Thursday, July 16, 2009

Playing Hookie

You may have been able to tell from the sporadic posting lately that I have been trying to take time off this summer to spend with my kids. No big blocks of time, just a day here or a day there. I have to say again, I LOVE SUMMER time with the kids. There's so much of "them" that I get to see. The older they get, the more their little personalities begin to chisel themselves out.

My daughter had a musical play yesterday for summer school, so I took a half day off so I could cheer for her. She did great, of course. Her little toothless grin is priceless. Once I kissed everyone goodbye, I was off to work. When I was almost there, I realized that I forgot my breast pump and would have to turn around and drive all the way back home. I couldn't bare to drive an hour home only to come all the way back and do it again a few hours later. I called my boss and explained what happened and asked to take a vacation day. Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like explaining your breast pump fiasco to your male boss. Thankfully, I was off the hook for the day.

My kids have been in swim lessons all summer. At the beginning of summer they would not even put their faces in the water, but now they were swimming under water and holding their breath. Since the lessons are during the day I have never gotten to be present for one of these. But, yesterday I got to go. I was lucky enough to see my son do his "torpedo" swim for the first time and I was excited as he was. I can't believe how much I've already missed this summer.

The Nanny was still on because I had expected to work all day and she was already getting paid. The extra set of hands would be nice at the pool. I thought we'd spend the rest of the day together so I could get a feel for how the kids are doing with her. The good news is the kids are doing great with her. The bad news is that since I interrupted their daily routine I was the outsider in my kids' life that day. You kind of know your kids will bond with their daily caregiver - gosh, you HOPE that they will, but when you actually see it right there in front of you, it takes everything in your body to not burst into tears. The Nanny did her best to include me, but I didn't want to be included in their lives, I wanted to be included in MY life.

I couldn't sleep last night. I cried all the way to work this morning. I cried at my desk. I cried when I saw my baby's face pop up on my phone. I am crying now.

Regret is a terrible thing. My biggest regret will not be that I didn't go after a bigger career or that I didn't have a bigger house or that I never learned to surf. It is knowing in this very moment that I did not spend more time with my children before they went to school. And, there is nothing I can do about it. Stupid economy. I think I read somewhere that 73% of women have to leave the home to go to work. I know I am not alone, but that's of no great consolation to me. I don't know how to fix this. I don't know how to get to the place I want to be so badly. Each day I make the long drive to work it feels like the band-aid being ripped off all over again. I keep hearing people say "Don't worry, it'll get easier." Uhhh....when?! Someone PLEASE freaking tell me!

Thank God for my little boy and his sweetness. I asked him last night if he thought the Nanny loved him. I was hoping he would say yes so that I could be comforted in knowing my kids were getting the best thing they could besides me. He hesitated for a moment, then said "Yes," then another pause "but Mommy" he said, "You love me more." I was thrilled, "Why is that" I asked. "Because you will love me forever." Never in my life have I heard more true words. "Yes, honey, I will love you forever no matter what."


  1. Reading this post I could feel your pain because it is so familiar to me. My daughters are 3 and 6 and go to daycare. We are swtiching them to an in home in our neighborhood from a center next week since my oldest is starting 1st grade and the switch is going to help but it tears me up inside to think about her starting the first grade and her not coming home at the end of the school day to Mommy at home. Financially there is no way right now that I can quit my job and with the economy part time folks were some of the first to be cut at my office. My kids know I love them and I spend every moment I can with them but I relate to your regrets. You are not alone.

  2. Thanks for the post. There is nothing easy about this. I'll cross my fingers that we BOTH win the lottery!