Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Little Dancer

So, I have officially watched my daughter in her first performance. The studio performed at my great aunt's assisted living home this weekend, and it was pretty darn precious. As you will see, Mia was a little disoriented at the beginning, and the cuteness of it brought tears to my eyes! I know that I watched the entire song with a goofy-looking grin on my face. She loves to watch it on video and sing along with herself.'s only just begun...and I love it!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Both Sides of the Coin

So, I feel like I have had the unusual blessing of experiencing three different work/kid scenarios. First off, for two school years, I was a teacher and dance team director. So, that was a full-time (plus some) job. Mia was in preschool every school day. It was really hard. I missed her in a way that I didn't know I would. While I enjoyed teaching, I felt like a piece of me was sitting about 4.5 miles away and I did not know what that piece was doing. Sure, I called every day on my lunchbreak that first year (while simultaneously pumping and watching Days of our Lives...I know you are impressed). But it never felt good when I would leave her in the mornings. Since I was teaching, I had summers off, so I did not have to take her to preschool and I was able to wear the stay-at-home-mom hat. I could pretend, for about two and a half months, that play-dates and afternoon swims were possible. And while I loved every minute of the past two summers, I knew that we could not afford for me to not work. So, I now have a job where I take my kids with me. They spend time in their respective classes (Mia more-so than Cole...he ends up on my hip about half the day) and I spend time in the office or helping teachers or doing other administrative duties. I know what a gift this job has been. Because while it is frustrating in many ways, I have my babies with me. I can see what they are doing at any moment. Two pieces of me are not 4.5 miles away, they are about 25-50 feet away.

But I think that I have the perspective to understand both sides of motherhood. For working moms, it is hard. Really, really hard. Not being with them all day and leaving them in someone else's care is uncomfortable and disconcerting. What if one chokes? What if one gets so upset that he can't sleep, and only mommy can comfort him? The good side of working is how thrilled you are to see them afterwards. And, even if it is not always pleasant (remember, I taught 9th graders), work gives moms a break. All moms need a break. Sure, the house cleanliness may suffer, but the time you do have with your children is order to make up for the lack of quantity.

Staying home is also tough. There were days this summer, with a 2 year old and a newborn, that we didn't even make it out of the house. And Chris would come home, and all I would want to do was go anywhere...go get gas in the car in 105 degree heat...just to escape for 5 minutes. There are times that you become resentful of the fact that you can't get a shower or a nap or a meal. Kids are needy, and your one, sole job is to fulfill their needs. So, I get that staying at home is a job. It is not not working. And many of the parents at our preschool are stay-at-home moms who bring their kids a few days a week in order to get a much needed break.

And then there is the third option - working with the kids. It is, like I said, a complete gift. And I would not trade it for anything right now. But, I also realize that it does not allow me the chance to miss them. It is just a part of adjusting to a new lifestyle and a new normal. And we are getting there...but I sure could use a trip to the mall (with money to spend, of course) solo! :)