I could easily compose another blog post on maternal guilt. Especially because when I’m writing, most often what comes out in this blog is whatever emotion I happen to be bubbling over with at that moment. And working seems to make me feel guiltier than I ever anticipated – especially as it relates to Julianna. The other two kids seem to be rocking and rolling with the new schedule. They’re getting lots of time with my mother and their dad, and even exploring their own independence – staying home by themselves sometimes. I spent the afternoons with them every day, we go swimming most afternoons, Sam bops all over the place on his bike. They have adjusted to mornings and early afternoons without me effortlessly.
But my Julie – oh, my Julie. She misses me. She cries easily and often, and clashes with her siblings all the time. Last night, she literally sobbed because I told her that I couldn’t read her mind, and she had to use her words to talk to me about what she wanted done with her hair. The idea that I didn’t just KNOW intuitively what she wanted was just more than she could take. That breaks my heart. Intellectually, I know that she’d have to adjust to this schedule regardless – going to school in September will be so much easier for her, because she’ll be used to having part of her days without me. But last night, she rolled over in her sleep (it took me almost an hour to get her to settle down) and wrapped her little arms around me and snuggled in as close as she could. This is hard for her. I hate that.
But this isn’t a blog about guilt. It’s about summer 2015. It’s about trips to Dairy Queen and how fast Sam can go on his bike. It’s about Jessie learning to cook and meal plan, and about Julie cleaning the dining room. Because there’s a lot more going on this summer than me feeling guilty and Julie feeling neglected.
Marc and I are adjusting to being a two working parent family. His schedule has a certain amount of flexibility, and mine involves fewer hours but probably more structure. We still rely pretty heavily on my mother for childcare, especially with Julie, but this week, while she’s in Maine, we’ve been tag teaming, one of us here all the time, and it’s working. I might even carve out time for a date night this weekend. Maybe.
Sam is still playing far more minecraft than I’d like, but he does a lot of it with Marc. One of the things about Sam that can be challenging is that he really prefers to appear utterly competent to his dad. Marc’s always looking for an activity that they can do together, and I suggested that he learn to play with Sam. Because Sam knows a lot about it, and it’s something that he feels really confident doing. Which means that he’s a lot more open to doing it with Marc, and it’s still his preferred method of playing it. He does it WITH Daddy, which means that they get a lot more one-on-one time to connect.
Jessie is still adjusting to her very short haircut. She’s bitter about it, still, and will probably never get her hair cut ever again. She’s working on summer reading, rearranging her room all the time, and watching too much Netflix. But I think it’s been a good summer, so far, for her. She’s growing up – on her phone more and more, and growing ever more confident and gorgeous. More importantly, she’s kind, interested in the world around her and how it works – and I love that.