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.
Thus...my 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
- TIME ALONE WITH MY HUSBAND!!!!
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.