Mimi has really begun to pretend. She loves to hand-pick her favorite rocks when we are outside, and I've noticed lately that she names them -- Mommy, Daddy, Mimi, Mack, Ruthie, and Lacy. And, of course they have conversations with each other.
"Hi. My name is Mimi. What's your name?"
"My name is Mommy. So glad to meet you. Oh, you're so cute. I luuuub you!"
She also does this with her blocks, her crackers, and Splenda packets at restaurants. She's into dressing up as a princess and pretending to be a ballerina in her tutu. At a few of the parks we visit, there are window-type areas built in under the slides and bridges, and she loves to pretend she is a waitress taking my order. Of course we always order hamburgers and French fries and choc-o-wit ice cream.
I love to stand outside her little make-believe world and watch her carry on conversations with her stuffed animals and dolls. It's hilarious and can be really touching when I hear her being sympathetic to her Curious George after he has fallen down (even if Mimi was the one who threw him off the bed). So I thought I would do a little pretending of my own a few weekends ago just for my own personal entertainment.
Every year Clint goes to Augusta for a few days in the spring just to twiddle his thumbs and watch the azaleas bloom, but this is the first year that he has gone while I have been the mother of a 2 1/2-year-old and a 7 month old. He has traveled a little since we've been in Chicago but only for a night at a time. He did go to San Diego for several days, BUT my parents came to help while he was gone. Since I already knew this might possibly be a challenging weekend for me, I thought it might be fun to "pretend" that my life was a little different just to make the time pass easier.
First I decided to pretend I am a single mom -- tough and independent. A man would just get in the way. It is true that I accuse Clint of being in the way sometimes because he doesn't know my schedule and routine . . . and he leaves his coats and ties and shoes and basically everything else all over the house, but after working all week and then having to do everything for the kiddos all by myself, I never, ever, ever, ever want to be a single mom. Uh uh. No way. For those of you who are divorced or have hubbies who are doing crazy night residency crap or work late shift, I was feeling your pain. Although Clint may make a mess, I missed the heck out of him and realized how much he actually does contribute.
And then I just decided to pretend that it wasn't the weekend at all -- it was the week, and I was a SAHM whose husband just happened to be out of town. This thought excited me just a little more than the single mom gig. The schedule revolved around taking care of the babies and my home, and luckily it was a beautiful weekend for going on walks to get frozen custard and playing at the park. And before I knew it my heart began aching for this way of life once again.
In all honesty, my heart's been aching a whole lot since December when I started back to work. I didn't struggle with my decision to return -- I was very excited about all the possibilities that could come with working in a new area. Working in Memphis and sending Mimi to Roulhac's was perfect for my family, and I thought it would be the same this time. My company had always allowed me some flexibility with handling my weekly schedule, and I was very proud of the work I had done. Because of this I looked forward to returning . . . and I really, really thought I was a terrible SAHM. Mimi was into everything and acting sassy all the time. She didn't obey me and tried to run away from me in public as often as possible. I was pulling my hair out from not being able to take a shower every day or get enough adult conversation. And I resented my husband for being able to get out of the house by himself every day.
Well, what did I expect? Of course, Mimi was sassy. She's a two-year-old who's smart and full of energy. Mack was a sweet little newborn at the time -- of course I wasn't going to get a shower every day. And Clint kind of has to get out of the house every day to go to work. Somebody has to pay the bills. But none of this made sense to me at the time because everything in my world had been turned upside down . . . and going back to work for the same company I had been with for five years seemed very familiar and normal to me.
I began regretting my decision the very first day I returned to work. It was actually early that morning while I was getting ready -- very, very early. Even earlier than little Mack woke up, so I realized I would have to make him eat in his sleep. Mimi was still asleep when I left. Clint and I hadn't even had time for a conversation that morning. And then I hit the traffic . . . and even more on the way home. The next night I was in tears on the way home, but I truly believed it would get better. This never happened before and it would pass.
But it hasn't. I can't make an hour-and-a-half commute any shorter than an hour-and-a-half. I can't rush through my days when I have to drive 3 hours away and still hit every office I need to visit. Every day that I tell my nanny I will try to be back earlier than the day before I make a liar of myself. And the more business I gain the more work I create for myself at night. In the meantime Mimi is learning to be even funnier and Mack is getting stronger and bigger. And I'm sitting in traffic staring at the cars ahead of me.
I have plenty of friends who are mommies and work, and they do it beautifully. They are organized and seem to be able to do it all, and I was once this. But now is a different time and place and situation, and I have had to re-evaluate what is best for my family. And working ain't it.
So I'm a quitter, and I couldn't be happier about it. My last day is next Wednesday, and the countdown is on. My plan is do to things a little differently this time -- shower early, have a place to go or a reason to get out of the house every day, and get involved in more community activities. I will only put one household chore on my list each day and will not beat myself up that the floors are dirty on laundry day. I will have more patience with my children because after all they are just little children.
I will not care if I don't have time to sew, and I WILL NOT sew for anyone else no matter how badly I am dying to make a sweet little girl bubble (unless I have a babysitter or the kids take crazy long naps one day). I will not get frustrated with my husband when he doesn't know what time the kids eat lunch because I never ever have any idea how the rent gets paid. And I will not be upset when a day doesn't go exactly like I just described.
I am totally open to suggestions about how to do this because I really want to get it right this time. My attitude is better and my expectations are greater than the last time, so I'm hoping that's a good start.
And of course I plan on keeping up with the blog a little better :). A few people have told me I need to quit my job if I don't have time to blog, and I completely agree. Must get those priorities straight.