Maybe not as brashly – but alas, there are probably worse things in the world. Do I sometimes worry about things that are entirely out of my control? Yup. Do I over post on social media because I love creating community, engaging people? Sure do. Might I say or do things that are controversial and rub some people the wrong way. Absolutely. Do I also forgive when the affront if it wasn’t life or death? without question, yes and easily. Because it’s the only way to live. Holding on to grudges. And the past. That’ll just hold you back. The present and future can be so perfect if you let it.

Unfortunately I’m also highly sensitive. And desperately want people to like me. When I find out someone with whom I thought I had a good relationship has been bashing me, it cuts deep. Now, I understand it’s human nature to talk about people to other people – I’m certainly an offender as well. And I understand we’re all built differently, and see the world, and events differently. But it feels differently when you’re blind sided – and learn something that you entirely didn’t expect to learn. Especially when it’s from someone you thought you cared about and cared about you. Life ebbs and flows. People’s relationships come and go. Feelings change and shift, sometimes as quickly as the tides.

But when you learn that someone who you think highly of, who you’ve respected, doesn’t share the same sentiments – simply, it hurts. I’ve often been one to speak directly to someone if they have hurt me or acted in a way that didn’t sit well with me. I’m comfortable with confrontation – as well as constructive criticism. But I also am someone who takes things personally. It’s a balance and a thin wire.

I try to do my best in this one life I have to live. I try to treat people well. I try to create and build community. I try to support people on their life journey. I try to help animals, the planet, my friends and family in their life endeavors. I ask questions. I empathize. I listen. I suggest and guide. I try. I try. While sitting on the beach this week I’ve really tried to do some reflecting. I’ve tried to deeply consider my choices, behavior, action, personality. I tried to think If what people say about me, say to me, is right, when it’s not that nice.

And sometimes it is. And sometimes it’s not. And sometimes I can do better. And sometimes I can’t. And sometimes it’s their hang up. And sometimes it’s my fault. And sometimes I’ll win and sometimes I’ll lose.

When I awoke this morning at ten to five I saw a full moon hanging in the sky over the impeccably pristine aqua Caribbean waters. I sat under the moon, on the sand with just the sound of the early morning waves crashing at the break. And I vowed to myself. And I vowed to the universe that I will continue to try my best. Not everyone is going to like me. Not every interaction is going to be beautiful. Not every choice I make is going to be right. I sent an apology through the breeze out to the universe to anyone I’ve wronged, intentionally or otherwise and also vowed to keep being me – right there under the morning moon. With my faults. And my strengths. I will keep loving and defending deeply. I will keep making people laugh, and holding those up while they cry. Because though maybe I don’t get it right all the time, I think I’m doing something right most of the time.

Not Good Enough

Not Good Enough 150 150 rebekahrosler

For the first time in a long time I had a full day where I felt wildly productive.

Felt good about the work I put in and proud of myself for what I accomplished.

And then, it all turned. As it can so quickly.

I had a moment tonight.

A moment where in the course of 60 seconds it was glaringly apparent that I am a failure.

I had three concurrent interactions that made me feel like I am not good enough.

My ideas are not good enough.

My actions are not good enough.

This all happened leading up to dinner time for my family. I was warming up a pre-cooked meat meal for my children that passed its expiration date. I tried not to respond to the messages while getting teary eyed looking for frozen vegetables (the only kind I ever have/feed my kids) that I knew weren’t there, because we ran out two days ago.

I was also fighting back tears while responding to suggestions on my Facebook post – where I asked the community how to do a basic, simple project for my kids, a project that literally anyone could do.

But I can’t.

I just can’t get my shit together.

And I don’t know how to do better.

I also didn’t remember that parent teacher conference is tomorrow.

I know I’ve written about it before – but sometimes I look at the life I’m providing my children and feeling devastated that I’m not able to do more for them. Is everyone around me really able to afford/cook/give their kids the luxurious perfect life it seems? I can’t even make a fucking Valentine’s Day card in time for the holiday.

Nathan came home with the kids, and his work challenges. I tried to offer empathy, sympathy, whatever I could. I was trying to put on a brave face at dinner, but when I reminded Harper that I’d be leaving for work shortly, she started crying.

“Mommy, don’t go.” Bottom lip trembling.

I lost it.

And cried in front of everyone.

I couldn’t stop.

I was sad.

She asked me if I was happy.

I told her I wasn’t right now.

She asked.

“Why are you sad?”

I said: “Sometimes it’s hard being a mommy.”

And she said. “Sometimes it’s hard being a mommy”.

It really is guys.

It’s really fucking hard being an adult.

A wife.

A mom.

A colleague.

A friend.

A business owner.

An entrepreneur.

A daughter.

A sister.

A cook.

A cleaner.

A human.

I know I’m not a failure. I do.

But sometimes, it’s just really hard being a mommy.

The Question

The Question 150 150 rebekahrosler

Five years ago today began like any other day.

Well that’s not entirely true. I was about to take my first real vacation with my boyfriend. A vacation, I believed, that was going to be the beginning of our history. This man – the only true real love, the only one I knew I could spend my life with – was going to ask the question we wait our lives to hear. I didn’t know for certain – but why else would you go away on a vacation together almost a year to the day from when you started dating?

Not a morning person, I giddily popped out of bed. Headed to the shower. Pondered the last day of work before this super special vacation with this super special guy. I got out of the shower, opened the bathroom door as steam billowed it’s way out, carrying me on a cloud with it. I was about to walk into my room and noticed the door was shut. Confident I had not closed the door behind me, my mind began to swirl. I just knew something big was about to happen. I opened the door and there in front of me was a glass table, a circle of candles dancing before my eyes, and Nathan, the love of my life, down on one knee.

He asked the question.

The question I had an answer for since the day we met.

Five years ago today changed everything.

I adored him then. I adore him now. But in so many more ways. So many deeper ways.

I knew he was one of the good ones. I knew he was kind, thoughtful, generous, caring, quietly emotional, unconditionally supportive. I knew our complements then.

Today, five years later, I fondly recall what days, nights and mornings once were. But I wouldn’t trade them for what they are now.

(Mostly).

Happy engage-eversary Nathan. You are the light in my life. You hold my heart. I still have to catch my breath around you. You move me deeply. I love our life with a passion I can barely comprehend. I’m thankful every single day for the person you are, and for the moment our lives touched.

I am not one for fate. But I truly believe we were destined for each other.

Mom Guilt

Mom Guilt 150 150 rebekahrosler

It’s inevitable. If you’re a mom. You have it. It can be about the smallest things. Or the largest. The food you feed them. Or don’t. The amount of TV you let them watch. Your job keeping you from them. Or your job raising them. Playing with them enough – or looking down at your phone too much. Giving them individual attention. Letting them have an imagination or giving them too many toys.

No matter what it is. It’s not good enough.

It can be so overwhelming that it takes a significant portion of your brain space. And as soon as you give yourself a pass – something else comes up. And you go down the rabbit hole. Accepting blame. Transferring blame. Where did it stem from? Your childhood? Your mom? Her mom. And down you go. Spiraling out of control.

Most recently mine has been about illness. I truly cannot fathom how it’s possible. But my children have been sick since the last week of June. With a slight reprieve in August for a summer break. My first was sick frequently, her first year of daycare. But, daycare frequently – like – snotty noses. A little Hand Foot Mouth here and there. But this year. With the twins. It’s been nothing short of unbelievable. I feel defeated – and it takes a lot for me to get there. We have been at the doctor – at least once – every single week since September 18, sans a single week in October. Today is December 29th.

That is not normal.

We used our entire FSA within four months.

Is it my fault? Is it because I’m not a germaphobe. I half ass the whole “washing hands” thing? Is it because I don’t feed them well enough? Didn’t give enough Breast Milk? Ate dairy while breastfeeding? Don’t bathe them frequently? Use bubbles when I do? Is it because I’m too relaxed about everything? Should I not be? Is it because when they were born I got an infection during labor and I “let” the doctors” give them both antibiotics on day one “in case” they maybe got the infection. It is because they couldn’t delay cord clamping because there were two of them? Is it because I didn’t do enough research to know my rights and demand what I should have – mere moments after pushing two humans out of my vagina?

It’s obviously all my fault. So what is there to do?

I don’t actually have an answer. And I don’t really think it’s my fault. I more am desperately sad for my kids who weekly hit a temperature of 103.

I’ve been looking forward to this winter break for months. And of course, instead, there has been sickness, medication, temperatures, pain, sadness every single day. We’ve barely left the house – outside of doctor visits. I just wanted everyone to enjoy. And of course. I have guilt and disappointment that we didn’t.

And now to top it off the fucking dog is sick.

I know Mom Guilt is real.

And unavoidable.

And also an unnecessary stressor.

We deal with enough, hopeful in 2019 energies can be better spent. I have a business to build.

A business focused on helping moms avoid mom guilt.

The Picture of Perfection

The Picture of Perfection 150 150 rebekahrosler

Interestingly, in the last few weeks I’ve been contacted by many different women for one reason or another. They all want to talk to me.

One is a twin mom, whom I have never met. She’s overwhelmed. Her friends’ picture perfect lives are making her feel inadequate. An old friend, with whom I hadn’t spoken in years – has been struggling with her fertility journey and has now chosen a new avenue to grow a family and wanted to pick my brain. A student of mine from years ago reached out after reading my blog about following your heart and dreams. And another, a model from one of the Facebook groups I run – has a unique opportunity to share with the world about infertility – and the long road, isolation, emotional and mental stress, and so much more that comes with it – and wanted to run some thoughts by me.

I just wanted to firstly thank you for all approaching and trusting in me. I don’t know for sure why I was who you chose. But I am honored and humbled. I only hope I can help you on your path.

But more importantly I wanted set the record straight.

So many of us are looking at our lives, and wondering what’s missing – based on other people’s specifically chosen social media persona.

Those personas are not reality.

Peoples’ lives are not perfect.

Admittedly I’ve been counting other people’s money recently. Which is such an unattractive thing to do.

I’ve been questioning how the hell they can afford it all. Been watching the meals they prepare for their children and wonder what piece of my brain is missing – that I can only figure out how to use a microwave. And often get that wrong. I see the vacations they’re on. The clothes their children are in. The fancy restaurant in which they enjoy a leisurely Tuesday evening meal.

And wonder how I’m paying rent next month and, still, September’s daycare bill. And if I’ll ever be able to live that lovely, and easy, of a life.

I just wanted to put a reminder out right now. Especially during this holiday season. When people are struggling. With life. With funds. With emotional states. With carrying more than they can. With job stressors. With fertility struggles. With loss. With the every day.

What you see is not perfection. It’s not even reality. We don’t know what people’s struggles are. We know social media is fabricated and only captures and shows the exact second and shot we want the world to see.

It’s hard to not look. Not judge. Not question. Not wonder. Not dream. That’s all just human nature. I only hope we – very much me included – can focus on what we have. And not what we don’t. Not worry about what others do or don’t, either.

During this holiday season in particular I’m working on being more mindful of what I put out there.

So ladies, I remain here for you. During my rough days. And yours. Through my messes and your uncertainties.

Just know.

Here’s a picture of my life.

Right now.

Because it sure as shit ain’t perfect.

We all have our cross to bear. But more importantly – our lives to live. Let’s do our best to give ourselves a break.

Sure you may see my cute kids. Me carrying one, pushing two and walking a dog. You see me and Nathan smiley on a day off my parents gave us.

Here’s a picture of what you – generally – do not see.

Gentle reminder. Nothing is perfect.

The Kindness Of Strangers

The Kindness Of Strangers 150 150 rebekahrosler

I am far from perfect.

There is a lot I do, that I wish I didn’t.

A lot I don’t do, that I wish I did.

But today, even with all my shortcomings I received a gift of kindness from someone I’ve never met.

It started with one person and has quickly snowballed into something much bigger. And so incredibly meaningful. My heart is simply bursting with gratitude.

In the day to day grind it’s quite simple to overlook the impact we can have on others. The smallest gesture. Intention. Can end up meaning the world to someone.

I am not suggesting we should do things with the hope or expectation that it will come back around. I’m also not suggesting that all efforts or actions will be appreciated or valued.

I am however saying, sometimes, when you least expect it, good things happen.

These days we see so much evil. So much hate – that its often difficult to see beyond. It’s easy to think the world is bad.

People are bad.

Today I was reminded that this is not true. I was reminded that at our core, so many of us are good. And kind. And thoughtful. And generous. And well intentioned. Sometimes we just need to be reminded. Or asked. And without fail we will rise to the occasion.

This holiday season I am now, because of this reminder from a stranger, committing to acts of kindness, big or small, every day through the end of this year. A conscious, active gesture that will hopefully impact someone, who will in turn pay it forward. This is something I, we, should commit to daily, year round. It can only make this world better. But for now. With one month left in 2018, I commit to daily acts of kindness.

Start small. You just never know what your effort will turn into.

To this kind, wonderful woman who has impressed upon me the importance of giving back and accepting kindness from strangers, thank you.

To everyone else, wont you join me?

The In-Between

The In-Between 150 150 rebekahrosler

Once a parent becomes a parent, vacations are no longer vacations. So you have to decide. Is this really something you want to take on.

You go back and forth with your partner on the merits of this idea being a good or terrible one. 

Then you decide. 

The choice has been made. 

You hold your breath. 

Press the “purchase tickets” button. 

And immediately question the decision. 

But the deed is done. You now have a few months to manage the anxiety of how the fuck to travel with a set of one-year-old twins and a toddler. 

Then the week before, it sets in. The logistics are overwhelming. How many babies? Strollers? Car seats? Who is watching the dog? The cat? High chairs? What do we do with our car? How many bags? Toys? What do you need for the plane? How do you get to the plane? What do you do once you’re on the plane? Off the plane? Cribs for everyone? What books do you pack? 

Ha! 

Books?

None for me. As we said, a vacation is no longer a vacation. 

But we made the commitment to visit family in the south. The deal was sealed. So off we go. 

What we know now is the right number of adults (for traveling with three under three) is four.

Four high-functioning adults makes it just manageable. 

For anyone who has done it with fewer, you are my heroes. 

The thing you forget, or are less aware of, in the day-to-day grind is that (for many of us) other people are entertaining our children all day. Sure, we see them in the morning. Get them dressed and ready for the day. Pick them up at the end. And manage the nighttime routine. But in between, someone else is reading, feeding, playing with them. 

And to those people I salute you. 

We had one full week in Florida in a two-room Airbnb with virtually no plans. This could have gone one of two ways. 

The twins are down to one nap daily. And the almost three-year-old is fully refusing any nap while in vacation mode. 

This makes for a very, very long seven days. 

All that said, the trip could not have been more perfect. Everyone was (basically) on their best behavior. Everyone (basically) slept at night. And, in fact an extra hour plus in the morning. The Rosler kids apparently love vacation. There was pool. There was beach. There was family. And friends. But Nathan and I were ON every. single. second. of. every. single. day. 

Well, almost. 

There were two opportunities for “me” time. There were two days of glorious moments that were all mine. And I’ll be hard-pressed to forget them anytime soon. 

One day we went to the beach. A trip to the beach is not what it once was, certainly. After lugging the baby chairs. And the umbrella. And the towels. And the toys. And the shovels. And the buckets. And the beach chairs. And slathering up babies with SPF. And hats. And anti-UV bathing suits. And water bottles. Snacks. And diapers. And swim diapers and….yeah. And so-much-crap. Now what? Ok. We’re settled. Towels laid out. Babies on them. Shoes kicked off. What now? Go for a walk?Build a sand castle? Oh, it’s high tide? Right now? Cool. Move everything back five feet. Good? Set? Now? Nope. Not far enough. Pick it all up and do it again. Ok. Time to relax? One sippy cup ends up on the sand. One baby just took a fistful to the mouth. Excellent start. 

Finally everyone is good. I check my surroundings. All babies accounted for. I do not make a peep, take a breath. I slowly walk towards the water. My childhood. My respite. My calm. The beach should be my home. It’s where I am in my element. I was pulled towards my beacon and did not look back. My toes touched the perfectly crystal blue, aqua waves and then I dove in fully. I flipped over and floated. I was buoyant. And free. Body light as a feather. Floating in a little slice of heaven on earth. My ears right beneath the idyllic ocean water’s surface. Every time a wave swept through, the sound of sand and shells rolling with them sung in my ears. If shimmering made a sound, this would have been it. This moment was perfection. I have not had a moment like this, likely since our honeymoon four years ago. And yes, it was a moment. I was beckoned back not long after I took in the sky, and the clouds, and the salt water. I followed the waves back to shore. They carried me, effortlessly. I took a deep breath and returned to my other element: my beautiful family, awaiting me on the other side. But that in-between moment brought me life. Sometimes it really is just the little things. 

The next day (in between visitors, and feedings, and cleaning, and bathing, and shopping, and playing) I was granted close to an hour of alone time, which may as well have been an eternity. The babies napped. H took a car ride with N and I had the pool to myself. I floated. I took in the fresh air. The sun. The Florida heat. And for that hour nothing mattered. There were no worries. No anxiety. No tantrums. No bills. No questions. I took a break from it all and let the water carry me. 

This came to an end. 

As all things must. 

But those moments will stay with me for a long time. They rejuvenated me. Restored me. I love my family. And my new career. And the hustle and bustle of it all. But the calm. And the quiet. And the weather. And the “vacation.” And the family time. And the down time. And the break from reality. It was reinvigorating.

Restorative. 

Taking the time is so important. Most of us likely don’t do it enough. But this little vacation home in Florida, off the beaten path, was so perfect. We are so busy running, usually, from this place and that. We don’t take the time to appreciate the in-between. I’m so grateful I was given this opportunity. It made me realize I need to focus more on what happens in-between: the things that happen in the midst of us handling life. 

It also made me realize how insanely amazing it is to have a washer and dryer in your home. 

I single-handedly destroyed the environment last week. 

Sorry, Earth. 

Please, this one time. 

Forgive me. 

There Is No One Luckier Than You

There Is No One Luckier Than You 150 150 rebekahrosler

I felt like I was drowning.

At one point last night—possibly for the first time ever—I took a deep breath and thought:

I am drowning.

I just took something *else* on, without thinking it through, because I thought it could help my family. As soon as I did, I felt a weight on my chest. A heavy, heavy weight.

My to-do list already spans 7 1/2 columns, and every day, I just move the long list from one day to the next in my calendar, though it feels like hundreds of items get crossed off daily. There are just are not enough moments in a day to do it all (though somehow, someway we are expected to.)

There are second notice bills that I haven’t paid, last month’s daycare tuition I’ve not fully been able to take care of, and piles and piles of laundry stacked up from two weeks ago.

The intention is there.

The time and money are not.

I woke up today feeling less overwhelmed but acutely aware of all the things that still needed to happen. And I don’t know about your brain, but when mine is left to its own devices… For. Get. It.

After wrangling three fussy kids to drop-off, my appointment with my doula client would start the day before the day even began. I still had posts to edit and monitor in ten different Facebook groups, and many messages to return. I needed to print something timely, but inevitably I was out of ink. And when I did print it, it came out crooked. I had boxes to slap shipping labels on. Groceries to order. An Air BnB to finalize.  At some point I’d need to do research on new ADHD meds to see which ones my new shitty insurance will cover. I need to go back on meds so I can focus and stay organized… shit, I almost forgot… my appointment with the therapist is tomorrow (ironic but true.)

But first I have to stop breastfeeding, so I can go on said meds. But how do you finally, truly, forever, actually stop? At least there’s reliable ole cow’s milk, right?

Nope. Not anymore. Apparently our next generation of girls will have their periods at age 7, because hormones, or homogenized, or pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized—or this article, or that study says—or who the fuck knows.

GAHHHHHH

And I have books to read, and meetings to be on, trainings to finish, and schedule, and calls to make, and calls to return, and things to pick up, and documents to send, and things to drop off. Clothes to buy, and to sell, and to donate, and appointments to make, and cancel, and to remember—and oh shit I forgot the kids’ cheese.

Again.

And none of this even touches on my new business that I’m trying to build from the ground up, with (currently) no investors, and no income. A partnership meeting for this business will be my actual first meeting of the work day, after all of the above.

But oh my god.

Just breathe.

I’m sure we’ve all felt like this (so fucking scattered) at one point or another.

And damn, it’s scary. When you’re a family of five, living in New York City, sending three kids to daycare, living on one salary—a not-for-profit salary, at that— and feeding not only said family of five humans, but also a cat with stage three kidney disease who definitely eats better than the rest of us, and a dog.

A crazy, crazy dog.

These last few days happened to be very productive and fruitful, which felt good, but again, the list is just so, so long. I decided a top priority for today would be preparing dinner for my kids before they returned home, since this literally never ever happens. I had grand plans; until I opened the refrigerator. Clearly the grocery shopping hadn’t happened. They ended up with chicken nuggets, sweet potato fries, and spinach bites—all from the freezer.

But alas, I’m calling it a win.

Now it’s go time: end of day round-up/pick-up.

I get downstairs with the dog, and it’s raining. And this dog. does. not. like. rain. But obviously I was already late. So off we go.

I didn’t have an umbrella.

Or a stroller, for that matter.

Due to an earlier “incident” at daycare—involving our doublewide stroller, leading to some f-bombs, and two back-to-back blow-up fights with the admin staff—I had determined: Today there would be no stroller.

Bad choice.

Only I would lose in this scenario.

I get to school, and I am very, very wet. I presume the rain will stop, or at least let up, before I leave with everyone, so at least the kids won’t get soaked.

Yeah, right.

By now, of course, it’s pouring.  I have one baby strapped on my back, the other baby on the front, and the toddler was thrown in a rickety, 3X-hand-me-down, broken tricycle with a push handle that doesn’t turn. I grab my soaking wet and VERY unhappy dog, and we head home.

No stroller.

No snacks.

No umbrella.

Both babies are crying, and hungry, and so tired because said admin staff stopped me to talk about “the stroller incident.”

And it was late.

As I crossed the street, I passed a security guard.

Our eyes met.

He was smiling at me with kind eyes. And I smiled back. As I was about to walk by, he said:

“Is there anyone luckier than you?”

And I stopped.

In the rain, with three wailing children, and my crazed mind, and a laundry list of things to do, and my goddamn dog who was obviously trying to eat a street-chicken bone.

“Three beautiful children. Is there anyone luckier?” he said again.

I replied, after a deep, deep breath.

“No, no there isn’t. Thank you for the reminder.”

I could go on to talk about the fight my husband and I got into immediately following this moment, or the fact that, instead of writing this right now, I should be working on the project I took on late last night. Or tackling any number of the 47,283 tasks remaining on the to-do list. Or hey, maybe go to sleep?

But that isn’t the moral here.

The moral of the story is: Appreciate what you have. Live your life. Chase your dream. Stay as focused as you can. But be kind to yourself. Give yourself a break. Realize it truly will always work out… somehow.

There will be ups.

There will be downs.

You will get soaked.

And see the light.

There will be moments of clarity.

And of drowning.

But somewhere along the way, you will be reminded – there is no one luckier than you.

 

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