I love Mondays; I know I am going to receive public censure for actually saying this out loud and in so public a venue, but I so not have it in me to be a SAHM. I have done it, and did well at it, but after my divorce 5 years ago, I was forced back into the workforce and a whole new vista opened up to me. We aren't talking about getting a job at my local McDonald's (not that there is anything wrong with that, you understand, and a lot right-I mean, they get benefits!), but a real job. An 8-5, M-F job-which, with four kids, I really need. I need to be home on weekends and in the evenings. Anyway, I digress. I have a job that I actually love, and I really think I would go crazy if I were in a position to stay home with the kids. All but one are in school, which I will be the first to admit makes a difference; if I had three or four younger than kindergarten, I might feel differently. But as it is, with just the toddler at home, I would go fucking nuts.
That said, I will also go on to say that we had a most excellent weekend. My older two were both gone for the weekend-because, of course, they are teens, and ANY house is better than theirs-so it was just the 8 year old and the 2 year old and myself, and it was actually quite lovely. I can't say that we did anything especially exciting, but it was still a nice change. Quiet, for one thing-relatively speaking, of course, but no older siblings with which to fight, no arguments between the two oldest, just-quiet. Usually, by Sunday night, I am going so crazy that it is a relief to know that I get to go to work on Monday morning, but not so this morning. Instead, even knowing that within a few hours I would be going nuts, it was hard to say goodbye to Owen at daycare, and also hard to let go of that brief moment in time where everything was just right. I get these moments, sometimes days, where everything seems okay, even GOOD, and it is so hard to just enjoy them while they last, take every possible second of joy and peace and love, and make it my own. And when I DO manage to do that, well, everything just feels so much better, brighter.
And the funny thing is, we didn't do anything special; it was just a normal weekend, filled with normal weekend activities. It was fairly warm and windy, though, so I got to hang clothes outside on the line to dry, and we were also able to do some yard work. Owen has a little wheelbarrow and rake set, so he and Sam "helped' me rake leaves and clean up the yard, or at least start on it. On Sunday morning, I had a bit of a problem with Steve, Owen's dad, but even that felt like it will work itself out without my help. I got to make pumpkin bread and some cookies, and even put in a chicken to bake. When Hannah and Eli got home, they were both in good moods, glad to be home, and even (gasp!) willingly went outside and played with the little boys. We all ate in the living room (bad, yeah, whatever) while we watched "Sweeney Todd," though Sam had to close his eyes a lot of the time. Baths and bedtimes for the two little ones while the two big ones cleaned up the dinner dishes and the kitchen, and then quite suddenly it was time for ME to go to bed.
Still and all, it is always a relief to get back to work. I love my kids beyond all reason, but I am self-aware enough to know that I am a much better mom when I get to go outside the home and be an adult. I might feel differently if I had a husband or partner; I mean, it IS hard to be a single parent, and that in part is why it is so important for me to be someone besides just a mom. I don't think I would feel differently, though. And the feelings of needing to talk to adults and be "Kori" instead of "mom" are universal to EVERY mother I know, whether she stays at home or NOT (though, okay, insert your own name where mine is, right?). There are days when I am really torn between needing/wanting to be home with my kids and HAVING to go to work in order to provide for them. When O. isn't feeling well, I have to weigh the options carefully; yes, I know that even if he isn't ILL, sometimes he needs his mommy, and those are the days when I wish I had the option of staying home with him because he needs me. As it is, my need to provide financially 100% of the time is just as important. When push comes to shove, obviously the kids take first priority, but it isn't always an easy decision.
So I got everyone off to school and daycare and myself to work, on time, and immediately became immersed in my job. I love what I do, I love the person it has taught me I can become, and I love he fact that at 5:00 tonight, I am going to put down whatever I am working on, leave it on my desk, and go home to be a mom. I really and truly have the best of both worlds.