Sunday, September 21, 2008

Perspective is in the House

Sometimes when I am in my most bitter moments lamenting my lack of free time, my lack of me time and my general lack of time, I forget that this is not forever.

Someday these adorable little kids who are driving me so nuts right now will actually grow up. They will be 13 and sassy. They will 16 and driving away from me. And they will be 18 and leaving for college.

"Have a kid and you will suddenly realize how quickly time is passing," R often says. And how true. I have never been so aware of what a year means until I watched Sam go from larvae to person in 12 months, unfolding like a butterfly before our eyes. Everyday she gets more independent, her favorite word is "no" and yet she is still my baby, at least for a little bit. But not forever.

This article in the Times reminded me this morning just how fleeting these moments are. The baby that seems so needy right now will sleep through the night, he will leave our bed and he will want to wean. The toddler who needs me to wipe her nose now will soon be tying her own shoes, running out the door and rolling her eyes when I ask her to slow down.

As much as I look forward to them being five and six when they will appreciate corn mazes, fall festivals and apple picking, I also know that when they are those ages, I will no longer see the seven-week-old or the 20-month-old who drive me so crazy, but also make me want to cry with their sweetness--the warmth of their tiny bodies, the tired eyes and tiny smiles Sam gives when she is ready for bed and wants just one "mo boo." I will miss them so much.

I think being overwhelmed with work these past few weeks has highlighted just how much I miss when I am so stressed and overloaded. This is a hard enough time already and the last thing I want to do is overwhelm myself and wish it away. I will never get it back. No one knows this better than me.

And so I have decided to take some time off work from mid-Oct. to at least November. I will only do the regular work I have that comes to me rather than actively seeking new opportunities. For at least the next couple months I am going to focus solely on the kids and the work I already have.

I know I have always said I can't be a stay at home mom alone and that is still true. But I don't think it is fair to my kids, myself or my work to feel like I am drowning all the time. I already decided this, but still needed some perspective and this article gave it to me. I only get 18 years with these kids and even on my worst days, I am well aware that there is nothing more important than them. And so I have decided to give into that truth for a little while. They need me and I want to give them all of what they need, not some exhausted, stressed version of it.


Lis Garrett said...




If I could have one wish granted, it would be to spend a day with each of my kids as brand new babies just holding them and loving them. I especially feel I missed out on Jacob as an infant because I was caring for Hannah and because he was a difficult baby. I just want one day for them to sleep on my chest and curl their little fingers around mine. I can't remember them that tiny infants anymore, and it breaks my heart . . .

I almost cried last night while looking at a Thomas the Train toy catalog that Jacob had brought home from the store. Thomas has been part of our lives for almost 5 years, and Jacob is now giving them up for Pokemon and Webkinz and more "big boy" toys. I swear it was only yesterday he was obsessing about the newest train, and now he's obsessing about how many Pokemon cards he can collect.

Wahh . . . .

Jim said...

You've got a great attitude. Enjoy your kids while you can. They grow up too fast, but you'll always have those memories.