A Balancing Act, Circus-Style

Three weeks of vacation with the kiddies is over.  Busy, busy, busy, we were.  I’m not sure if we stuck to any of the plans we made, and some days were, ahem, longer than others, but we had fun, my boys and I.

This is the part of my vacation where I send major props out to all the Mommies, Daddies, Nannies (Mannies?) and caregivers who stay home with their babies all day.  It’s hard work.  Like, really hard work.  Like, you should get paid a buttload of money for what you do kind of work.  It’s something I’m certainly not cut out for doing full-time (insert “I love my kids BUT” comment here…!)

A typical day at home over the last three weeks included any combination of the following: crying, barfing, spilling, wiping, eating, crying, screaming, whining, hitting, slapping, hugging, story-telling, dropping, poking, scratching, bleeding, shouting, kissing, licking, pooping, changing, running, falling……should I go on?  I’ll let you try to figure out who did what 🙂

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to being back at work.  Work is where I get to drink a whole coffee in one sitting.  I get to go to the bathroom by myself, and I get to eat real food and not my kids’ leftovers.  I get to dress up in clean clothes, not break a sweat and nobody sticks their fingers up my nose.  It’s heavenly.

But, on the flip side, I gotta say I’ve got some cool kids.  There were a lot of nice things about spending so much time with them.  It was almost like I got to know them a little better, you know, their real personalities.  It sounds terrible I know, but it’s true.  When you work all day, you miss out on a lot of good stuff.

Often, at the end of the work day, we come home to kids who are cranky, hungry and don’t want to have baths or go to bed.  These are not the good times.  The good times are watching your baby learn to say new words (“poop” and “snack” this week….) and watching your kids interact.  I watched how Griffin looks out for his little brother by hiding things he deems a safety hazard for little feet or hands.  I watched Jace lift his arms up to his big brother to help lift him over 80lbs of lazy dog when he couldn’t find a way around him.  It was like watching animals in their natural environment 😉

A few cell phone pics to sum up our vacay…

(Lyndsay’s note: What’s cuter than little boys in white tank tops??)

I’m happy I got to spend that much time with my babies, but I’m also glad to be back at work.  Can’t we have it all?  Is there a balance here somewhere?  A 50/50?

What’s your work time to child time ratio?  5 days at work, 2 days home?  Something different?  I’d love to hear what your situation is; I need to start finding some harmony.  I feel like I’ve got a lot of balls in the air right now and one’s about to fall….

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4 thoughts on “A Balancing Act, Circus-Style

  1. I think I am getting closer to balance!!! For a few years (also know as the years when we had one child), I couldn’t imagine WANTING to work instead of being home with him doing art, play-doh, blocks, songs, endless books, stickers, and fun play dates (yes, he was – and still is into those things). But – I HAD to for financial reasons. I also didn’t love my job. Fast-forward a couple of years to colicky baby #2, who seems to have come to us from another world with his spontaneous, dangerous, dare-devil, non-stop energy, messy, dump-his-spaghetti-on-the-floor-and-dance-in-it personality. Combine that with a job that I disliked even more, sheer exhaustion from a rough first year with #2, and some maturity on my part to realize that it’s time that I do what “I” want to do for once. (yep, that probably sounds selfish) What do I do for balance now? What works for us – I gave up the 9-to-5 thing and started my own small business that allows me to work from home, doing what I have done as a hobby for years, and with flexible hours… so 3 days a week, the boys go to daycare (sometimes twice a week if there’s a stat holiday) and they get to be home with me the rest. For us, it’s magic. I have wayyyy more patience than I did, they get the joy of seeing their friends a couple days a week (like giant playdates!) and the big brother gets a chance to do some of the things there that we just can’t at home anymore because the little one eats the playdoh, climbs onto the table to “help” with the markers, eats the stickers, throws the blocks at our heads, and rips the books in half. So, on the days they are home I get to focus entirely on them and whatever we feel like doing that day that will work for both ages and patience levels. Maybe sometime soon I will even start to make a bit more money in my business, because I’d sure like to continue this little plan of ours! I think it’s good to be honest with ourselves and find that magic combination that works for your family. I think I’ve found it… and I’m happier than I think I’ve been in a few years!

    • It sounds like the best fit for you right now, and I think that’s all you can ask for. There’s no such thing as a perfect arrangement with kids, but finding the balance or harmony is essential. Your comment makes me feel like I need to do a post on why women feel selfish when they do things that benefit themselves – why is this?? Grrrrr! I’m happy that you’re happy though, that in itself is an achievement 🙂

  2. I used to work full time, double time (two jobs). I NEVER thought I was cut out for the “stay-at-home-mommy” thing…but I LOVE IT. ON the other hand, I hated my job, HA 🙂

    Sometimes I wish I had a career. Ya know, having money would be nice. BUT, I do feel blessed to raise my kids the way I want them raised or TRY to raise. I believe a balance between work and being at home is impossible. At least for normal people!

    • Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to stay home with our kids and not feel guilty about having a “real” job?! Being a parent is THE hardest job…if only we could be paid for doing it!!!!

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