This has been a tough summer in a lot of ways. Going back to work is such a big adjustment, and while I’m so grateful for my job, it’s been a struggle to adjust to not being at home all the time.
I think it’s mainly because it’s summer. During the school year, my job will be dovetail perfectly with their school schedule. It will be easy, in so many ways. I can drop off the kids, bop off to work, and leave just in time to do after school pick up. There’s only one day that I can’t do pick up, and it’s Fridays – a day that Marc can be at home, picking up the kids and getting ready for Shabbat dinner. In three weeks, my job will be absolutely ideal.
But I miss them. It’s not just the agonizing over childcare, and worrying each day who’s going where, and what time. Yesterday, I just straight up MISSED being at home with my kids. I missed reading with Sam, and talking with Jessie about her questions about Edward Snowden. I missed cooking with Julie, and eating lunch with them, and going to the swimming pool or down to the playground. I missed my kids. These three kids – who aren’t perfect, and they fight and squabble and whine – but they’re funny and sweet and I adore them with ever fiber of my being. I’m used to a LOT more time with them over the summer. I’ve been a stay at home mom for most of their lives, and I really, really loved it. Being a mother is such a huge part of my identity, it’s been my whole world for more than a decade, and I miss being able to focus on it exclusively.
I love my job, and I love getting paid. I love being home with them more, and working when they are home is hard. I know that the school year will start up, and it’ll fall into a routine, and everything will be easier. I know that working is the right thing to do for this stage in my life, I know that the work I do really makes a difference in people’s lives, and I’m so grateful for the ability to do this. I’m aware that this is a transient problem. I know that Julie’s adjustment to kindergarten will be that much easier, because she’s been able to adjust to being without me during the past two months. Because I’ve been at work, she’s been able to adjust to it while her life mostly stayed the same, she was able to stay home, or spend special time with Grammy – instead of adjusting to missing me and getting used to a whole new school environment. Three weeks from now, they’ll be in school all day, and I won’t feel as though I’ve left my heart sleeping at home while I head off – but right now…
I had two meetings, one on Monday night, and one on Tuesday night, and by Wednesday morning, I was a teary-eyed mess at the thought of leaving my kids again. I came home, and made everyone come with for Julie’s doctor’s appointment (she failed her hearing test at the pediatrician’s last week, but passed with flying colors at the specialist’s). We all went trooped to the doctor’s office, stopping off for McDonald’s sundaes first. Then we spent a half hour or so wandering around St. Vincents Hospital – we rode the glass elevators, and I showed them the one that I was in when my water broke with Sam. Then we went to the gift shop and I bought gummy worms for everyone. I let them gorge on them (I never do that – although it totally worked, Julie hated them, and both Sam and Jessie ended up throwing them out when they came home – once they were readily available, they realized how much they don’t really like them). We all went to the grocery store together, and finally made it home.
The thing is – working is absolutely the right thing for this stage in my life. I’m reluctantly coming to terms with the reality that there won’t be any more babies, and all three of mine will be out of the house in three weeks. If I had taken the time to design my ideal job, it would be this one – working five minutes from the school, in THE LIBRARY, and with hours that perfectly dovetail their school schedule. I love what I do, I love the people I work with and the people we help.
I really loved my life before, though. And as much as I love my job, my heart breaks just a little bit, every day, when I walk out the door and leave them here..