2013/12/23

It's all about balance

It's Christmas Eve Eve today.  As I begin this post I am feeding Denver who is still in his pjs while I allow Annie her time to wake up & orient herself after a long late nap. She remains in her pjs too - it is 4:44 PM (don't shake your head too hard in disdain - I have planted the seed in her mind that she is going to have to change out of them...).  


As you can tell by the scene presented to you productivity around this joint has been kinda low today.  We've organized closets & sorted through things to give away in anticipation of the Christmas deluge from loving family members.  Annie has been beyond excited with the anticipation & I have been casually getting stuff ready for our Christmas gatherings with dear ones over the next few days. We've managed to watch one Christmas movie in its entirety which is something for the three of us.

I've also come to the realization that in a little over a week the holidays will be behind us & a week after that I will go back to work.
 

Denver is closing in on 10 weeks old.  That is hard to believe.  Everyone tells you before you have your first baby that the time will fly by & that they grow so fast - this is something you don't fully understand until you experience it firsthand but it does.  The second time around you know it's going to happen but it still sneaks up on you.
 
I'm not going to lie - the first couple of weeks after he arrived are kind of a blur looking back. Hormones, lack of sleep, & the wonderment of a new little person in the house make the days & nights mesh together in one hazy fog. I will say this though - this time around everything went much faster - delivery, recovery, and routine. By the middle of the second week I was pleasantly surprised that I felt like myself & had adjusted to having two kiddos to care for.

 
I also realized at this point in time that I'm not cut-out for being a stay-at-home mom.  
 
 
I love my children & can honestly say every day I am more thankful to God that I am blessed with these two precious littles.  Annie is sweet, kind, & helpful - I couldn't ask for better kid.  Denver is a pleasant little guy with few demands beyond regularly being fed & put in a clean diaper.  I am really grateful for each minute I'm given with them.

 
However, as my maternity leave starts to wind down I have to admit in a small way I am ready to get back to work. It is going to be hard & there will be tears for awhile (mine not theirs) but it really is what is best for our family.  No, I'm not saying that just based on finances - we could make budget cuts & sacrifices to live on Philip's salary if we REALLY wanted to.  I'm saying it based on the fact that I am a better wife & mother because I work.  
 
Why? I appreciate the time I am with my family more.  I've noticed while being off work that I am more distracted, less patient, & not as "present" all the time.  I read an article a few months before I had Denver about how a lot working moms really do get as much "quality" time with their kids as stay at home moms because they make it a priority.  I can honestly say that this is true for me.  There have been many days that I have gone to bed and wondered how Philip & Annie's days went because I really forgot to ask or listen to them talk about it.
 
When I am working I make a concentrated effort to spend specific time focused on them when we are together.  I take for granted that I have so much time at home during the day then realize I didn't take advantage of the hours I actually had with Annie or our family together as a whole.  With Denver I get distracted doing the tasks of caring for an infant & forget to soak in the preciousness of his developing personality & growth.  Philip, bless his heart, rarely gets a proper greeting when he comes in the door because I generally have a baby for him to hold or a child I need him to occupy while I finish something up or run to the bathroom.

Being a mom is hard work & I want to do the best I can at it.  I don't want my kids to see me as someone who was cranky or pre-occupied with other things.  I want them to view me as someone who listened, paid attention to, & valued them.  I want them to enjoy being around me.  Working helps me be that person.
 
I love my job and work hard at it for the 36 hours a week I am there (I very rarely work extra).  Annie goes to an outstanding pre-school & is loved and cared for by her teachers there & then spoiled by the two fun babysitters she has that fill the gap between school & when I get home.  Denver will be staying in a loving home with a friend of mine from church while I am at work.  At any time during the day I can check on any of my loves thanks to the wonderful cell phone & unlimited messaging.  

Stay-at-home moms do the most important work & it is difficult work.  I applaud all who do it and am aware that I am unable to - but I'm okay with that because at the end of the day I truly appreciate my family, am able to give them the attention & care they deserve, & we all go to sleep loved.
 








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I'm blessed with fun days, happy moments, & precious memories...this is where I store some of them.