Friday, January 01, 2010
The past year has been a wonderful one for me, but at the same time, the last three months since I went back to work have been incredibly stressful. I have spent most of the days exhausted, constantly apologizing to the people I love the most for being so grouchy, so irrational, so irritable all the time.
I know that this is all normal. This is life for a working mother. I know that it's supposed to get better with time. But throughout the fall as I got deeper and deeper into it, my heart began screaming at me that this is not the life I want. We didn't have a child so that we could turn her over to someone else to raise for us. I missed her so desperately, and I especially missed something I am just beginning to understand: mothering. So in 2010 that won't be my life anymore. I am going to slow down - way down.
The experiment starts next week. I am going to be a part-time worker. And I'll have four wonderful days a week at home with the Little Pea. We have found an amazing nanny for the other days, and my mom is also going to take on some child care.
I don't kid myself that starting next week, I'll get back all the time I miss so much for knitting yoga, meditation, reading, writing, designing and having lots of grown-up time alone with HWWLLB. But maybe I'll get just a little of that back, and boy will I be grateful for whatever moments I do get.
Mostly what I'll get is to be with our little girl more than I'm at work. She'll get to be with me more than with child care providers. Maybe I'll be the one who hears her say "mama" for the first time.
The challenge is going to be staying slowed down. Resisting the urge to cram twice as many chores, projects and commitments into my life since I'm technically working less.
I know that a lot of you have been through all this, and made lots of different decisions for yourself and your families, and I respect all of you and your choices very much. I am so curious about how other moms and dads have been able to resist the busy-ness in order to just be with your children and be their mom (or dad). Do you take them along and integrate them into your work or projects? Do you carve out sacred time with them when nothing else is allowed to interrupt? Do you just wing it and hope for the best?
In the end, I guess what I need to slow down for the most is to find out who I am now. I know that I'm not the same person I was a year ago at this time. I can see that there are lots of things I have taken on - but what I really wonder about is what do I have to just let go of, and leave behind?