Monday, October 13, 2008

On Staying Home

Today was a rough day. It started early, like midnight. Evie woke up crying and nothing I did could calm her down. She didn't want to sleep in my bed, she wanted to be in her own bed. But being in her bed made her cry. I finally coaxed her into bed with Chris and I, where she tossed and turned all night. It made for very little sleep.

Still, she woke up bright and early just before 7:00 AM. We met friends for a play date and she did pretty well. That is, until we returned home. As soon as we made it through the door, she had a meltdown. A big one. I ended up sitting on the floor with Evie in my lap while she ate a stick of string cheese and cold pepperoni slices.

After her (short) nap, she was so clingy. It was just one of those difficult afternoons and evenings. She was cranky and needed constant attention. She cried a lot. It was all I could do not to lose my cool with her. Now she is finally in bed and I am completely exhausted.

It's hard being a mom. I hear a lot of stay at home moms talk about how hard this "job" is. They are right, of course. However, I have some perspective here.

I used to wake up at 5:00 AM so I could shower and get Evie ready. Chris and I would leave home and he would drive her to daycare. My heart ached every single day when his car turned and mine kept driving... away from her.

I would get to work, late again, where my impossible to-do list waited. I had endless meetings to attend, a line of people outside my door, and a BlackBerry that never stopped. I always left at least half an hour late each day, and screeched into the daycare parking lot to pick Evie up.

Then we would have only a few short hours left in the evening to play, eat, take a bath, and put my precious girl to bed. And then it started all over again. The only breaks we had in this routine were weekends and days when Evie was sick. Sick days were terrible because I felt guilty for calling in to work, and I felt guilty that I was thinking of work when my daughter was sick.

So, yes, being a stay at home mom is a hard job. But for me, being a working mom was even harder. Don't get me wrong, I liked my job. I still wish I could have a fulfilling career and be the mother I want to be. So many other mothers can balance both, but I simply could not.

And so I appreciate my wonderful husband who still gets up before 6:00 AM each morning to head to work. He drives a dreadful commute and works long hours. He has made huge material sacrifices so I can be home each day with Evie. Days like today just underscore the greatness of my husband. Chris is a great husband, partner, friend, provider, father, garbage-taker-outer, Diaper Genie emptier, lawn care crew, dog walker, baby toy, and laundry washer. He is truly a great man, and I am lucky to be his wife. I couldn't do this without him.

Thanks, Honey.


Rachel said...

Chris is wonderful, but you are great too! I always think you are such an amazing wife and mother. I hope when I have a child I'm as didicated as you are. I really admire you for all you do.

RE: McCain sign - I'm still holding onto hope that when you get into the "booth" you'll vote Obama. You don't even have to tell me you did it. It can be your own little secret! ;) HA!

Heather said...

I am certain he would have it no other way and feels EXACTLY the same about you.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

It IS a hard job, isn't it? Even with just one baby, I still work harder and much longer hours than any job I've ever had. And I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I really admire the mothers that can balance both - I tried the working from home thing when Savannah was a baby and it was exhausting, because I could never completely give all of my attention to work, or all of it to her - I was constantly split between the two.

Jen said...

I have a hard time, as well, imagining working with kids, and taht always makes me focus on how lucky I am to stay home -- because I would also be one that would not have an easy time of juggling both.

casual friday everyday said...

Amen! It is hard. Hardest job I've ever had BUT it's the best job...the only job I'd want. And we both have us some good hubby's don't we? :)

Anonymous said...

I agree being a MOM all together is the hardest yet most fulling job I've have ever had, unfortunately I do have to work outside the home. Great post, and I totally get "those" kinds of days.