When I worked (at home) 4 days a week I just wished I could get some face time with coworkers. I felt like I was going crazy. So I gave up having a third day with my family each week in order to gain back some not-working-in-a-room-in-my-house sanity. And now... I don't know. Now I just find myself calculating how much of Etta's awake time is spent with me each week versus her (amazing, lovely, just most wonderful so don't get me wrong because I love this lady) babysitter.
I was chit chatting with an exceptionally cool stay at home mama friend just yesterday about the moms we read online. The ones I read as if their lives were fantasy novels, the way my grandma used to read books featuring Fabio on the cover (I always smile remembering my grandma, Etta's namesake), anyways, the ones I dream of are stay at home moms. Some of them are more real than others. Some make it look like a dream and make me wish I took more pictures and staged prettier moments. Others tell it like it is and make me laugh with their tales of life with crazy, unpredictable, delightful, challenging kids. But the one thread that runs through almost all of the moms I read is that they all have stories of weekdays at the park and everydays just momming around.
Life is such a balance. I'm not sorry I need to be a working mom. There is a real part of me that enjoys having a successful career and takes pride in all of the achievements I've made in that world. There is a real part of me that knows we are doing this right now so that Rob can have a really great career starting in just a few years and then maybe I will take a year or two myself, to follow my dream, and mom around with Etta before she is full time in school, volunteer at Otto's elementary, and home school both of them for just a little while.
For now, I think having this ache in my heart to have more time with them just makes me appreciate the time we do have. The last few weeks they have been on a roll as far as making me crazy goes. Ha. You know, they are amazing, fierce-hearted, hilarious kids with big personalities and lots of demands and lots of chaos that falls in their wake and for whatever reason chaos gives me anxiety right down in my bones. Etta especially just gets right to my core with her zero-to-exasperated yells. I will do anything to keep her from chewing me out. She makes me feel like a cowboy dancing while another cowboy shoots at his feet, often. Hahaha, I love that she is a Sheera. I really do. Still, the raw nerves and general anxiety I have built up by their bedtime is sometimes so overwhelming I just laugh. How can I feel this crazy? But I think the crazy feeling is really a wish to have more of a handle on the time we have together. Trying to cram all of your most important moments into a few hours a day where you find yourself cleaning melon smashed into the floor and picking up four thousands scraps of torn paper (because tearing and distributing paper scraps about the house is the thing these days) and making a nutritious meal and then sitting down to it only to be asked for a cup of water that you'd just offered and been told "no I'm not really thirsty right now" moments before (for real, kid?) and returning to the table moments later to find Etta's food deposited on the floor and oh also could I please bring back some ketchup and also remembering to not act exasperated because they're just kids being kids and making sure to photograph the cute moments and remembering to appreciate it all as it's happening because this time will go too fast... it becomes impossible feeling.
My favorite hour from yesterday was laying on my bed with Etta just before putting her down in her crib for the night. I was reading her a random chapter from Flat Stanley and we were laying on our backs, side by side, and she was looking up at the pages and just listening and chilling out. After several minutes I carried her to her room, and before laying her down I just held her in my arms and we sang the ABCs about ten times in a row and she kind of hummed along. Bedtime and midnight wake ups are about the only times she will snuggle and I live for those times. Then I went back to my room where Otto was done with his bedtime with Daddy routine and waiting for his turn at bedtime with Mommy... I read to Otto from a different Flat Stanley book and we talked about his day a little bit and then I sung him a little Somewhere Over the Rainbow (realizing mid first verse that I don't know the words anymore). He's really into nighttime lullabies lately and wants me to learn Royals by Lorde which yikes, ha, we heard it on the radio and I guess now I'm taking requests. Then I deposited him in his bed which kind of woke Etta up so we did another couple rounds of ABCs, this time with Otto joining in... and it was just a long, drawn out bedtime and it was lovely.
I suppose the point of all this is putting all the wishes in perspective. Lately I have been wishing for invisalign braces and rock hard abs and a nice hair dye job and a shopping spree. I've been wishing I would swallow my fear and write a novel. I've been wishing for a weekend getaway or even just a less complainy/overwhelmed outlook on life. But the only real wish that I would make if I actually got a wish would be the ability to settle into this little life of mine and spend more time with my kids in a way that felt safe and sensible for my family. We'll get there. Three years will go by fast. They'll still be little. And in the mean time I will appreciate the shit out of every crazy-making moment I get with those two little magic people that I am lucky enough to call my kiddos.