Thursday, September 07, 2006


I feel like I’m breathing again.

For the last couple of days, I haven’t had to go to work. I haven’t had to worry about where what paper was or if this client or that client was all set. I haven’t had to read the Wall Street Journal.

I drove to the grocery store today, in the middle of the day. No lines. Saw a few other parents I know. Chatted. I found myself smiling. A lot. I can feel the grip of tension slowly leaving my body. I wasn’t anxious at the stop light thinking of all the things I needed to do before some preset time in my head- before getting the kids, before dinner, before work. I opened my window and felt the breeze.

I remembered feeling that way a lot before I went back to work. Mind you, I am and have always been, high strung. But when I stayed home full time, people actually described me as calm. Peaceful. I felt some of that today. It was … strange.

And the debate starts again. Is it better to go to work? Or stay home? When am I a better parent? When I’m engaged in outside work or when I’m focused on their needs? My kids are who they are today because, I believe, I stayed home with them for almost all of their lives. I also believe they witnessed me being involved and excited about work outside the home. I was more than a mom. There were times they didn’t get something because I had to go to work. There were times I didn’t get to see something they did because of I had to go to work. Always being available doesn’t give them a real sense of the world.

There were more people caring for them. Walter and Allan had to become more involved because of my work schedule. And I was often tired at the end of a day and unavailable in the way I was prior to working. When I didn’t work outside the house (notice, I’m already changing that tune), I would be tired at the end of the day, too, but I didn’t expect my day to end until the kids were in bed. When I got home at 4:30pm from work, I was done. But I wasn’t. Which often led to a cranky mom.

I’m not sure right now which is better for my kids. Both have their good and bad sides- working, not working. I’m blessed with the choice. When I told the kids I quit work the other day, Jake let out a big HOORAY!

You’re glad?

Yes, Mom. Now you can play with me more.

Which is better? My guess? Both are good. Both are bad. It’s a gray area.

God, I hate these gray areas.

But today, I was breathing again.


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