Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Part II

Today has been a lousy day. Okay, not like usual Tuesday lousy (see previous post), but tantrum-y and stressful and lonely. It made me think back to yesterday, really trying to understand how I could go from such a profound high to such a melancholy low. After all, it was just a pair of spitty shorts, just a terrible-two tantrum, just an ill-timed nap, etc., etc. It's not like even the sum too much to handle, or that I wasn't letting things go. So what gives?

Well, in thinking (I'm tucked under K again, able to do little else), I may have oversimplified my solution yesterday. It was just letting it go; it was letting me go.

When I found myself staring longingly at the sheer glass windows of a passing business park, thinking of the cool interior with its clicking keystrokes and mingled scent of paper, toner, and people, I wondered how I could want that, if I actually did want that, instead of being at home with the kids. After all, I'd been at such peace yesterday. What could that meaningless corporate behemoth possibly offer that home didn't?

The answer: me. A place where I could work my mind, focus on my labors, eat/talk/work on my schedule. What had I really let go of yesterday but myself, my own desires and goals, for the sake of the kids.

My husband often chides me about not putting myself first, and I'll grant that a happy mom generally makes a happy family, but the truth is that putting myself first isn't part of my job description. I mean, I already know how to use a glue stick, what sound each letter makes, why we need to put on sunscreen. The real crux of my job is teaching these things to someone who doesn't know, spending time showing him and her all the intricacies of a world in which I'm already too well-adjusted. The inherent plus to this situation is that I can experience this world all over again, refreshed through the eyes of my children. The downside, as I discovered today, as I experienced yesterday, is that to do so I have to let myself go.

I'm not saying moms should be martyrs, not saying that moms shouldn't take time for themselves, not saying that I give myself up to be a mom. I have to be myself, of course, whole and well-attended. But not at work. It would be the equivalent to going into the office and saying, "Hmm, I know I have a project due, but I'd really like to learn how to garden instead." If someone had said that back in my work days, I would have replied, "Great. Gardening is a lovely hobby. Try it off the clock, please." There may be no time card, no salary, and no pesky boss with such a tart reminder, but that doesn't make it any less of a job, or any less true.

So here's to salvaging the afternoon, setting aside me until the evening, when I also vow to take make the most of my little time off. I see chocolate in my future, lots and lots of chocolate...

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Isn't it fun how the really good days get to be followed by the crappy ones? Then I tend to forget there was a good one in the first place. Lucky for you, you blogged it. :)