Ninja Mom: Monthly Musings … October 2015
Well its been a whole month since we left the comfort of home, family & friends, so other than the obvious “travel related diary posts” I thought I’d spill the beans on what the nitty gritty, unglamorous stuff is like ….
Spending 24/7 with your beloved child. Just you & them: all day, every day for 12 months … :
- Not long ago ZZ & I almost only saw each other for breakfast during the week, then again at the weekend. Our wonderful nanny Daisy was our lifeline, I couldn’t have survived & worked such long hours without her. Now we are together 24/7 with no-one else to break up the monotony/conversation/intense-ness. My hand is constantly grasped by the love of my life & Im grateful he still wants to but Im feeling slightly “claustrophobic” that I don’t have a free minute EVER, except when ZZ falls asleep in our shared bed and I get to sneak out the laptop and connect to the outside world. Im loving our intense time together but Im also missing my personal freedom & adult conversation.
- Its a wonderfully romantic idea but the reality is MUCH harsher (for both Mom & Son). Luckily we have similar outgoing, social personalities & we love each other dearly but we’ve both had some meltdowns due to lack of long-term social interaction from 3rd parties. We both chat to people we meet on trains/planes, in bars/restaurants/tours/beaches/pools etc but they’re ephemeral moments and we both crave a wider social environment. As very social animals its hard for us both not having friends to hang out with (to chat, laugh, play, drink, bitch with …)
- We need to slow down & incorporate more “non” activity days. This first month has been very full-on with sightseeing, meeting, exploring etc and I can see this could lead to an early burn-out. Not every day can be “all singing, all dancing”. I need to learn to stop planning every single moment of every single day. I admit Im probably project managing this adventure like I would have managed a project at work, I need to slow down, go with the flow, chill out bla, bla, bla (easier said than done)
- Blogging and all that goes with it is harder & WAY more time consuming that I imagined, I miss being surrounded by a fantastic team where everyone does what they’re good at. Now it seems I need to be an expert at Copywriting, IT, Digital Marketing, Social Media, SEO, Photography, Photo Editing, Graphic Design, PR… I think I need a PA already 😉
- Im finding it hard to dedicate time to update the blog, we always seem to be out & about “exploring & creating content” but when I do actually sit on the computer its usually to help ZZ write his “ZZ Ninja Kid” posts, so my contributions are fading into oblivion right now.
- OUCH, we are way, way, way over budget already in our first month. All I can hope is that once we leave the US we can start recovering slightly ?!??!
- Americans eat half their plate of food super fast and ask to take the rest in a doggy bag …. where are they all rushing off to ??? In almost every restaurant during our evening meal our neighbouring tables will turn over 2 couples/families in the time we eat our meal. ZZ & I aren’t exactly engaging in the worlds most stimulating table conversation after spending 24/7 together but even so the other people have less to say to each other than us ?!?!??!
- Overly efficient staff in restaurants: I guess its kind of connected to the previous point but American “servers” (aka: waiters/waitresses to us Europeans) are so highly efficient that you’ve hardly sat down and you have your server hovering to take your drinks order, and minutes later your food order, before you’ve finished your first drink all your food is on the table which feels a bit stressful to me, Most tables are in & out in 30 mins !!! I have to keep saying, let me enjoy my drink while Im looking at the menu. In Spain you spend the first 15 mins at your table trying to flag down someone to bring you a menu let alone a drink, an average table turn around is about 1 hour on a weekday lunch & 2-3 hours on an evening/weekend !
- Wine: Dont even get me started on this one, one measly small glass of house wine in a normal, mid range restaurant is more than the price of a decent bottle in Spain ! No wonder they don’t sit and enjoy their meal slowly while drinking, chatting and eating, they drink bottomless sodas with their food hence them bloating and having no room for the actual food so taking it home with them ! I find myself tempted (OK more than tempted) to buy decent priced wine from a “liquor store” (it feels much more furtive than just throwing a few bottles in your supermarket trolley) to drink by myself in our hotel room but for me half the enjoyment is the social aspect of wine drinking, the ambiance, the company, the people-watching …. drinking alone in my room from the plastic toothbrush cup just doesn’t do it for me ?!
- Tipping: This is another one that is totally beyond me, why on earth do you have to tip absolutely EVERYONE you encounter 20% of the bill or risk being lynched as you leave ??? Cant US business owners just pay their staff a decent wage ?? Everyone expects a tip: bar staff, servers, baristers, concierge, housekeeping/room cleaners, taxi drivers, hairdressers ….. Im sorry but isn’t doing what they do part of their daily job description ? Are they going above & beyond the expectations of that job description ¿? Actually in most cases, NO !
Recently Ive been encouraging ZZ that if he doesn’t have anything positive to say maybe he should just keep quiet, I appreciate I should perhaps be practicing what I preach as I could obviously carry on bitching for ages but maybe I need to save some content for next months “Ninja Moms Musings ie: Rant” …