Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An Elevator Ride

You're having a hard time taking a little nap before we head to Nana's house for dinner so I tell you to hop up on my bed and snuggle with me.  You lie down on my belly and I stroke your hair and face.  Your lanky legs dangle off the side of the bed, fidgeting as you try so hard to lay still.  I think how this time next week I will be somewhere else and Grandma will be doing this with you.  Yes, there will be other days to lay and snuggle, on the weekend, on vacation, but not like this.  A full day of Kindergarten, daddy's at work, little brother is napping in his crib.  I get that gut wrenching pull when I realize just how numbered my days here like this with you are. 

I think back to the first time I left you at a year old.  How miserable I was, even more so knowing that I did it to myself.  Stupid girl.  My heart ached every day until I fell pregnant with your baby brother just 5 months in.  I was scared to let out my secret, but secretly so happy to  know that soon, I would be back home with you.  By this point the tears are streaming, like they are now, and you look up and say "What's wrong Mama?"  You stroke my face and hop down and grab me a tissue.  You are spunky but so good, right down to your soul...

I took your baby brother on an adventure yesterday.  After we dropped you off at school I asked him, "Where do you want to go Bubba?"  He said he wanted to ride rides.  So I took him to that fancy mall down the freeway.  We went to the smaller side, with the little bitty carousel, where it's nice and quiet.  He rode the carousel 4 times, and took turns on Princess Guinevere, King Arthur, and an unnamed horse with an orange saddle, his favorite color.  He kept asking me, "Can I ride again Mommy?" and of course I had to oblige.  I sat down on the little bench meant for babies and just watched him.  I started to cry, as I am now, and the man across the way getting his coffee looked concerned for me.  I guess it's not everyday you see a mom crying on a carousel. 

He wasn't satisfied with the carousel, and asked to ride more rides.  So we went on the escalator ride, holding hands, up and down, at least 15 times.  I started to get dizzy, but that was okay.  Bubba wanted to get on and off all by himself, until he almost fell, and gently asked for my help on the next turn.  After the escalators, he declared "More rides mommy!"  So I said, "let's go on the glass walled ride" and we rode the glass elevator up and down, up and down and he got to push all the buttons.  Yes, there will be more days like this, but on the weekend it will be more crowded, and impatient shoppers will not look on so kindly to the little boy with the curly hair, insisting on taking the elevator from down to up, to ground floor, to down and all the way back to the top.

Here I get set to leave again, and I am scared shitless.  Terrified really.  Oh I know that overall, in the hands of Nana and Grandma, you will both be just fine.  But I may not.  3 weeks ago all I could think of were words like opportunity and security and 401K and Sep IRA and benefits and on and on.  Now it's like a Peanuts voice in my head going Wah Wah Wah Wah Wah.

Come Monday I will again take on a new vocabulary.  Words like pee-pee and potty and yippee and good-job will be exchanged for fabulous, amazing, incredible, NYC, LA.  Yes, I will take on my role and do what I'm good at, because that's what I do.  I work, I work, I work.  Even in the last 3 years at home with you, my lovelies, I find countless ways to fill my life with work.  In my next life I vow not to work so much.  In fact I want to be a lazy, good for nothing slob.  Okay, maybe not, but I really want to master the art of laziness.  Can I take a course in that?

I had to unsubscribe from a blog recently because I just couldn't take the stay at home rhetoric anymore.  It became like some sort of self inflicted torture, seeking all posts she ever wrote on why she is a stay at home mom.  There are at least 20 of them, no joke.  Lots of good fodder for guilt inducing thoughts.  The sacrifices she makes to stay at home.  I thought about writing her an email explaining how women that return to work also sacrifice, but I let the PMS hormones simmer down a bit and just clicked the unsubscribe button.  I torment myself enough, I do not need to add more guilt from a woman 2000 miles away that I have never met.  I should have been Catholic, I swear.

So here we are back to the bed and I think to myself, we may be back here in the same spot, a year from now, 2 years from now.  But will it really be the same?  Will you still lie on my belly? Will you still stroke my face and tell me how much you love me?  I don't know.  I hope so, oh how I hope so.

Oh God what have I done?


  1. You've done what you have to do for your family. It will be okay, and you're a great mom. No one can take that away from you, not even the thoughts that sneak up in your head when it's quiet.

    p.s. But you're going to have to email me and spill the beans on the blogger. ;)

  2. such a good post andrea. seriously great. i hope you know you're not alone. woman staying home and woman working, we all have the same fears one way or another. i guess that's another reason to thank God for making children so resilient. your kids are going to do great and so will you. just give it time. you guys will fall into a new groove that given the chance can be even better then the one your riding right now.

    take care friend!

  3. I think you are going to love your new job and a happy mom = happy kids. Enjoy and hang in there through the adjustments.

  4. AWESOME!! You really made me realise as I start my new direction in life to make the most of it and cherish every second of the day that I spend with Miranda and Quinn, even through the tantrums and multiple sock changes when you are already late to go somewhere. I dont want this post to sound selfish on my part as we start new challenges on opposite ends of the field. Our kids are growing up way too fast and it wont be long before the next challenge rises and I know you'll be ready!
    Have fun...

  5. Tears for you Andrea!!! Hugs for your new adventure, smiles for all your memories, laughs with your fantastic family....
    Good Luck my friend.

  6. I think instead of a job in fashion, you should get a job in WRITING.
    This is amazing.
    Working or staying home, no matter how or where you mother, it is never easy, Because we mothers always think we could and should do more.
    Just hold your babies tight and know it will be allright.
    Love from,

  7. I'm not even a mom, and this post nearly drove me to tears. You're a gifted and talented writer! The decision you've made is a personal one, and it's one you've made with your family and your precious children in mind. Blessings will follow!

  8. When you are ready for that class in laziness, come see me, I think I could share a few tips :)

  9. Andrea:
    I have few words for this post.
    Beautifully written.
    Hard choices.

    And no matter what, kids always want their moms. If I learned anything from being a foster parent, this was it. They always love their moms. Even if their moms are screaming alcoholics. Even if they are demeaning abusers.

    And even if they work. ;)
    Hugs to you.

  10. i echo the sentiments of the reader above -- i am not a mother, but this brought tears to my eyes. beautifully written.

    all i can share is that my mom not only worked, but ran a very successful company while she raised my brother and she was (is) and amazing mother/woman/example.

    while sacrifices were made, she taught me so much and today is not only my mother/advice giver/shoulder to cry on, but truly a friend.

    i wish you much joy and happiness in your new journey and i am confident that you and your family will grow into what is to come.

  11. If I could, I would give you a big hug! I really struggle with the whole working/stay at home thing. I think, no matter where I am, I will always kinda wish to be on the other side. It is so hard to balance it all. I tried going back to work and made it almost a year. I felt like such a loser handing in my resignation, but didn't feel like I was doing the balancing act any justice. It is just plain HARD. I wish you luck, you will do great and they will too.

  12. What a heartfelt post. I do believe Syd will always have time to lay on your belly. :)

  13. Oh, you did make me bawl. This is so elegantly written, and I appreciate you sharing your feelings on this. Guilt is so much a part of being a mother no matter whether you stay at home or work. You are doing what is right for your family, and that is always the right thing to do. Best wishes to you in your next adventure. <3

  14. I just took a full time job after working only part time for the 3.5 years since I've had my daughter. I agree, I'm scared to death that perhaps I've made a terrible decision. But financially, it was smart for us, which will hopefully provide my daughter with calmer, more fun parents. Fingers crossed! Thanks for being so honest and posting such hard stuff!

  15. Stopping by from WFMW - I completely know what you mean about having to unsubscribe from a blog because of the SAHM rhetoric.

    I am a SAHM, having just quit my job about seven months ago. I worked full time after my first child, then part time after our second, and now I stay home.

    It ain't all rainbows and unicorns. The adjustment to staying home was much harder than I imagined. The things other women talk about loving so much sometimes feel mundane to me.

    I feel like whether you work or stay home you lose something, but also gain something else.

  16. Visiting from Works for Me Wednesday. Thanks for posting such an honest blog post. Great!

    Happy New Year!

  17. Beautifully written! I know a lot of women at all levels of employment and motherhood, and I think that one thing most of us have in common is self-doubt: whatever we're doing now, is it really the best thing for everyone, or is it possible we might be selfish and bad? Urk! I hate it, but I do it myself at times.

    My kindergartner likes to lie on my tummy, too, and still wants me to lie in his bed until he falls asleep every night. I remind myself that if he loves me so much, I must be doing something right!

    all posts she ever wrote on why she is a stay at home mom. There are at least 20 of them, no joke.
    Sounds like she's on the defensive. Maybe someone's been attacking her for not having a "real job", but maybe she's just arguing with her own doubts. Anyway, there's no need for you to read about why SHE is at home; you are living YOUR life!


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