I have a horrible headache this evening, which really isn’t conducive to writing, but I also have this urge to write. So, here I am at my computer. I miss writing, so I’ve decided to write whenever I get the urge. And in this case, I have very little clue what I’m going to write about. So, here goes…
Ted and I have been very lucky in that, while we both work full time, we’ve managed not to spend most of our income on childcare. When the girls were born, Ted was working for Borders. Now he’s at Trader Joe’s. Working in retail means that he doesn’t work a typical 9-5 week. In fact, in our entire marriage, we’ve been lucky to have the occasional day off together. Now that we have the girls, his flexible schedule means that we only need part time childcare, so we pay someone to come to the house. When the girls were tiny, my younger sister watched them about 20 hours a week. Currently, we have a babysitter that watches them 10 hours a week. I feel so lucky that we are both able to have our careers AND the girls get to be with one of us virtually full time. Mad props to you parents who have to get your kids ready for daycare before work. I can barely get myself ready.
There are a lot of wonderful perks to one of us being with the girls, and I am so grateful that we are able to make this work, but it does come with it’s drawbacks. For example, Ted and I rarely have days when we are both home all day. We have family mornings or family evenings, but no real family days except in the summer. Ted solos wake-up 5 days a week and getting the girls to school twice a week. I solo bedtime 3 nights a week, wake-up 1 morning a week, and getting the girls ready for dance class. Of course, these are all normal parenting things that many parents do on their own regularly. But sometimes….it’s just so hard. Sometimes you just want to drink a cup of coffee while it’s hot. Or maybe you have a raging headache but there’s no one to read the Pigeon books over and over but you. For us, the solo parenting is the norm, and it can be really exhausting.* Sometimes, we just need a break, and it’s virtually impossible to get one with the way our schedules work. There’s no one to tag in when you need a moment.
This is sounding very whiny. I swear I’m not whining. Yes, I wish that we could have more family time with all of us together, but I am so grateful that we have the arrangement we do have. I’m just having one of those days where I was exhausted before the day even started, my head is pounding, and I miss my parenting partner. Sometimes I just feel mopey about the time Ted and I miss out on for each other. Sometimes I want to have dinner as a family. Sometimes I just want someone else to put the girls to bed.
But then, even on the hardest days, when the house gets quiet, my heart swells with joy at the thought of my beautiful, goofy daughters. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not amazed that they are here and that I’m their mom. And now I’m teary. Clearly, this madness that is my life is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Yes, it’s hard…but it’s supposed to be hard, right? The hard is what makes it great.**
*All parenting is exhausting. I can only speak honestly about what my parenting life is like, though.
**Except when my head is throbbing and one child is screaming in her bed because the other child got out of bed and bit her. Then, it’s not so great.