James’ SLO Life…Exhausted, but Happy!

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“When I was younger, I always thought I was happy. Now that I have kids, I know that I am Happy… exhausted, but happy.”  These words were spoken by Chris Rock’s character in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and speak so very true in probably most parents’ lives.  When young, happiness resembles freedom, no responsibilities, and definitely no kids. Sometime in our mid 20’s that seems to start to change.  We start getting feeling of wanting something more from life.  So we meet the right person and marry (goodbye freedom), buy a house (hello responsibilities), and inevitably start building your family (you are what?). Sleep becomes more of a luxury and less of a necessity once that little bundle of…joy, I think they call it, enters the world.  I never thought I could pull an 8 hour work day at TJs when getting 2 hours of sleep the night before because of a screaming baby.  The whole night I want to put this thing that is screaming in my face for the last hour down and pass out without caring if he is crying, needs a diaper, hungry, or on fire. But we can’t, no matter how much we want to, we can’t bring ourselves to do it.  So we suck it up and stay up rocking and singing and doing what we can so that they pass out 2 hours before we gotta get up for work.  The real kicker is that once at work, we can think of nothing other than being back at home with the baby. It is the actions of a border line masochist.

 

I have 2 kids now, a 6 month old son and a 2.5 year old daughter.  When my daughter was a child, my wife and I found ourselves doing chores whenever she napped.  A bit of advice, nap with them.  Take the opportunity to sleep while they do because it is a guaranteed amount of time to sleep.  It is good for your sanity and good for bonding with your baby. There is no better feeling than waking up to your kid smiling at you just for being there. Take advantage because once that 2nd kid arrives, the nap options tend to disappear entirely.  It’s like they are working together from the day the 2nd one is born.  One will nap while the other is wide awake and active, leaving absolutely no time for you to nap or  get much of anything done. Twice the kids, 3 times the work.

 

All this exhaustion can really do damage to your marriage if not prepared.  We have had to make it a point to be nice to each other.  You have to like the person even in the worst moments. If you are a fair weather couple, I recommend a puppy first since you can return those. Most of the stresses that come with being a parent would not be so severe in our heads if we weren’t so exhausted. When one gets to be that tired, you have a very hard time controlling your attitude and emotional responses.  But you can’t take it out on the baby, so we take it out on our spouse. As the victim of the attack, we have to keep in mind that it is not a rational thought that has caused this and don’t take it too seriously or personal. It’s gonna happen at some point and you will probably never get an apology from them. Just let it go because the argument that will arise is more harmful than helpful. Kids will always be your kids, we chose our spouse and it takes work to keep them our spouse. Remember that they are probably just as tired as you and you 2 are in it together and have help in each other.

 

Children are one of those things that take up the vast majority of our complaints and stresses in the remainder of our lives, but  the majority of the thrills and joys are also because of them.  So forget about how little sleep you are getting and live in the moment because they don’t stay our little babies for long.  I wouldn’t trade what I have in my kids for anything.  For every minute of sleep missing from my life, it will be replaced with some magical moment that causes a physical change in my attitude and appearance and works better than any caffeine product to brighten my day and lighten my mood. I can have the worst day at work with no sleep, but as soon as I walk in and hear my daughter say, “Hi Daddy!” and run up and hug me, I am completely re-energized with the feeling of, “Damn I’m tired, but I don’t care because I am so friggin’ happy… and my Kids are awesome”.

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Introducing “James’ SLO Life”

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We’re so excited to introduce you to a new weekly post from our friend, James! Starting next week, you’ll enjoy his posts covering everything from dad challenges he’s overcome, living in north SLO county, and so much more. He and his wife are Los Angeles transplants like my husband and I and having been friends from high school, I was excited for him to share his SLO Life with all of you too. Make sure to check in on him every week and if you have any questions for him, shoot us an email.

We caught up with James last week and want to introduce him to you…

Hey James! You and I go back to our high school days in the South Bay (Southern beach towns in Los Angeles), how did you end up in San Luis Obispo?

Basically, it was because of my wife.  She wanted to go north but not too far north since all our family lives in the South Bay or Santa Barbara.  I told her pick the area and I will follow. So I finished my work in my bands and headed off.

I remember rocking out to you playing at some shows! Good times.

How did you and your beautiful wife meet?

We met at Trader Joe’s in Redondo Beach.  We worked together for a few years before dating then got married 1 year and 1 month after our first date.

You always have the greatest pictures of you and your family on Facebook. Your kids are so darned cute! Can you introduce them to us?

My wife’s name is Mersedeh, 2 kids Asalah(2) and Ilyas (5 months).  We have 1 cat named LB, a fish named Admiral Akbar, and 6 chickens (lone free ranger, hen solo, chewpecka, bellachix freerange, henican skyclucker, and darth feather).

I absolutely love the names of your chickens. I’m so obsessed with the idea of having chickens of my own and can’t wait to talk to you more about that and learn more in future posts. Seriously, we’re super impressed that you put together the coops yourself.

What do you love about being married?

The best part of marriage is having a constant teammate.  Yes sometimes there are disagreements, but it is all for a better common goal.  You know that you will always have someone to hold your hand or help put the tourniquet on and drive you to the hospital.

You’ve made your home in Templeton, what do you love most about the area?

I love fall and spring.  Summers are too hot and the winters too cold.  But I wouldn’t trade it because the views are spectacular whatever the season.  There were a lot of reasons we held out buying a house until we bought in Templeton.  Schools were the big deciding factor for us.

Thank you so much for taking the time to let us get to know you a bit. We’re really looking forward to learning more about your SLO Life!