I have always worked. The kids went to daycare, before/after school, summer camps, and to visit their grandparents when they were not in school. After work during the school year I would come home, fix dinner and help the kids finish homework. Once dinner was done, and the dishes were in the dishwasher, the nightly routine of getting ready for bed would commence. I never questioned the routine which continued after Madison’s arrival. I was always on the go, and I was always tired. Morning drop off, work, afternoon pickup, Madison’s activities, and then bed. I had it down, no big deal I was tired but I was doing it.
After my surgery this past summer I finally got to experience how the stay at home moms live. I was able to drop Madison off at school, run errands, do things around the house (that my Dr would allow of course), pick her up and come home. Now while I liked the time during the day, I found I lived for the time between picking Madison up and going to bed the most! This extra time, or “Ten Hours” as I call it is what I am missing the most since I have returned to work full time. Ten hours does not seem like a lot, but to me those ten hours are priceless! Each day I was home by 3:20 PM. Madison had a snack, we did homework, and we were always done before 5:00 PM. Then I would cook supper. I never felt rushed, never stressed. If she had dance, soccer or swim no biggie I could do all of the above with time to spare. Now that is definitely not the case. I leave work at home, pick Madison up from school and I do not get home until 5:00 PM. Madison sits at the table doing homework as I run back and forth between the stove and the table to help her. The entire time I feel guilty because I do not have patience because I am so spent from the work day, and also because I cannot devote all of my attention to her because I am doing three things at once, and my mind is thinking of all of the things I still have left. Before I experienced the blessed ten hours I would always tell myself its only two hours a day, its not that big a deal. Now I would do anything to have those ten hours a week back!!!
Working Moms if you have a chance to enjoy the blessed ten hour please do so, but I warn you it is hard to give up. To the moms that have found a way to spend those extra ten hours with your kids please know that I am super jealous!! Now if only my company supported a thirty hour work week!!
Growing up I had this idea of how my life would be (who doesn’t right). I grew up in a pretty tight knit family. Weekends were spent with my grandparents playing with my cousins. We went to Mississippi every Easter and hunted eggs with 100’s of relatives. Each holiday was always spent surrounded by family. I naturally assumed that when I was an adult with my own childrens lives would be the same way. When I was in 8th grade we moved to Georgia. I knew that when I married that my family circle would be smaller that what I had grown up with but I still had the dream of my children playing and spending time with their aunts, cousins, grandparents etc.
Fast forward many years later. After many years of trying to conceive without success, I finally became a mother through the joy of adoption. I wanted my daughter to have that same family bond that I did. I remember my aunts picking me up and taking me to their house for the weekend, the many times my cousins and I played in my grandparents yard. There truly was never a dull moment. Sadly though that is not the case for my beautiful daughter. Because of our location many of our family members are just too far away. We are left with a very small number of family members in our immediate area. Sadly though my daughter seems to be last on many of our family members lists. It is just downright depressing at times. She is the liveliest, silliest, most fun loving child I have ever met!! She never meets a stranger, and more than once I have had instructors, teachers etc. tell me that they cannot keep a straight face because you just never know what will come out of her mouth!! I have spent many nights upset asking myself what can I do to make them come around. I was convinced their presence was necessary. I have finally come to the realization that my hands are tied. The bottom line is you cannot force someone make time for you. We all make time for what is important to us. If someone isn’t making time for you, it means you are not a priority in their life.
Instead of dwelling on who is missing from Madison’s life I will choose to focus on what/who she has instead. She is showered with love by two parents who love her more than life itself. We live in a wonderful community filled with friends who we love and care for very much. Madison may not have cousins that she plays with each weekend, but when I look our my front door I can see the homes of at least 6 families with children that she will spend hour upon hour playing with, and parents that will show her both love and discipline. If our family cannot see what a wonderful beautiful soul that they are missing out on it is their loss. Just like Jess C. Scott said, “Friends are the family you choose”.
Well it is hard to believe that the first full week of kindergarten is under our belts!!!! Many tears have been shed (only by me of course) over the past few weeks. It stared with orientation night…where I felt like the oldest person in the world. After all according to vital statistics the average age a person begins having children is 25. So I have a good 10+ years on the other parents. Self consciously I wonder if they are scrutinizing me, then I change into my “I need to look like the leading authority on parenting mode since I am older” mode. As the teacher went over all the things Madison would be learning over the next year I wiped away tears the entire time. When the first day rolled around she was so excited and happy, and I on the other hand was holding back tears. I rushed out so she would not see me cry and then I peeked in the window from outside her classroom for fifteen minutes because I just knew she would need me (but she didn’t). She was walked in every day by myself or her papa until the dreaded “independence day”!!! Independence day meant that she could no longer be escorted and had to walk in all alone. For the entire week prior to the big day I followed behind her as she made her way to class to make sure she knew the way. Luckily my hubby Danny took her that BIG day so I could avoid some tears (I was dehydrated by this point). She loves her school and has a pep in her step as she makes her way to class which makes me so happy, and sad!!! Being a parent is letting go a little at a time, and it really isn’t easy!
ON THE WAY HOME.. FIVE MINUTES LATER