Season 1, Episode 6
I love September. It's both James and my birthday month and our ten year anniversary since our first date. Geeze time flies.
By the time you're listening to this we would have just got back from Burning Man. And then getting ready to fly back to NYC for the launch of The Evolution of Medicine Summit 2, a Mr Maskell production. Not sure yet if we're moving to LA but it's on the radar.
Are you getting sense of our lives...on the go a little all over the place but a lot of fun. And this is one of the reasons I married my hubby, a life of excitement. So this episode, episode 6, is a tribute to that...the Maskell family. I'm your host Rachel Maskell and for today's show...Will there be marital bliss or stress? Do we go crazy without internet for four days? And where does Kaliana get her sense of humor? Stay tuned to find out!
(K: what's the plan mama?)
Let's begin with some #mumboss history...James and I met in the back mountains of Georgia, the state, not the country.
When we first met we didn't really think much of each other. He likely saw me as a crazy indy chick and I saw him as this pseudo jock who only had rugby jerseys in his wardrobe...definitely not my type. But for his 25th birthday mutual friends were throwing him a surprise party and since everyone was trying to get us to date, I decided to be the ruse...I asked him out. By the end of the night I knew he was the one. Yes, it happens.
(R: So it's Monday July, what is it, 2nd? July 22 , sorry, 22nd, something like that. I haven't been recording for awhile and getting back into it. I'm really excited. This week is all about the Maskell family and it's going to be a good week. We have a little travel planned. Going to Pinecrest this week and it's the end, towards the end of July which kind of blows my mind because it feels like time is passing so quickly, as it always does. And I've been in California now for about a month. Sitting outside, little morning meditation before my day begins. Hi little one.
K: mama, what are you saying?
R: oh, I'm talking about our day today
The thing that I knew most about being with James is that life would not be dull.
After a few years of dating and traveling around the north east we planned a trip to South Africa. Towards the end of our stay we hiked to the top of Table Mountain and he proposed to me. Down on one knee and everything.
The second question after the biggie..."do you want to get married in Greece and tag along to my mum's 70th birthday or wait another year and do something else?" This felt like a no brainer to me...obviously Greece but that meant only 6 months to get my family on board and make all the arrangements. In the end...totally worth it.
We were the youngest of our friends to get married but I think we set the bar for an incredible wedding and celebration. No stress, low expectations, and tons of fun.
(J: 7 years ago it was Symi Greece where mumboss and I were married. For our 7 year anniversary we had to find somewhere more attractive, which is not always easy because Symi is one of the most beautiful places on the planet but here we are in Positano Italy. The water is a little bit rougher, the beach a little bit blacker, but it is equally if not more beautiful and I'm glad to be here with Kali and Rachel. I feel like our relationship is in a strong upward trajectory and Italy has been a big part of that.)
Our next step...the inevitable move to NYC.
(R: oh my god. Just a moment to myself. Not on the phone, not having Kali, not having hubby...just a moment. Before I have to get dressed, make food, get ready, and head out. We're going to the casteparty.org tonight. It's this, I don't know it's a bunch of podcasters putting on so it looked interested. Going to meet up with my cousin that I haven't seen yet even though she is very close by. And ya, but first I think I am just going to take a moment to myself.
R: alright so this is a really classic example of why James does all the organizing with our events.
J: I would say one of Rachel's as a freestyler because, you know, sometimes plans can go awry. Such as turning up a week early for a movie. Good thing we arranged baby sitting. So...yeah.
R: yeah, which means I could have gone to that birthday party.)
After traveling into the city frequently from New Haven to hang with new friends we took the plunge and moved. There's a quote I overheard a woman say once when I was bartending in the meatpacking..."New York: it's difficult to get in and hard to leave" I'd say that has rung true for me too.
Our first place was in the UWS but after a couple of years we decided to move to hipster central - Williamsburg. But here's the thing about WB. It got crazy. It's a fantastic adult playground but our rent was astronomical, our lives sucked into working to cover our overhead and after two years of trying to make our space work, we threw in the towel and decided to do another major travel adventure. We packed up all our belongings into storage, whatever we decided to keep, and left for another undetermined amount of time on the road.
It was during this trip that I almost ended the web business if it wasn't for Lydia's determination to make it work. It was also this trip, hanging out at Venice Beach watching the kids skateboard, that I thought maybe I can do this parenting thing. How cool would it be to teach a kid physics through their enjoyment of skateboarding. It was at that moment we decided to not not try. About a month later while in England for the Olympics, it happened, I got pregnant.
(R: so it is Wednesday morning a quarter to ten, sigh. James has been getting up every morning at quarter to six, five-thirty, quarter to six something like that and going to crossfit which is awesome. He's been going 4-5 times a week which is amazing. Then he comes back, jumps in the pool, gets ready, goes to his office space, most days. Today he is taking the train to San Francisco and I will be packing us up for Pinecrest. I started writing out my list of all the things I need to do today and trying not to get overwhelmed. Just finished up a call with a client. Have one more around 11:30 and taking a few minutes to do some emailing and work before I take Kali off the iPad. DO some laundry, all that good stuff. Just got to make sure i get myself organized because the internet and pretty much any cell reception is pretty minimal. But I like that in a certain way. I like that forced media break. Might have to borrow somebody's phone to do a little instagramming.
R: I am ticking through my list of things to do, trying to put Kali down for her quiet time. Just finished fixing all the bikes. Putting the bike seat on my new bike and putting air in the tires for the other one and getting ready, just got to pack it all up and see if I can have all the bikes on the car ready to go. Keep it in the garage, that would be ideal. Quiet time is not going so well. It's a little bit of a juggle. She has been sleeping in the car lately and getting out of rhythm. It also doesn't help that she knows how to open these doors so were back to this battle I suppose of will and both of us are pretty strong in that area. Sigh, but quiet time is essential time for both of us so a little bit of retraining process here).
Well, I didn't actually know I was pregnant till we arrived back in New York after traveling around for three and a half months. When I finally decided to do a test we were living above a baby shop, oh the synchronicities.
If you can't tell already I wasn't one of those people who set out in life to be a mum. I was never sure, always oscillating between seeing myself as a careerist to a DIY stay at homer. The thing is none of those fit me and likely don't fit most women but those are the options that are typically fed to us.
This is where I am going to rant for a moment. We are told as girls, at least most of us in the western world, that we can do whatever the boys can do. Besides some physical limitations, it's a level playing field. But we know as adults this isn't true and I think society needs to stop lying to us. Even if we were to get equal pay this choice of procreation is not one that weighs as heavy on the male population. I don't know how we change the conversation but I think we need to start one. I think we need to honor the differences between the genders and the values that we bring to the world and we desperately need to start supporting the mothers who are birthing the next generation. Sometimes it feels like such a damned if you do and damned if you don't reality.
(K: not cool mom)
I chose to become a mom because I realized that I was at a place and a time in my life where I wanted to help initiate a being into this world. That I wanted the opportunity to teach and love and pass on my wisdom or perspective of life. Of course the reality is that she has helped me to deepen my sense of self and she challenges me in ways nothing else in the world can. And I love that and appreciate that. As the saying goes, "our students are our greatest teachers."
Without Kaliana I would not be writing this, I would not be thinking about the complexities and brilliance of being a woman, and likely I would not feel the depth of passion and need to make this world a better place for our future generation.
(R: so we been, got to the cabin this afternoon in time for lunch and it's been nice just relaxing not doing much. It's a forced anti-media. But I just looked at my phone and apparently I have been recording for 7 hours. No I mean it would be great if that was 7 minutes but I really think that was 7 hours, crazy. Alright anyway, it's chilly we're all kinda wrapping up hanging by the fire. Good day.
K: Team Cabin!)
That's not to say that some days I don't wish things were different. Life, regardless of our choices, can be challenging. It's part of what makes us grow and develop. But by far my biggest challenges lie in the roles and expectations, the agreements or sometimes lack of, in my relationship with James. He is definitely one of the most amazing men I have ever met and I am honored and proud that he is my husband.
On days that I am feeling overwhelmed or exhausted it's the little things that stand out and irritate me. It's the patterns that are always highlighted on TV, stupid men. The disorganization, not paying attention, not listening...I'm sure you can relate. And I know this is unfair to men too. (Brook's audio). In the same way I want the world to embrace the greatness of women we need to recognize these patterns of men as not intentional but as part of their own brilliance. And I recognize it also has to start with me. I can't nor should I expect James to think like me, or multi-task like me, or be as detailed oriented as me...he's different. And some of that is being male but some is just who he is and how he is designed.
What helps me when I get in the funk of seeing him through my filter of annoyed wife is to take a step back, to breathe and then talk to him about it. Communication is so essential to our survival and it takes work with a hefty dose of forgiveness and patience on both sides. I'm not saying I always get this right, I have my breakdowns...sometimes hiding out in the bathroom for a quick cry and then splashing my face with water. But I know as a couple we are not alone in these challenges.
(R: today is Friday, we are currently on a hike up in the mountains somewhere, it's the gargoyle trail and there are all these outcroppings of rock . Probably once from lava out here. It's beautiful, it's peaceful. Kaliana fell asleep on the way over here so thankfully we have our ergobaby. Huh baby? And now she is just waking up.
K: Are we going to San Francisco?
R: to San Francisco?
K: are we going to drive to San Francisco?
R: No, we're not going to drive to San Francisco today honey. But we're going to do this hike back to the car and then we might go on another little trip or we might go to the cabin. We'll see how we feel. We'll take a group consensus...whoa
K: go max to the grimpsist. I want a snack maybe.
R: ok, you can have a snack in a minute.
J: feed your instagram
R: I got stuff I gotta do. First off...
B: ok, hold on I have to take a picture of mom
J: not while Rachel is in her internet cafe
B: oh are you connected?
R: yeah...that's why...
B: I think we're waiting on Rachel)
I also know we are meant to be together: we push each other to be our authentic selves, we compliment each other's strengths, and we are learning how to give each other space to be individuals. The art of parenting is a bit like the art of relationships. Know when to step in, say I'm sorry or I love you, and know when to walk away and let the other work it out.
But there's this lingering question that everyone seems to ask once you have one child, "will you have another?" or for the more forward individuals "when are you having another one." I'm still not sure how to answer this question so I thought I would leave it to a friend to share her thoughts. For me...I think it's still too soon to answer.
(AB: I follow this Facebook group and another podcast that I highly recommend, maybe you have hear of it, The Longest Shortest Time?
R: yeah she's great
AB: yeah, so, I'm in their Facebook group and someone posted, you know it's hot, it's like fast and furious in that group, but someone, I caught this one question that someone posted about having another child and how did you make the decision. And it's interesting to crowd source that decision I think. But, you know some of the feedback I thought was really interesting in that I'd say like 90% of the comments that I read in response to that post were not "I really wanted to have another child or I always envisioned myself with two kids or three or whatever." It was, "I don't want to leave my child without a sibling." And that is something that also occurs to me on a regular basis because I grew up with sibilings and I believe that my siblings maybe even more than anyone are really my soul mates, that were bonded by blood and I think that's so, such a special important relationship. So I don't know but all those ideas and thoughts are percolating in there with the decision.")
So what's next? We're almost to the end of Season 1. What a journey this has been. I appreciate all the feedback that has been shared and please keep it coming. If you haven't done so already please subscribe to the show, rate it, share it with your friends or peers or even someone you just met...maybe it can be a new conversation starter..."have you heard..."
In episode 7 I tackle the sustainability question, specifically, is my life as it is now sustainable? That, is a hefty topic. Join me next week to find out and learn just how far I'm willing to go...
(R: head shoulders, knees and toes
RJ: knees and toes, head shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
J: and eyes and ears and mouth and nose... head shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
K: sing again?
RJ: no...you do it
K: try again
J: you sing and we'll dance you sing and we'll dance.
K: you do it)
| Get new episodes delivered to your inbox
About this episode
This episode was recorded in NorCal and Positano, Italy.