No, I do NOT have a choice!

Opening sentences are so hard when all that comes to mind is “WAAAAAAAH! I want to stay home with my kids all the time!”

It’s not fair really. I thought women’s lib was supposed to give women the choice to stay home or work outside the home. It didn’t do that at all. Instead if forced a different ideal on us:

“Women should want a career”. I like working, don’t get me wrong, I just…like working for my family more. Although I like the paycheck my company gives me better than the one the family gives.

Man, if only the mortgage and electric companies accepted hugs and kisses. I’m rich in those. Although that would make them companies I’d feel weird doing business with.

Moving on and back to my point.

The last few days at home were stressful and needy and whiny and…sticky.

And wonderful.

I meant to put on the strong “Career Woman” face when I got back in the office today but it turns out? I’m brutally honest sometimes:

“So. Are you glad to be back?” My boss asks.

“Nope. Honestly, I wish I was home with the kids,” I answer. I don’t blame her for assuming I’d be screaming to head back. I said as much when I came back from maternity leave: “Man, after two weeks I was so bored!”

But here’s the thing: a 2 week old baby is way different than a near 6 month old infant. And Jaden spent most of my maternity leave at MIL’s because I didn’t want to eff up her routine too much.

These last three days (yes, there were only three and so it was all shiny and new but hear me out) were absolute bliss. Jaden tested me most of Monday but by Wednesday we were both helping each other and playing and singing to her brother using my 1 pound weights as microphones while she did a silly little dance I hammed it up with long held Vegas-style notes of “Don’t cryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!”. And Jonas was all eating his food and playing with his toys and laughing at me and asking me to hold him and listening to Jaden sing Matt’s song for Jonas: “Jonas, don’t you cry now, Jonas. Don’t you sigh now, Jonas. Jonas, don’t be sad anymooooore.”

*Sigh* and the cuddles. Several times I stopped play time and grabbed Jaden while I held Jonas on the other knee and held them both close and told them both how much I love them and how happy I am that I get to spend this time with them.

Wednesday night we did our taxes over at the in-laws (well, Matt did them while I vegged on the couch watching “Man Vs. Food” with FIL) and around 7:30 Jaden asked to put her jammies on. I helped her get them on and watched her wash her hands and I filled right up to the top with pride for her and what a big capable girl she’s become. I kept running out whispering, “She’s so cute!” and “I love her!” to the in-laws. She stayed up for a little longer, migrating between me in the living room and Matt in the office and eventually settled between me and the back of the couch and was soon fast asleep with her eyes half open in that creepy wizarding way she does sometimes.

Earlier in the evening, Jonas showed off his improved sitting skills for his grandparents and then laughed his full head off at his gramma’s antics. Then it came time for bed and I got to step in and instruct MIL on how he goes to bed. Nothing at all against her, it’s just that bedtime is Mommy and Daddy’s area of expertise. He was soon sound asleep and snoring loudly in his car seat.

They both woke up when we got home, of course, but fell asleep with another bottle for one and some extra cuddling in bed for the other.

I understand that parenting isn’t always such a beautiful and perfect thing. It’s hard and it tries your patience 40 times a day. But in these last few days I got to know my kids more than I’ve ever gotten to in just a weekend or the two hours I get during the weeknights. Forgive me for thinking that a parent shouldn’t have to chose between providing a good life for their kids and being able to enjoy it with them. I have no idea how to have both but if I could finagle a job where I could be home Saturday through Wednesday and work Thursday and Friday and still make what I’m making now–well, hell I’m dreaming here let’s make my check bigger, I ain’t making that much…Man, that’d be sweet.

I’m not picky about second shift, either. Or working from home. So, yeah, if anyone knows of a job like that, could you let me in on the secret? Because?

“WAAAAAAAH! I want to stay home with my kids all the time!”

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One Response

  1. I love the way you put it about womens lib. I’ve never quite been able to get my feelings about it into words without it sounding terrible but you managed to do it. I think it’s an issue not just of us being forced to work, but us growing up being taught to be consumers that always want more. Granted, inflation etc has a good deal to do with it, but we aren’t willing to sacrifice our lifestyle and our starter homes, eating out mostly when we want etc for pinching pennies. I’d love to stay home too, but two incomes is about my comfort level!

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