Saturday, June 12, 2010

Finding time to be the mom I want to be

A couple week nights ago we had a breakthrough.  Mari said, "why don't you just quit your job and stay at home with the kids, seriously."
After years of lobbying, maybe complaining, I finally found the button to push: I suggested that I may have more time for sex if I didn't work so much.  Yes, that was the magic ticket.  It came as he accused me of never wanting it.  Which was pretty insulting because we make love more than any kidded couple I know.  Twice a week is better than any of his poker buddies and better than even some of my friends w/o kids.
"I'm just tired," I said.  I woke up at 6am because the baby came in to the room asking for milk.  Then I fixed the kids breakfast, and made and packed their lunches.  I didn't sit down all evening, I planted veggies in the garden, made dinner, gave the kids a bath, played with them, put them to bed, prepared their lunch for the next day with homemade fresh almond milk and gluten free cookies, updated my blog, tidied up a bit, and headed to bed around 11.  Maybe life wouldn't run so late into the evening if I didn't have that 9.5 hour work day in the middle of it.
When I got to bed I was tired, and Mari brought up the evils of communist politics, which literally put me to sleep.
It seems like I don't have time to be the type of mom that I want to be.
So with Mari's adamant endorsement of SAHM, I felt pretty empowered.  He had historically been against the idea - stemming from his own experiences with his mom being a SAHM:
1.  Money: his family had it tough on only one income
2.  Over involvement: Having his mom in his business all day everyday made him take her for granted
I come from the other side of the spectrum with two full time work-a-holic parents.  And I honestly did not even contemplate staying at home with my baby.  I just didn't think that educated women did that.  How dumb and ignorant I was.
So now I spoke to my boss, and I'm actually getting a couple days at home with the kids, even though I still have to make 40 hours a week by calling into meetings from home and working at night.  It will be tough, but she wanted me to at least try keeping full time at first and see if I could manage before committing to part time.
I am getting so excited thinking about the things to do with them on our days together: a daily Portuguese lesson, a weekly trip to the elderly community, arts and craft projects... It is going to be wild, and ummmm... challenging as GirlFriend is not quite the complacent little angel she was a month ago, and LittleMan is always... a sweet wild boy.  But I think more quality outdoors time will bring better mutual understanding between all of us on boundaries.  So I will better gauge the appropriate way to corral them from one activity to the next, and they will better understand my cues.  Here's to hoping.

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