Monday, September 23, 2013

Apple Pie or Applesauce?

Every day I wonder if there is any true balance between mom and dad working full time jobs and raising their kids successfully? Or will life always feel like I'm on a never ending carnival ride, you know the one with the boat attached at the bottom of a giant pendulum that swings back and forth? If I'm focused
at work, things at home are falling apart, and vice versa. I miss my kids when I work.

I didn't used to miss them. . . .I know that doesn't sound very motherly, but it's true. When they were babies I couldn't wait to get out of the house and away from being needed so much. Work wasn't work at all, it was a vacation from being mom. Which made me feel guilty because all I had ever wanted growing up was to be a stay at home mom. Then I had kids and realized I liked my reprieve away from home.

But the circumstances have changed. Hunter and Amy are little people now, who walk and talk and feed themselves and wipe their own bums. I don't find this age nearly as demanding as the baby stage. They're also learning so much. Amy just started Preschool, and this is Hunters first year of Kindergarten. He struggles with retaining information and we study and read together every day. I love reading with him and working with him. They love being in the garden helping plant and harvest, and they are wonderful helpers. When they were babies I had the hardest time getting anything planted because our yard is not fenced in and one of them was always wandering too far away. They love to help cook, Amy is my expert mixer and Hunter is my expert vegetable chopper. There are so many things to be enjoyed with them at this age, and the 2 days a week I am working away from home I feel like I'm missing it all.

I am so lucky to get to work from home 2 days a week, and the 2 days I don't get to work at home they have Mike, and my Mom and her Husband. I'm so grateful they are developing a great relationship with their Dad and Grandparents, and that we have been able to avoid putting them in daycare.Still, I feel like I could be such a more effective mom if I could be there every day of the week. I could focus all my energy on them and not be worrying about arranging schedules and babysitting, and stressing about work. When I'm gone their routine gets thrown off, I worry they won't brush their teeth, do their reading, go to bed early etc.

The hardest decision is knowing for sure if it would be worth it to turn our lives upside down for me to stay home. Especially when they'll both be in school full time after just 3 years. I've wracked my brain with so many crazy ideas on what would make it work. Obviously finances are the major hurtle in making it happen. Such empty ideas are we could sell our house and live in a really cheap apartment indefinitely. We could squeeze 6 Foreign UofU students into our house to make up for my lost income. But neither of these ideas seem very realistic. First of all I can't stomach leaving our neighborhood, I love the area we live in, good neighbors, safe, clean place. Secondly cramming 6 strangers into our house? I think that says it all.

Maybe I am too late, and I've sacrificed these years for the reprieve of working during the baby years. Had we not bought a house before we had kids and had I been adamant about staying home then, maybe it would have happened. But we are where we are and I can't redo the past. Right now I have to do the best I can with what I have, but I still hope for something better. That's not too much to ask I think, at least let me hope for sweet apple pie, while I do my best to enjoy my applesauce.


  1. I think it is fantastic that you get to go to work two days and be home with your kiddos for the others. Don't beat yourself up!
    What you said is 100% correct... they are building fantastic bonds with their dad and grandparents - the type of bonds my own kids won't have.
    My husband works and I stay home. We didn't plan it that way, but when baby #1 (almost 5) came along she was a total surprise. I was still in school (finished that up quick - getting a bachelors instead of a masters) and only working part-time. There wasn't enough time for me to get a full-time job so I ended up just leaving the workforce to stay home.
    Now we have two kids (#2 turned 1 this summer).
    I'm with you on the frustrations of baby-dom and the joy of when they can start helping and assisting. Night & Day!
    My husband works around 50+ hours a week... and helps his dad flip houses on Saturday mornings.
    My parents live four hours away (to their credit, they take the kids whenever we let them).
    Your kids are getting such a rounded up-bringing and your hard work is a great example for them that parents are never just one "thing".
    Enjoy your applesauce!
    (BTW, found you off of your comment on Matt Walsh's blog)

    1. Awe thanks so much for the support!