Saturday, May 22, 2010

I Sold My Soul to the Devil and Now I Want Pie!

You've all read how I lament over not having painted in a while and how I feel there is just no time in the day/week/month to get a single painting done.  I have to admit, part of that is laziness, part of it is the complete inability to be creative on demand in the minuscule amount of free time I do have, and part if is actually true there is so very little time in my day that I can't get any work done.

The winds of change are blowing through my household, however.  Back in October I sold my soul and went back to work.  Sounds dramatic I know, but it really felt that way at the time as my friend over at A Lil Welsh Rarebit can attest.  The weekend before I was due to start working she and I took a trip out to NYC for girl talk, R&R, and shopping.  We had a little R&R, a bit of shopping, a good amount of girl talk (although we're capable of far more talk than we did on that trip) and I came home knowing I had made the wrong choice to return to work.  I wanted to stay home, eat pie and bonbons, take care of my kids, watch Oprah and meet girlfriends at coffee shops and talk about our kids.  Most of that is NOT what happens when you are a stay at home mom, but people seem to think it is so I'm going with's a goal.  ha!

But I was too far down the process of background checks and security clearances for the job to back on I trudged to the job I no longer wanted and just months before was so excited about.  I was feeling fully I had sold my soul for a good paycheck, sold my soul and my dreams for a 9-5 job (OK it's more like a 9-8 job)...sold my kids off into daycare-slavery to be cared for by some well-meaning stranger who I just knew couldn't do anywhere near as good a job as me taking care of my kids.

Those winds of change I mentioned...through circumstances I won't get into - if all works out with my contract with the government I will be reducing my hours at work.  I will be working 10a.m.-4:00 p.m. Allowing me at the very least to be able to drop my kids at daycare as well as picking them up.  If the government isn't able to adjust my contract to accommodate these shortened hours I will be out of a job and at home full time with my youngest kid (trying to break the habit of calling him my baby) and I think we have found a way to pay for my oldest to stay in daycare even if I don't work.

Honestly, I have my fingers crossed that the second scenario is what takes place.  Then I can eat that pie, sup on bonbons while watching Oprah, chat with girlfriends at coffee shops and maybe, just maybe find time for some painting!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Work/Life Balance

Work Life Balance.

What does that phrase mean to you?  I can't speak for everyone else but for me, pre-kids, that phrase meant making sure I took out time from work to have a life.  Life, meaning a bit of travel, some vacation, meeting up with friends for happy hour, getting some of my paintings finished...LIFE.

Now that I have kids, that phrase means, making sure I don't feel overwhelmingly guilty every single time I have to take time off from work because the kids are sick, have a school event, need to pick them up from school because the husband is travelling.  It means, trying not to feel guilty because (and my eyes are welling up with tears as I type this one) I only see my baby, my youngest son, a maximum of 30 minutes each day because he's in bed by the time I get home and the morning routine is roughly 30 mins of eating, getting dressed and getting to daycare.

With my whole being I wish I could have stayed home with Paul during these youngest years the way I did with Peter.  I've missed so, so very many of Paul's milestone-moments.  Peter, however would have suffered as he was ready to go to school, ready to be around other kids and daycare was not an affordable option unless I returned to work.

*SIGH*  If only we were independently wealthy.

There's added guilt there too...I was sick...sooo sooo sick of being at home all the time.  I was snapping at Peter for things my husband would find adorable.  He found these things adorable because he wasn't at home all day with him, everyday with no break... ever... these things that were so cute to my husband I had seen and heard 800 times a day, 7 days a week and was sick, sick sick of it.  I needed adult conversation that didn't revolve around babies (apologies to my mom-friends - nothing personal).

So, here I am on the flip-side of the decision to return to work...wishing for what?  That I wasn't working!  How very human. yearning for "balance".

Now I think more realistically what I'm wanting is a part time job.  Yes, what I need is (ready for this pipe-dream list?):

  • To be home when the kids are home
  • Have a part-time job that still pays me my full-time wage
  • be able to guilt-free do the things for myself that make me happy which include:
    • Being with the kids when it suits me
    • Being alone (painting, spa, walks) when it suits me
Maybe that last sub-bullet should be a bullet unto itself.

All of this dreaming is fine and good, but back to reality what I really have to do is focus on the realities of my life and realize that A) I could have far worse problems (like no job, homeless, starving, not able to choose to send my kids to daycare); B) I have a fantastic family that works together to ensure we're all chugging along as smoothly as possible; C) I have really fantastically understanding bosses who don't bat an eye when I say for the 800th time "my son is sick and I have to go get him from school" - and really that last item is so very important!!! D) things will change - the kids will grow up, there will be other milestones to witness and E) as they say, I've got my health!


I can't believe it's been since February of this year that I've posted.  Now that my parents have moved away from DC to California, I will definitely have to get better at posting on here.  Some photos of the boys who are getting so big!

Paul is now 14 1/2 months old and Peter is 3 1/2 years old.