If I am honest, I am a little disappointed in myself. Why? Because I really enjoy working. Is it hard to balance it all? Yes. Do I miss being involved in the day to day lives of my kids? Yes. I honestly get a bit teary eyed when I think of the nanny eating the Friday challah, which I was consuming for all of the those months leading up to my employment. And yet.... I like my job. I like the whole thing. The commute into the city. Reading the morning paper. Arriving at my desk and reading all of the emails flagged for "high" priority. The meetings. The imparting of my grand expertise (wink, wink). It feels great.
And the best part of my day? The commute home. Sitting on the train, reading my novel, and anticipating the reunion with my babies. Yes, dare I say it, sometimes the anticipation is better then the actual encounter. As I step off of the BART and begin the short walk toward home, I think of my kids. My mind starts to focus on them, and wonder, what have they been doing all day? Did they have fun? Did they miss me? Will they be excited to see me? I envision big hugs at the door, and animated conversation. Sometimes, this is reality, other days I am disappointed to find the boys mid-temper tantrum and crabby at arrival.
In most cases, seeing the boys after so many hours away is exciting and fun. We have a few hours before bedtime, and those hours aren't boring. They are busy with dinner, chatter and play. But I feel guilty. Do I enjoy motherhood more when it is condensed into four hours a day ? If so, what does that say about me, as a person and as a parent?
I so wanted to embrace the role of stay at home mommy. I wanted to become that woman who revels in the joys of mommy-dom. The one who roles up her sleeves and dives into the play dough, dreaming up creative puppet projects and loving every moment. But it wasn't me. It isn't me. I am a restless soul. There is no denying the fact that I would make a terrible homebody. I loath the thought of a day stuck inside my four walls.
Instead, I get my energy from the outside world. From my interactions with friends and perhaps, coworkers. When I wasn't working, I spent my days trying to conjure up excuses to get out of the house. A trip to Target, a run to the grocery store. I purchased packages at Gymboree, classes at the YMCA, and formed playgroups. I kept us busy, but the very act of creating all of this activity was exhausting.
And now, back at the office, life in some ways seems easier. I have a "job" again. I am getting paid for my work, which in turn allows me the freedom to spend a little more on the weekends and worry less about money over all. It gives me a little space again to be just "Rachel", and to fully embrace my boys in big hugs when I walk through the door at the end of the day.
And I am disappointed. Being a mommy should be enough. It is a great job, a rewarding job, an important job. It should be everything.....so why do I seem to want something "more"?