Constant Evolution

Project – Take My Life Back (or AKA in my house as My Mid-Life Crisis) continues.

Full foil, glaze, and haircut later I’m practically blonde.  Now I actually dry my hair in the morning and style it.  Sometimes I even break out my flat iron and make it all kinds of awesome with waves.  If that weren’t enough, I did a week cleanse where I ate pre-planned and pre-packed lunches that were absurdly healthy.  I even made smoothies with coconut milk, maple water, fruit, and vegetarian protein powder.  I started taking multivitamins and probiotics.  I may have discovered an allergy to almonds even…

I’m still taking a lot of barre classes.  I try to do 4 per week.  It’s insanely painful and hard, but I really do love every second of it.  I feel so good while doing it, after it, and my entire outlook on life has significantly improved.  It’s funny that I grew up doing gymnastics, and yet somehow I’m the most flexible I’ve ever been in my entire life right now.  I’d go everyday if I could, for real, it’s been life changing and so uplifting.  Totally my new obsession, but like a good one – way better than when I was obsessed with Oreos or salted caramel ice cream.

This has been a painful week.  I’ve had strep throat and a stomach bug.  I can only assume both came through my kids daycare somehow.  I worked through it all and even did barre through it all.  I showed those germs who was boss, sort of.  I just was too busy to take the time off from work, and I didn’t want to pay for any late cancels at barre, so I just like kept on trucking.

I’m a really busy person, but I love my boys to smithereens.  I feel like I focus like 90% of my energy on them and then like 10% on everything else… so it’s a bit surprising that I forgot my little one’s 15 and 18 month wellness visits for his vaccines and also did not plan a 4th birthday party for my older one when last year we threw a massively overdone party.  MOM FAIL! x 2.  Bennett got vaccinated a few days ago – so don’t worry, and Harrison will have a tiny family party with lots of balloons and star wars decor.  We have like 5 birthday parties coming up so it became evident that scheduling one was going to be a battle, maybe next year we’ll plan ahead… maybe.

We’re back to the bedtime battle with Harrison.  He’s almost 4 years old and we need to lay in his bed with him to get him to fall asleep (this can take 15 minutes to over an hour), and then sometime in the night he comes into our bed.  For a while this wasn’t that bad, he was falling asleep relatively quickly and then coming into our bed wasn’t a huge deal because we’d all just go back to sleep.  This week he’s kept me in his room past 10pm more than once, then still came in our bed.  He’s stealing my free time at night.  By the time we’re done with that madness, it’s time for us to go to bed.  Seriously losing my mind.  We need to work on this again.  There are going to be a lot of snot and tears, but like W.T.F.  I just want to eat a cupcake and drink a glass of wine while watching TV to unwind for 30 minutes at night – this apparently is asking too much.  Harrison would rather make me his bitch.  Toddlers… the most complex and demanding beings in the universe. WHY?!

When we are able to fix his sleeping issues, I’m going to book us a Carribean vacation.  Like a real one dammit!!!  Without Kids, or if they must come they better be sleeping in their own damn beds.

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Mom Life

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Post Thanksgiving Thoughts

We drove down from Massachusetts to Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with Abe’s family.  We’ve never driven more than like 1.5 hours with the kids before because A. They’re insane and B. Harrison has to pee every 10 seconds.  We hit some traffic on the way down, so that could have gone better.  The way back was good though, smooth sailing by comparison.  Also this portable pee holder was seriously KEY!!  Harrison peed in that thing like ten times on the way down and back.  He never gives any warning when he has to go, so he’ll be like “I HAVE TO GO POTTY!!” and it’s like an immediate thing and everyone is like AHHHHHHH!!

Anyhow, we survived the whole experience and will likely not have to make a long car ride like that again.  Since we rotate holidays and sibling’s homes, we won’t need to go back to VA for a few years and we will fly – First Class.  Like mom and dad will fly first class and two boys punching each other and fighting over ipads will be back in coach!

The whole day before we left for our trip I was waiting on my job counter-offer.  I can’t even describe the pissed-offness that I was feeling about it.  I’m not a very patient person and so the number of approvals my offer needed were fucking killing me – literally 6.  I was seriously ready to walk away.  Maybe 4 days is a fast turnaround, but I don’t really see it that way.  I just wanted it cemented in either way.  Luckily, it all worked out and I’m glad that’s over so I’m staying at my current job a happier camper than I was a few weeks ago.  I even cleaned my desk so they’d know I was Serious about maybe not returning to it.

I took advantage of a Black Friday deal to join Pure Barre for 1 year, so now I’m in it to win it and the current flexibility of my job allows me to take a few classes a week.  I even took part in a test class this week… somewhat regrettably.  I would describe it as “Intense or high intensity barre gone wild”.  There was sweat just like flying off my body and there is a whole lot of soreness even two days later.  I’m going to need a lot more leggings that hide sweat and sticky socks.

There are so many things that I hate about this comment : Yesterday, I made Kourtney Kardashian’s avocado pudding recipe and it was To Die For.  Like insanely delicious, lick the bowl good.  Seriously, try it!  The manuca honey really makes it and oddly I had some in my cabinet waiting to use.  She might not be right about many things (Lord Disick), but she’s totally right about this one.

My Christmas shopping for the boys is officially done.  Is that nuts?  Probably.  I’d like to thank Zulily for all the help on that and my insane pull to buy things before they sell out.  Now I just need to shop for literally Everyone else.

I’m thinking about getting an IUD… TMI?  But really, what do people think of this?  I hear mixed reviews.  I don’t like the pill because I think it makes me crazy and sweaty, like the hormones are too much for me or something.  I haven’t been on the pill in like 5+ years, so I really don’t plan on going back to it.  It just wasn’t good for me, but the IUD is different I hear… I called my GYN and they’re like: oh we can get you in for an appointment in April.  Like WTF?  That’s like ridiculous.  I guess I’ll think about it a bit more and then just make an appointment for like Months from now.  The other day I was like – I think that I can be happy with 2 boys.  The boys are such good friends and they have a really great and funny relationship, I think that works for us as a family.  I think I can be at peace with that decision.  This was the first time I really felt strongly either way so I’ll let that simmer a bit.  The idea of needing to cart around 3 kids is also pretty unappealing when there are only 2 of us parents and really 1 of us that is available most of the time.  And seriously, 3 kids = mini van city.  No thanks.

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Who Am I?

A few weeks ago I had an awakening.  Almost literally.

I woke up one morning and I got my hair cut and colored by a stylist – new to me.  Color hasn’t touched my hair in Years, so this was a pretty aggressive and trusting move that is very atypical for me.  Then I signed up for 1-month unlimited pass to my local Pure Barre (I’d never even walked in there before) and started going 3-4 x a week… and I LOVE it.  I have found it impossible to consistently work out for 5+ years and now suddenly I’m like In It with the leggings and the sticky socks and the 110% commitment.  Next I found myself with a really appealing job offer for a competing firm.  I can’t even believe how fast it happened and I’ve never had such an easy breezy attitude about something like this.  If that wasn’t enough, I took BOTH of the kids to a local holiday party by myself to a restaurant where I knew like nobody.  The kids have severe food allergies so they never go to restaurants, and random holiday parties are totally not my thing.  Also that day, I found myself telling my boss exactly what I needed in order to stay at my current job in a very clear, concise, and reasonable way.  Literally I listed 3 things that I needed and when I needed them by.  It almost felt like an out of body experience because the whole thing went so well and normally this would be a very anxiety inducing moment.  Later that night he called me and I like told him all these ideas I had and what I wanted to do and seriously, I was like: Who Am I?!  I’m going to bring in new business?  But Yes, I can do it.

All of those things are really outside of my normal comfort zone, but somehow I went into each of those moments with complete calm and very matter-of-fact kind of attitude.  It’s like one day I just became a different person almost or like I somehow found things that are normally super uncomfortable to be totally like Whatever.  Am I going through a mid-life crisis?  Or am I just getting my mind and body back post-kids?  It feels very notable though, like I’ll remember this point of life where the tides suddenly shifted.  I’ve suddenly learned my value and my needs all at the same time…

I forgot to mention that a week ago, I was 5 minutes late to a meeting – and I’m Never Late.  I walked in as it was starting and then walked through a presentation to 25 important peeps like it was Nothing.  I’d usually be like OK but not great, but this was like a cake walk, and my boss was sitting right next to me.  I am a little bit freaked out at this new me.  Will it come to an end soon?  Will I start freaking out and like not being able to find the right words or like sweating again??

OK so I don’t even know where to go from here but 1. My core is getting really toned again and it’s like boggling my mind that all it took was like exercise (who knew….imagine that?), and 2. my husband let me take a weekend barre class and when I came home an hour later everyone was totally fine when I expected more of a circus, and 3. WTF?!!

More to come, my mid life crisis continues…

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The Agony of Fish Tank Drama

Friday morning I had 45 glorious minutes from the time the kids got out the door to my first conference call of the morning.  Normally, I’d just start working or doing the dishes.  I’ve been so run down and busy and stressed with everything that I was like: World, everything can flipping wait!  I put on a face mask and sipped a hot coffee – like actually deliciously hot, not cold because I forgot about it while working.  Later, I sipped on flacid cold coffee but it was warm for at least one moment in my hectic day.

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I am 100000% exhausted.

I followed this gorgeous look with a deep conditioning hair mask while returning emails and then I forgot about it and it sat in my hair for like 2 hours – not a bad thing though, just kind of hard to wash out completely hardened and crispy conditioner.

Work is so insane right now.  It’s usually insane at this time of year but it’s somehow Far Far worse this year.  Guys, I called Bennett  “Benefit” twice this week.  TWICE!  My own child and I’m referring to him in work terms.  It’s like really sad.

I think I’m coming down with something.  My husband was a trooper enough to let me take an hour nap today while Bennett napped, and then he gave me the massage appointment that I made for Him.  Still totally exhausting even after all that.  Life is really wearing me down right now.

Did I mention we had 2 fish deaths this week?  In our tank of 6 fish, 2 of them bit the dust after changing some water.  It was the Ph level that did them in.  1 of the dead ones might be stuck in there still but I’m refusing to handle that.  We’ve been fish tank owners for long enough that we have a full on water testing kit and can tell when things are turning bad.  So then today, we bring Harrison to Petco (not my favorite place to buy fish) to pick out 1 new fishy.  I head to the chinchillas with Bennett for 10 minutes (dude loved the chinchillas!) and I come back to learn that Harrison picked out a Massive fish, like clearly a really terrible choice for a 10 gallon tank with fish already in there.  So momma had to be the bad guy and tell Harrison that the fish was way too big and point out the sign that nobody else seemed to see that said it would grow to 8 inches.  First of all, when that sucker dies I Do Not want to have to scoop out an 8 inch fish – gross.  And Second, it was just a bad choice.  Some Idiot at the store put this stupid fish in with much smaller fish and like Obviously the wrong tank.  Anyhow, Harrison was upset he couldn’t get the “fat fish” (it was a parrot fish or something) he wanted but he settled for one of those like little neon fish.

We also had school photos this week which means Harrison took his photo and Bennett took his photo and then they both took a sibling photo.  I got them up, I put on outfits they already had… and realized they wore the same exact outfits at the last photo session, so changed them, and then got out the comb and hair spray.  Neither of them were feeling it.  The proofs came back a few days later, and sure I bought them anyhow, but they were not good.  Bennett is Always making a face like “I’m not really sure what is going on so I’m going to just stare at you blankly with my mouth open”, in like all photos unless I make him laugh.  I coached Harrison for days leading up to photo day telling him that he had to show Bennett how to take a nice picture like a big boy and then we’d send the photos to his cousins – and there is nothing he loves more than his cousins.  I’d give his effort a solid 6.  It’s cool though, I did my own photo session with the kids the prior weekend because I Knew they’d shit the bed on this one.  I got a few good ones but out of the few good ones there were at least 55 hilarious ones with one of them crying.

Tomorrow, Harrison starts 10 weeks of “learn to skate” classes.  Like hockey skates and milk crates!  I don’t really want him to play hockey later on because he’s clearly going to be a shrimp, but I do want him to learn how to skate when he’s young, just like he’s learning to swim now too (and seriously he’s like really steadily improving on the swimming front).  I know it’s going to go really poorly, like we might not even make it onto the ice but all we can do is keep trying.  And like how cute is a kid in a hockey helmet?!  Bennett is going to be so jealous…. but really Bennett is jealous of Every Single Thing on the planet right now anyhow.  Today I had to put their shopping cart into a toy time out because they wouldn’t stop fighting over it and it was one of those like really really loud and cat-screeching-like episodes.  Abe and I were both like: W.T. FFFFFFF.?? So now there is a shopping cart in our bedroom and there will be for Several Days to Several Months – much like the 2 fart guns, 1 nerf gun, and the bow and arrow.

Is it almost Christmas vacation?  Wait… is it almost time for them to go to College?

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2 Boys, no more babies here

It’s official.  This house has no more babies – {tear}.  Bennett drank his very last bottle last week.  I was still giving him a bottle before bed because he liked it so much but then it seemed like he started to enjoy it a bit less and I knew it was time.  It also coincides with him becoming an absolute PILL.

He is So Clingy now, and he screams and pushes and punches me in the face sometimes.  He gets So So mad and throws things out of anger.  If I snuggle with Harrison, he screams and runs over and pushes Harrison off my lap.  He screams through tubby time because he doesn’t want water on his face and he wants to hold Mr. Cow (his lovey) but clearly I don’t want Mr. Cow to get wet.  Somehow a switch has flipped and he went from being this super cool chill baby to being an insane toddler just like his brother was.  At least he’s willing to sleep though, so we do have that.

Bennett talks a lot too.  His favorite thing to say is, “what’s that?” and he says it in this hilarious high pitched weird voice over and over.  He’ll point to things and ask me what they are, and sometimes he’ll respond with a, “OHH” like of course.

I don’t know if it’s just this family, but this second child is way way more advanced than our first child but that only makes sense because he’s always running after Harrison trying to do what he is doing.

As much as they’re both crazy, they’re still polar opposites.  Last night for dinner I made the boys spaghetti and meatballs.  Harrison only ate the spaghetti and Bennett only at the meatballs, this is like so typical of who they are.  At this moment, Bennett is in his crib sucking his thumb quietly rolling around with his soft blanket, and Harrison slept in our bed with us Again last night because he couldn’t handle being alone in his room.  Bennett likes books and stuffed bunnies, Harrison likes Star Wars and nun-chucks.  They both like to chase each other while screaming and laughing.

I feel pretty confident that the life of a mom with 2 boys can Only be described as a constant loud circus with fake weapons.

 

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Harrison-isms

Me : “Harrison, do you want to be a doctor like Doc McStuffins?” – after watching the same episode many times in a row.
Harrison : “No, I want to be a Ninja… or a Ninja Turtle.”

We’re aiming high over here.

Harrison : “What is Dave (neighbor) doing? He’s staring at dirt.”
Me: “HA, I don’t know what Dave is doing.  Looking at his grass to see if it’s growing, maybe?”
Harrison : “Ohhhh.  Who wants to stare at dirt?… Just Dave!”

OMG it was so funny, like it was real humor.

Me: “Harrison, can you put away the toys in the playroom?”
Harrison: “I’m just tired of putting things away today.”
Me: “Harrison, please put your toys away.”
Harrison: “No, I’m just too tired.”

Then you’d think that I’d push him to actually do it, but I let it go because I was also too tired.  So tired.

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3 1/2 U-G-H

3 1/2 – this is a very challenging age.  I am not the first nor the last mother to utter those words.

Frequently heard coming from Harrison:

“You’re interrupting me”
“I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to Daddy”
“I don’t want to play with you anymore”
“You can’t touch that”
“I’m not going to be your friend anymore”
“You smell bad”
“I’m going to kick the house down”
“I don’t like that”
“I told you 5 times already”
“That is kind of Rude”

And a ton of whining – “I want to watch TVVVVVVVV”, “I want to watch Paw Patrol Saves Christmas”, “Where’s my light saber”, “I want Blanket”, “I didn’t say goodbye to daddy”, “Bennett touched me”, “but I was using that”, “but I WANT TO”, etc etc.  in the most annoying whiny voice possible is really how you need to imagine those phrases.  Sometimes they are followed by complete and total mental and physical breakdowns, which are seemingly for no reason or something that’s so minuscule that I’m not sure why he’s freaking out.

I’m having a really hard time dealing with this particular phase he’s going through.

My husband was like: I don’t know why he drives you so crazy.

But here’s the thing.  Harrison is either talking to me or whining to me or bossing me around or asking me questions for 2-3 hours by the time Abe gets home, and by that point I’m completely spent with my patience.  I mean I’m like cooking for, feeding, cleaning up, bathing, changing, and playing referee for two kids continuously during that time too so it’s not Just Harrison but really he does drive me nuts.  Every single day, I have to remind him that he can’t eat out of his bowl like a puppy dog.  Most days I have to remind him that we don’t eat soup with a straw.  Most evenings I just have to say “Harrison, Mommy is NOT getting up one more time from dinner!”  Like every 5 seconds he asks me for something, why is that?  He obviously does not want me to sit down for 5 minutes to eat dinner.

There has to be something about this age.  It’s relentless.  It makes me want to wear noise cancelling headphones for days at a time.  Why don’t I have the ability to handle this well?  Why can’t he dress himself yet?  Where do plants come from?  How did that car get there?  Where do you get a Christmas Tree – Ok, maybe those last 3 questions are Harrison’s echoing from my brain.

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Tonsils, Terrorizing Others in Public, and Germs so Many Germs

Harrison got his tonsil and adenoids out last week.  Due to his sleep apnea, they wanted to keep him overnight as well.  We woke up the morning of the surgery before 5am and then we left the house at 5:30am and you’d think that he would sleep in the car but no.  He sat there pointing at everything and just talking.  “I don’t like the sun over there.” – that was a commonly used phrase for some reason.  I took him in for the surgery, and truly this kid did So Well, he really took the entire thing like a trooper.  Totally didn’t think of this, but if you’re child is potty trained but is still young it’s a good idea to use a diaper/pull up.  I did due to laziness but it was a godsend.  I thought he’d be like sleeping and tired the entire day while recovering but he was up the whole time playing with his ipad and legos and peeing every 2 minutes.  Because of his food allergies, he really couldn’t eat anything there and didn’t want to eat any of the soft foods that I brought him so later I ordered him white rice from a Thai restaurant.  I couldn’t believe he was like sitting there shoving rice into his mouth after having portions of his body removed.  Then the two of us got to spend the evening together – the two of us in a hospital bed.  He did a lot of talking in his sleep, but hardly any snoring…

We went home in the morning and they told us to keep him out of school for a week while he recovers.  The first few days home were So Good, he was almost completely normal.  Things started to take a turn for the worse around day 5 when he began to get a lot of referred ear pain along with some very uncharacteristic mental breakdowns.  Like the kind where he sobs and screams so much that he starts hyperventilating at a rate that won’t allow him to speak, and it just continues and continues until he falls asleep or something.  I still have to stay on top of his Tylenol, if I don’t he’ll freak out over the ear pain and you can see it coming, he’ll suddenly look deathly tired and he’ll start to kind of touch his ears a bit and then the meltdown is only moments away – just hope you’re not out in public.

His sleep has been no different yet, but they said it could take a week or two.  His voice sounds slightly different.  To me it’s a bit higher and more clear.

So I’ve been home with him for the past 3 days on my own.  Monday, we took Bennett to daycare – that was key.  Tuesday, I had to bring Bennett in to the doctor late morning because he has a mysterious rash on his junk.  The entire morning those two boys did their best to drive me insane.  Harrison would cry and then stop, and then Bennett would cry and then stop, and then they’d fight over a toy and both cry, and then Bennett would come running over to me and tug on me until I picked him up, and Harrison would yell for more juice, and demand to watch something stupid on tv, and Bennett would empty a bin of toys all over the kitchen floor, and then throw a snack and step all over it, and then the boys would be fighting again… which led me to washing my face and hair in the kitchen sink while all that was going on because I looked Bat Shit Crazy.  I’m growing out my bangs so they’re in this weird middle length and I still have a ton of baby hairs that are still growing so the entire front of my head just has hair that sticks straight up – anyhow I look nuts.  We finally made it to Bennett’s appointment, Harrison insisted on coming with us.  The second the doctor walked in Bennett started wildly screaming.  Anyhow, we got ointments eventually.  I thought to myself – surely, it can’t get worse than that.  Then Wednesday arrived.  I had to take both kids to two different doctors back to back in the morning.  It totally got so much worse!!  8am the three of us set out, 8:45 Harrison had to go to followup with his ENT after some bleeding (he’s totally fine).  The kids banged on the massive fish tank and opened and shut the fish tank stand doors 50000 times in a row, and then in the exam room they ran in circles and touched everything there was to touch while both tried to climb up my legs.  Then we got back into the car, drove less than a mile and got to the 10am allergist appointment for Bennett.  The kids fought in the waiting room over toys at least 10 different times.  Harrison finally had it and just sat down on the floor with his arms crossed and yelled “BENNETT I WAS PLAYING WITH THAT!!!” and they took us into the exam room… where they continued to be even more insane.  While the doctor was talking to me the kids were moving chairs back and forth against a hard floor so basically it was like SWEEEAAK SWEEEEEAK SWEEEEAK for like 20 minutes straight.  Harrison wouldn’t stop talking, Bennett kept hitting me in the head or biting me – all while laughing maniacally.  He bit me like 6 times!  WTF.  Anyhow, both appointments were totally worth the effort but Sweet Jesus, I’m never doing that again.  We dropped Bennett off at school after that – I might have thrown him out of the moving vehicle with his lunch taped to his body as I sped away.  Later, Harrison had an epic meltdown over something trivial and he punched and hit his bed for like 10 minutes and then I had to physically bear hug him to get him to calm down and sleep while he cried, hyperventilated and tried to tell me something but couldn’t get it out (I imagine it was: LIFE ISN’T FAIR!)

Anyhow… I basically have no idea what is happening in the world outside of my house and Whole Foods.

IMG_0964 These kids like to keep me on my toes.

Today, Bennett got sent home from school with hand foot and mouth – the saga continues!

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One of My Fears

Back when I had Harrison 3 1/2 years ago, I decided that I would go back to work after my maternity leave ended.  I hadn’t really established solid career experience yet and I felt that it was important that I gain more so that if I ever did decide to stay home that I’d have a decent resume later.  It was something that I really struggled with the first year of Harrison’s life because there were just So Many challenges with that kid and everything was so stressful and we had a stupid dog that was just too much bat-shit-crazy.  I can’t even verbalize how hard that first year with him was, but we all made it through and it got easier.  Then Bennett came along and I thought about career vs. being at home again, and again decided that I should return to work but for other reasons.  This time it was because I wanted to keep my kids in their school – Harrison thrives at the school we have him in and he has really wonderful friends, and because of Harrison’s great experience I wanted Bennett to have that too.  I just couldn’t imagine myself being at home and trying to teach my kids stuff like colors and the alphabet and songs and stuff all day long while also trying to keep the house from falling down and my sanity.  Not to mention the financials of it – I still have college loans that I’m paying off.

As far as my career goes, I’m fully established at this point and in that respect I know that I made the right decision.  Both of the kids really enjoy going to school 4 days a week and they enjoy seeing Nana and Papa 1 day a week.  Nobody cries at drop-off and everyone is happy to come home at pick-up.  For the kids, it’s really a good balance.  It’s expensive as hell but that’s really just how it is for us – it’s a good school that couldn’t get any more convenient in location.

The other day, someone came over my house and this woman likes to talk.  A Lot.  We have an arrangement so she comes and cleans our house once a month.  Anyhow, in the first 5 minutes of her arrival she was living my biggest fears.  She stayed home after having twins 16 years ago, never worked at all, and now Needs to get a job for various reasons and she has no resume, no skills, no experience in any kind of work place and is in her late 40s.  There are so  many things working against her.  She’s going to lose her house, she’s in the middle of an ugly divorce, and really she lives in a weird alternate reality where she thinks she can just get like My Job.  Literally.  Her father knows someone who works high up at a competitor of ours and she’s just kind of talking to them about becoming my job description.  So I sat there and gave her a background of what she would need to do etc., and by the end of the conversation it was completely evident to me that this woman was in serious trouble and the worse part is that she really had no idea.  I suggested that she take some classes in Microsoft Office so she can at least get up to speed and be able to reference that in an interview or a resume, and she kind of shot that down – but she’s never used Excel before… I don’t even know, like I’m not sure what kind of skills she plans on presenting to have.  But really, that’s my fear that I’d be out of the work place for so long that I’d be too out of touch and out of skill to get back in.  I mean what if something happened and I didn’t have a resume or any skills or experience and I had to support my family somehow?  That’s scary.  Clearly, I could get an entry level job and try to work my way up but can that support a family?  I don’t think so.  OMG my anxiety throbs for this woman.

So anyhow, now I work full time and the kids are in the care of others from 8am-5pm during the work week.  I don’t really have that “mom guilt” that others seem to experience but like I said, we love their school, they love their teachers and their friends, so really everyone is happy at the end of the day.  I get to bring home a paycheck and I’m somehow still able to juggle laundry, grocery shopping, dry cleaning pickups, and the multiple doctor’s appointments that kids seem to need.  It’s a crazy life, but right now it’s the right one for me.  I’m probably lucky that I don’t have those pulsating regrets of not being there for my kids.  I mean, I’m there.  I’m there in the middle of the night when they need me, I do breakfast and dinner and bath time, and story time, and building houses, and finding monsters, and playing storm troopers, and applying eczema medicine, and changing peed on sheets, and keeping the house full of snacks and yogurt, so really I’m like THERE.  What’s not really there is my own life – I don’t see friends that often or get out of the house all that much or go on vacations, but I think I don’t care that much about that stuff either.

Truly, I know that everyone does what is best for them and their families.  I’m just glad that I made the choices that I did.

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