There is a serious lack of sleep going around in these parts. Aaron and I have decided to alternate nights. One night, I do everything; the next night, Aaron does everything except breastfeed. Among other reasons for this change include the fact that two days ago, I was so out of it from sleep deprivation that I started burping my leg. I had been patting William and he burped, so for reasons only known to the great, empty void that once was my mind, I thought my leg needed to spit up, or whatever, and so I proceeded to pat it after finishing with William’s back.
Raising young children while working full time is amazingly, stunningly difficult. We. Do. Not. Stop. and the mommy guilt is real. Clara will be going slap-happy on my legs and I just let her because I refuse to let the two waking hours we have together to be riddled with no’s and stop’s and don’t hit mommy’s. The other day, we caught ourselves asking Clara if she would eat some more dinner if we let her continue to stand in the dog’s water bowl. Later, we told her she couldn’t look at her poop because it went to poop heaven. For better or worse, it is impossible to be too serious.
But, I like working, and I am fond of all my crazy students. It’s good to be back, fully immersed in a professional community. Day care has been good to the kids, despite all the germs we take home with us. Every time I pick up William, he’s having a good chortle on Ms. Medina’s lap while Clara looks at me and says, “I want to go again” as we walk out the door.
But we are all always tired and I am always a little sad at how fast the nights and weekends go. Some mornings on the way to school, Clara will mutter relentlessly, “I need my mommy,” and my arms are always aching to hold William more than I am able. Our time together is so limited, it’s almost painful. In short, I like change but I hate transitions.
Spending the day away from the kids has me just bursting to be the absolute best mom I can be when we’re all home and awake whereas when I was home with them, everything tended to blur together. Also, I finally feel the exhalation that is Friday again.
I can’t keep the kids healthy while they spend ten hours a day with other kids sharing snot and coughs and I worry that somehow William’s nascent life-loving, smiley-boy happiness is being corrupted by all the time away from his momma. Nobody is miserable; we all just always want more of each other. It’s a time of paradox and contradiction, and in that way, it’s both satisfying and tormenting to want more of your children and husband so badly. I read a quote from Thomas Merton the other morning: You can only believe what you do not know. I don’t know that this has been the best change for our family, but I believe it to be so.