“How I Do It” introduces you to a mom and how she juggles life. This week: Meredith Bland is a stay-at-home Seattle mother of 5-year-old twins. The 35-year-old loves to make people laugh with her writing. She blogs at Pile of Babies writes movie reviews for Reckless Video and writes a monthly column as disgraced fashion stylist Héléne Bouffant for Funny Not Slutty.
A PIECE OF MOM ADVICE
I think the best advice I ever got was to remember that nothing – good or bad – lasts forever. So whatever horrible phase your child is going through, remember that this too shall pass. And if things are going well, stay vigilant – badness is coming.
RAISING TWIN 5-YEAR-OLDS
Raising twins was hardest during the first year. Since then, it has been pretty awesome! I love having two kids who are the same age and can play together. It gives me two-minute stretches here and there where I can just let them play “ponies get attacked by transformers”, and I can sit quietly until I have to break up another fight. But those two minutes are heaven.
When my kids are in preschool I try to get all of my home and family related things done during the first two hours that they are gone. That leaves me two hours a day, four days a week to write. I also do some writing at night and on the weekends.
TWO HOURS OF PRODUCTIVITY
Now, you might assume that I am using those two hours to do productive things like cleaning my house. You would be mistaken. I run my life like a crisis management center — it’s all about triage. Does this need to be done today? For example, are my children out of pants? Fine. I will go do some laundry. But you’d be surprised how infrequently you need to do things like dust, mop, of vacuum when no one is coming over to the house for a while.
So I spend my mornings doing what HAS to be done, and then I do some writing, play some Farmville, write some more, and then it’s time to get the kids. I am super lazy by nature (I come from a family that treasures its naps) so when I have a chance to sit for an hour, I will sit for an hour.
MORE ON WRITING
I fancy myself a freelance writer, although I get paid for nothing. I do all of my free writing when the kids are in school, or if they are knee-deep in another episode of My Little Pony. I also write a lot of ideas down on my phone when they come to me during random parts of the day. Typically this is when I am walking the dog or trying to go to sleep at night.
I discovered my love of writing when I put together a blog after the twins were born. It was just supposed to be for family and friends, but then more and more people started reading it, and I realized that this was something I both enjoyed and was good at. What are the odds?
My blog has been a savior for me. Having kids (especially when they are newborns) can be so isolating, and it’s easy to lose who you are in all of the things you have to do for other people. My blog gave me back to me. It gave me a place where I could be myself and share all of the weird, twisted things that I find funny. Now I am experimenting with other forms of writing, such as website content and a novel I’ll be working on till the day I die. It’s exciting and fun and challenging — I can’t get enough.
FAVORITE THINGS TO DO AS A FAMILY
I love getting out there in the world and doing things with my kids; whether it’s the zoo again, or the aquarium again, or trying something completely new. On a recent Friday morning we decided to go on the Seattle Great Wheel together! I am terrified of heights and pooped my pants continuously, but it was a great adventure with the kids.
MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON
That has got to be my mom and my husband. My mom because I am still pretty sure that if she wanted to she could still arrange for me to spend the night in jail with the other ungrateful children, and my husband because he is a way better person than I am. Also, he’s a stone cold fox.
I WISH I COULD…
…finish my novel. I am only about 10,000 words in, so I’ve got a long road ahead of me. A long, twisty, swampy, frog-infested, spike-strip covered, zombie-haunted road. Wish me luck.
SOMETHING NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT YOU
This is an impossible question to answer for someone who over shares without boundaries like I do. I can name a few random things!
1. I play with Scotch tape as a nervous habit. I play with it for awhile and then roll it up in a
ball. Done it my whole life.
2. My greatest fear is heights.
3. I took French for eleven years and can’t speak a word of it.
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