On the 30th of December 2013, I was driving back home after a full day of work in Greenwich, CT. Forty days after I had given birth to the most adorable twin boys, I was back at work. While nothing seemed different on that cold, dark winter evening, everything truly was!
Our home and all our existence had just one mission; survive without sleep! We had so much help, because really, it does take a village, and yet there were many trials and tribulations – about sleep routines, nanny routines, breast feeding, pumping at work (story for another day), minimal adult sleep, adrenaline-pumped activities (because no caffeine). We kept a close watch on the kids and their amazing transformation from newborns to six-month-old babies. It felt like an eternity before summer arrived. Yet their bodies, faces and expressions changed so quickly, every day.
Children change our lives in such amazing ways.
I had my boys at 37 years of age. I had spent a better part of the previous 15 years training and working as an architect, urban designer, developer and development finance professional. I was passionate about buildings and creating vibrant built communities. Now there was a strange new passion, a new love like no other, my love for my beautiful children. It was a struggle those early days, and the pumping at work story (again!) fueled many thoughts, in many directions. The long thirty-minute drives in the dark were spent ruminating about options and things to do in order to balance this whole new world.
As mothers, there is no balance. Or is there? The only thing I was sure of, is that life would be fulfilling only if I found ways to be part of both my worlds, the old and the new.
One evening I announced that I would like to build a technology product for real estate developers. My husband believed I had truly gone mad. It could be, I had not slept in 36 hours. I told him I had researched about crowdfunding, raising equity, and building digital platforms to support community funded projects. I was reading, networking, attending conferences, convinced that I could find a way to work independently, feed my kids when I needed (breast pumping at work story – you get the drift, it was a bit traumatic…), and be there for those important ephemeral moments with my boys. (Delusions of grandeur said the amused husband!).
I continued to work financing real estate projects for a better part of the year, while I actively pursued this most absurd idea, this dream that one day I would do something truly meaningful (to me) and yet be there for my boys, who were now cruising, walking, and expressing their love and joy.
It would take another three years before I finally made the plunge. In the meantime, life got crazier. I went to work at a big bank in TriBeCa. It all seemed like a natural progression. It was not. It was an insane and relentless schedule of work and life with two young toddlers.
Thankfully, I never truly let go off that crazy thought. The idea changed, the people around me changed, but I finally did leave the bank job. We traveled to India, the kids and I, and after three wonderful months of watching elephants, tigers and wild Indian buffalo, and meeting technology product builders, I started building the product.
We had many false starts, but after two years of relentless work, frustration and pain, now I am about to have yet another baby! We (I) will launch our product this month.
I have no illusions that this fledgling venture makes no promises of everlasting joy and love. It may even fail, yet the journey has been amazing. I have had the good fortune to juggle meetings with play dates and soccer games with product calls. I have managed to be there for my kids (mostly), feed them, love them, read those books and build those towers, and continue working at the oddest of hours.
I am excited to share my thoughts about this constant struggle of being mothers. Of being our other selves and finding that magic that will keep us happy and fulfilled.