My mind has been all over the place lately. One day I want to go back to work. The next day I want to move to a farm, homeschool, and raise chickens. It is all rather predictable - whenever I have a baby, I start feeing this way. I always get the itch to move to a new house right around this time, too. Right when the baby starts crawling, we pick up and move.
We're renting our little beach house, and it is hard feeling unsettled. Like the landlords could raise the rent at any time (they just did). Or kick us out (could happen, too). There is a little bit of powerlessness that goes along with renting and I don't like feeling under anyone's thumb. On the other hand, there is freedom in renting, too. Should the rickety fence fall down...not my problem!
I have my own law practice very part-time. It's a transactional entertainment law practice. I have clients here and there, some famous...some not-yet famous. ;-) I actually really love the work but have been reluctant to take on more business because my number one priority at the moment is taking care of these kids. So when I do decide to take on a client, I end up squeezing in calls before the girls wake up or I stay up all night writing contracts into the very wee hours. I make it work, but it's a lot to juggle. I wonder about getting "help" - and increasing my practice or going to work officially at a law firm.
Part of me says that the kids are only little once, so stay home. Stay home...even when it seems like all we do is shuttle from activities, pack lunches, and change diapers. You know...the day-in, day-out routine of raising kids that is certainly not glamorous but yet is so fulfilling in a thousand intangible ways.
But then I see a dream-house for sale, and hear of friends closing fancy deals and dining out in fine restaurants on their lunch breaks (and I'm not talking McDonald's!)...and all of a sudden, I kind of long for that experience, too. The kind where I am financially contributing to our little family and the thought of buying a nice house in this incredibly expensive area of the country doesn't seem like such a distant pipe-dream.
It's probably a push-pull between my ego and my heart. My ego wants the big house and all the fancy stuff that goes with it. My ego wants someone else to take over once in awhile, when the house is a wreck and the kids are screaming and...when for the love, can I just go to the bathroom without an audience?
My heart wants to be here with my kids, even if it means we eat peanut butter sandwiches every week until infinity. Even if it means the only things I get accomplished in a day are keeping my kids fed and bathed...and sometimes not even bathed. When my work uniform is yoga pants and a t-shirt stained with spit-up.
I get frustrated with living in sweatpants and feeling like my biggest accomplishment of the day is getting Paprika to and from school on-time...when I used to accomplish so much pre-kids. If I could just take a shower and get my weight down, and get a handle on the mile-long to-do list in my head (like that basket of laundry that never seems to get put away), then I might feel less like somehow I'm failing everyone.
Not to say that I'm not happy. Because, I am happy! :-) I just guess that, like everyone, sometimes I second-guess if I am really doing everything I can in this life to live without regrets. If being home and making all the sacrifices we make for me to be home are really worth it.
And then sometimes it feels like this is the only choice I can make, really. Remember our sitter that we had coming once/week? Well, that isn't happening anymore. Last week (Saturday), we left for an hour and Ginger started screaming and would not stop. She did not want us to leave, and spent the whole time in the corner sobbing. Our sitter called us, and I couldn't quite understand her (she was speaking Spanish very rapidly)...so I raced home. The sitter was so shell-shocked that I don't think she wants to come back. Maybe we're not enough hours to make it worth her while, I don't know. But again, so even if I wanted to go back to work...how realistic is that? I can't have Ginger sobbing in the corner every day. I know she would get over it, but it still breaks my heart.
And bottom line, I would miss these girls too much. I understand that not everyone has the luxury to ponder working vs. staying home. I get that it's a pretty great problem to have. I just sometimes wonder the other what if side of things, and if me being home is really as beneficial to my kids and our family as I make it out to be. Could they be just as happy (or happier?) with a nanny, living in a big fancy house with me not being around so much?
I posed the question last night to Paprika and she started crying and said, "I don't want you to go to work! Let's get a big fancy house and you can stay home in it!" Clearly, she doesn't believe in compromise. ;-)
I go back and forth with these thoughts on a daily...no, hourly basis. But then I remember something like this day, when Ginger ate chocolate ice cream all by herself with a big spoon and I think, "what if I'd missed that?" Moments like these are etched forever in my memory, and they are more precious than gold.