Category: Family

New Chapter: Stay at Home Mom

After about 2.5 years of working from home, this September I decided my family deserved to have my full attention. My last day working for the radio station was October 31. I was  a bit nervous about our family losing my income, but overall felt pretty confident in my decision. Our loans will now be getting paid back slower and we won’t be doing any renovations on our house for several years. But I thought that seemed like a fair trade so that my kids didn’t have to share their mom with about 30 clients.

Now that my work days are two and a half months in the past, I look at the decision as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And I wanted to share some of the misconceptions people have regarding working from home.

When people heard I worked from home the immediate response was always “you’re so lucky!” People mean well when they say this, I know they do. But by the end, the phrase made me cringe. And I don’t want to sound ungrateful when I say it wasn’t luck that allowed me to work from home, but here’s why it wasn’t.

First of all I chose a job in a field (radio sales) which allows most employees schedule flexibility, with my eventual goal of raising a family in mind. Radio sales was only part of my job when I was full time at the station, but a part that I held onto because I knew it could be done remotely and that some day I may need to take advantage of that.

In my time as a full time employee at the station I worked hard to make myself invaluable to my boss. When I told him I was pregnant with Lennon and could no longer afford to work full time I felt certain he would ask me to keep my sales responsibilities and work from home on a commission basis. (But I wanted him to be the one to suggest it so it didn’t seem like allowing me to do so would be him doing me any sort of favor.)

So that covers why it wasn’t a lucky situation that I just happened to fall into but something that took forethought and work. Of course, my boss didn’t have to offer me the option to work from home, despite my labors. I admit luck played a role. But luck should not be getting all the credit here!

Then comes actually working from home…. “that’s so nice to work from the comfort of your home”, “how convenient to be able to set your own schedule”, “that’s great to be able to take care of your kids while doing your work.” Yeah… sort of.

When you think of working from home you think you’ll have a lot of say over what hours you’ll be working. And I’m sure for some people that’s true. But that was not the case for my job. It was more like being on call throughout the entire work day for 1/3 of the pay and then frantically trying to get to as much as possible once my husband was home for the evening. With 30 clients able to call at any minute and often needing something immediately, I tried several times to have certain hours that I focused on work, so that my kids could have my attention during the other times…. but it never happened. Because I couldn’t ignore anyone who called me during the “other times”.

Working from the comfort of your home is a phrase that just did not apply to me… I felt more like I lived in my office because of the above scheduling dilemmas. And yes, it sounds great to work in your PJs. But when you’ve been wearing the same pajamas for 3 days and you’re covered in spit up… I bet you’d rather have a daycare to drop the kids off at when a client decides they want to meet that afternoon… which brings me to another point. People would say well why don’t you bring the kids to daycare when you get backed up? Or when something comes up last minute? Because no daycare will keep 2 slots open for kids I might drop off twice a week and I might drop off once a month… Daycares can’t be profitable or operational by letting Moms like me drop their kids off whenever “work from home” gets to be too much.

They say the grass is always greener on the other side. I’m not writing this to make myself out to be a victim of an impossible situation. Working away from your kids sucks, you miss them. Not working sucks, you need more money. For this reason I think a lot of people think working from home is the best of both worlds. And they’re right. But it’s also the worst of both worlds. You have all the stress of work and of kids at the same time. And the guilt of not getting to work quick enough. And worse, the guilt of not giving your kids the attention they are seeking.

I’m writing this as food for thought for those considering working from home. I knew working from home with my 2 little ones would be challenging. But I don’t think I realized the extent of it. And I’m writing this to remind myself of the challenges. 1. Because I’m proud of myself for juggling my priorities as long as I did. And 2. Because in a year when I can’t afford a fancy vacation I may be wishing I didn’t give up the income I had… and this might remind me how much more valuable the day to day interactions I can now have with my kids are.

Rushing my kids home from the playground because a client called me at 1:00 and now I need to get an order placed by 2:00 is no longer something I have to worry about. When we have play dates with our friends I won’t have to feel guilty every time a client calls and I have to tell them “No I can’t get that started by tomorrow.” Or worse, spend the whole play date writing scripts from my kindle and calling the office to try to get the order placed without the accurate forms because it NEEDS to be on by tomorrow. I won’t have to close myself in another room to call a client back while my kid screams on the other side of the door. I will not miss any of this!

I’m so grateful to close this chapter of my life and move onto the next one.

Working from home was a very significant part of who I was and has helped shaped me into who I now am. The Mom I am. It was not lucky. It was hard work. So that I don’t seem completely ungrateful though by saying it wasn’t lucky, here are some things I do consider lucky in my life:

  1. I am lucky for my health and the health of my family
  2. I am lucky to have been born to a loving family and one that could afford to take care of me
  3. I’m lucky to be born in a country where I am free
  4. I am lucky to be born in an age with so many medical advancements (otherwise I’m positive I would have literally died in childbirth, if something like the plague didn’t get me before then.)
  5. I am lucky to have met Peter at the time in my life that I was ready to meet my soul mate.

And so much more! And now I’m off to enjoy time with my kiddoes!!




Happy Birthday Lennon Wallace

I’m going to be honest, this post is a week late. And it’s going to be brief. Because I can’t take my eyes off you long enough to write a long, gushy love letter like I’d like to!

If you told me that there was a child in this world with more energy than my Lennon, I would not believe you! If you told me there was a child in the world who is more demanding of his mother’s attention than my Lennon, I would not believe you! But if you told me there was a child who is funnier, with a sweeter heart, desire for adventure or excitement to learn something new, I would also not believe you!

Lennon, you are so much more than I ever dreamed you could be. Your larger than life personality puts a smile on my face every day! I’m so lucky that of all the Momma’s Boys in the world, you are mine! I can’t believe how much you’ve grown in these past 2 years. Part of me still can’t believe you’re here! Thank you for all the laughs and smooches!




Return from Vacation

Last month we took a nine day, eight night vacation. We went to Ann Arbor, Michigan, visited family just outside of Madison, Wisconsin and on the way home stopped in Elkhart, Indiana. We had so much fun! It was a lot of driving, which Lennon didn’t love. (But he must not have been too scarred because the kids have been playing “road trip” for the past two days which means I open all the doors in the van and they run around inside it and pretend to go to castles and zoos and such.) And if I was doing it again I’d maybe plan it just one day shorter, because by the last day we were just too tired to think of things to do. But honestly, it was one of the best times of my life.

My mom came with us. Besides enjoying her company, having her along is great because she takes constant pictures. I thought I’d post some… it’s so hard to pick, but I’ll try to limit myself.

We loved the Hands on Museum in Ann Arbor!

Hotel pools were one of the highlights of our trip for the kids

Farmers market in Madison. Lulu loved Wisconsin cheese!

The capital building in Madison is GORGEOUS!

Madison has a great zoo!!! And it’s free!

Beautiful Botanical Gardens in Elkhart!

Linton’s Enchanted Gardens in Elkhart was so fun, pretty and HUGE!

My uncle and aunt have lived in Wisconsin for 14 years, so for half my life I’ve only gotten to see them once or twice a year when they come back this way. Though I’ve always loved them, I now feel closer to them than ever before. And I feel like my kids finally know them. I am so grateful for them for allowing us to stay with them for 4 days, they were great hosts. And the kids loved their dog, Gracie.

Lulu and Gracie

Besides having so much fun, being on vacation helped me to refocus my priorities. My kids have always been my top priority, but it’s so easy throughout the day to get sidetracked doing house work and work for the radio station. At the end of too many days I’ve forgotten to take the time to enjoy them. I’ve told them to wait far too often while I sent an email or folded laundry. Being on vacation I didn’t have those distractions. And since coming back I’ve become better at not giving into them.

Yes, my station work still needs to be done, and my house work does too. But I’ve learned that if I hang out with my kids when they want me too, they do eventually get sick of me. And I slip away when they’re playing together or independently without requesting me to join in. I actually get everything done quicker when I wait for them to allow me to do it. I’m not going back and forth between momming and working, and my mind is focused on my work not feeling guilty about the screaming child in the background.

Some days they want to play with me all day and those days the house only gets dirtier and I fall behind at my job. But sometime over the course of the next couple days, I catch up!

I hope I can keep this vacation mind set going. Right before vacation I also read two parenting books that I think helped me realize the need to live in the moment. (I think I’ll do another post soon with book recommendations. Both parenting books and books for pleasure.) The combination of these books and vacation was the medicine I needed. Now bring on summer, because this family is enjoying life to the fullest!!

Best friends, on vacation, and wherever they go!!




Baby Bea Sees The World

I think as a mother of one I was pretty oblivious to how easy it was to continue prioritizing my personal priorities. Having a child is a lot of work and a huge responsibility, but when there’s just one, there are so many situations where you can live life as usual with a baby on your hip and a smile on your face. With two… you’re outnumbered, you have to accommodate for two separate sets of needs (not including your own) and a lot of times, it’s just easier to stay home and place your desires on the back burner. Travel is one such situation that was slightly more complicated when Lucille came into the world, but seemed down right impossible, miserable, foolish, selfish, etc once Lennon entered the world.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying those with kids shouldn’t travel. Quite the opposite, really. I think it’s very important my kids see as much of the world as possible, learn about other cultures and ways of life so they can be understanding of differences and so we can have fun outside our comfort zone. Travelling with my children is one of the things I most look forward to as well as one of the things I think will be most important in our lives. But for the past two years… it was a personal priority that both kids were too young to understand or benefit from. Because they are so close in age, neither were old enough to understand why it’s a benefit to be in a car or plane for so long… and really, it wouldn’t be a benefit to them. Sure, they’d enjoy a zoo on vacation, but not more then the one we only have to travel an hour to get to. We’d be taking the trips so I could see someplace new, making them miserable in the process as they fed off each others misery.

Anywho, I think the kids are now old enough to enjoy a vacation!! And I am soooo excited (and somewhat nervous) to be taking a 9 day road trip starting next week!!! And in my excitement I thought I’d throw back to when Lucille took her first vacation to Connecticut and her 2nd to Florida! Back when I thought I’d keep the tradition of at least one annual trip… but I also thought babies 1 and 2 would be about 2.5 years apart… haha! (All but one of these pictures are from Connecticut… I can’t find my Florida pictures anywhere, I don’t want to talk about it!)

 




Stupid Things I Feel Guilty About

My whole life I’ve been really critical of myself. I blame myself for things far too often and for far too long. And then I became a Mom, and now there are two little babies I love more than anything who are influenced by every action and decision I make… holy, pressure!

You can’t stop mom guilt completely. By the end of the day I’ve probably lost my temper at one or both of the kids multiple times, which I will beat myself up for as I try to sleep. I’ll constantly question if I’m feeding them a balanced enough diet. The list goes on and on… and to an extent it’s a good thing. I’m glad I’m conscious about what I feed them and being patient with them. But there are some things I feel guilty about that are so ridiculous. And I need to let them go. They include:

  • Not enjoying my pregnancies
  • Not having them naturally
  • Not staying home with Lucille in her first year
  • Not sending them to daycare to get better socialized
  • Not pumping enough when I returned to work for Lucille to be exclusively breastfed
  • Not trying harder to get my breastmilk supply back when I got pregnant with Lennon and Lucille was only 8 months old
  • Breastfeeding Lennon so much that he still depends on it for comfort at 20 months old
  • Spending too much money on clothes for Lucille as some outfits only get worn a couple times
  • Not spending hardly and money on clothes for Lennon and letting him live in hand me downs from my bff’s 3 boys and my sister’s two boys (it’s a ridiculous amount of hand me downs!!! I’m so grateful!)
  • Not enrolling them in swim class the past several months
  • Not spending enough time with them on learning activities
  • Not having a nice kitchen that we can enjoy better as a family

As you may have noticed, many of these items directly contradict other items. I feel guilty about sending Lucille to daycare and guilty about taking her out… that doesn’t make sense! Sure, it’d be great to send them a few hours a couple days a week, for social interaction, so they’re used to being away from me, so I can get stuff accomplished… but it’s not a financial possibility right now, nor is a new kitchen. Some day we’ll get a new kitchen and we can bake and cook together more often, it’s a super high priority of mine and the reason I still work part time, so that we can afford the project someday… but we’re not there yet. That reminds me of two more things I feel guilty about:

  • Spending too much time working during the day instead of playing with them
  • Not working more so we have more money

Again, contradictions! We can’t have it all. We just need to do the best we can and feel confident that it’s enough. Because it is.  Do I wish Lucille and I worked on her numbers more? Yes, I do. But Lennon gets bored and throws any learning tools we have and it just doesn’t happen.. and at this age, I think it’s more important that her and her brother are both having fun. What’s the worst that’ll happen? She could get to pre-school knowing less than the rest of the class… yeah, that would stink. But she’ll learn once she’s in pre-school, surrounded by kids her age who are ready to learn. In the end, it’ll be fine.

And feeling guilty about not enjoying my pregnancies like some women do… why? I don’t think my kids will hold it against me when they find out I didn’t like pregnancy. I think they’ll understand that it’s hard to enjoy yourself when you’re puking several times a day for 9 months. (For the record there were things I loved about pregnancy, like feeling baby kicks and baby hiccups. There was just so much I didn’t enjoy that over all it wasn’t my favorite and is something I’m not looking forward to repeating.)

So there it is, the things I’m letting go of, not letting myself feel any more negative emotions towards. And I’m sure there will be a sequel to this post, because guilt isn’t something you should collect. It’s something you should learn from and then set free.




3 Years!!

Lucille turned 3 last week. She woke up sick that morning, so it was a difficult day. It broke my heart to see my always happy and energetic love bug lethargic and unable to enjoy a celebration. She told me her mouth hurt, but she also puked. My poor girl!! We spent all day snuggled on the couch watching Sofia the First, Trolls and her newest obsession, Frozen! Though I would have preferred to take her out to the special birthday lunch we had planned, it was nice to have a full day of snuggling.

By evening she was back to her silly, joyful self and I was so grateful. I’m so obsessed with the tiny person she has become. I know I tend to go on and on about what a loving soul she is, but every day it becomes more and more so. The way she treats me, Peter and her brother so lovingly is just the tip of the iceberg. She treats everyone and everything with such kindness. I love watching her delicately care for our animals and her dolls. When she plays with her little people and similar toys she has them interact with each other so nicely. Complimenting each other, hugging, kissing, playing games. I’ve watched so many kids play with these kinds of toys and just constantly have them fight. But fighting isn’t who she is.

I love to watch her interests develop. As you’ve probably gathered from the post about her birthday cake, she loves unicorns. She’s also obsessed with mermaids and loves playing doctor. Her love for making and dancing to music continue, and her comedy routine is growing. She thinks herself to be a fashion expert…. maybe she’s just ahead of her time. Recently she’s also developed a love for photography.

Rockin a pink jacket, pink skirt, pink socks, a striped purse and… a Halloween headband!

Rockin’ that same pink skirt (it gets a lot of use), a purple skirted top with stars, yellow leggings, mismatched trolls socks, and a leopard print with hearts belt!

I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since Lucille came into my world and made me a mommy. I love who she is right now and I wish I could just stop time and enjoy her this way forever… but I would have said the same thing 1, 2, even 3 years ago. And then I wouldn’t have known the spunky little toddler she is today. So, keep growing baby girl. I can’t wait to see who you become and I’ll always treasure the memories of who you once were.




I Need to Get Out of the House!!

“I need to get out of the house!” is Lucille’s latest line. Girl friend is definitely suffering from cabin fever and though I wouldn’t say it’s here yet, nicer weather is coming. This weekend we bundled into our winter coats and took a nice walk to Peter’s parents house. Yesterday the kids and I went to park upon their insistence, the playground was all wet and slippery, but, we had it all to ourselves. Slowly, we’re starting our spring time activities, even though the weather hasn’t cooperated with our plans…I know the kids will be ecstatic when these trips are more frequent, and I will be too. This year they are so much more mobile and better able to understand instructions, so I’m expecting lots of fun times.

We’ve been stuck inside so much they’ve made a new game… rolling the bins of dog food and cat food into each other.

Lucille requested that we have a picnic at the park next time we go, which is such a great idea. Other things I’d like to do with the babies this spring are:

  • Go out for ice cream
  • Plant flowers together
  • Pick flowers for loved ones
  • Have a bonfire
  • Play in the jumpy castle my mom gave them for Christmas outside (have I mentioned how this was set up in my house a few weeks? They had fun but oy, we had no room to move!)
  • Visit a new park

And this doesn’t include the 8 day road trip we’re taking next month. I have no words to express how very excited I am for this trip. We have not taken any sort of vacation since Lennon was born. Taking annual family trips is a very high priority for me, but the last 2 years I realized I’d be doing it for my own benefit as the kids weren’t old enough to truly enjoy a vacation… so we skipped it. We did take a couple with Lucille pre-Lennon, she wasn’t old enough to enjoy them fully, but also not old enough to be bothered by the travel much. I think I’ll post pictures from those trips soon!




Potty Training Continued

After I posted my article about taking it slow something remarkable happened. We took it fast. Completely on accident! I followed Lucille’s lead and she was ready to hit the ground running! But then… there was regression…and more progress… and more regression. It was a bumpy road, but only think we made it!

Days 1 & 2 were a blur and were what I spoke about in the above article.

Day 3 we moved a child’s potty into the living room and continued trying to go every 20-30 minutes, without a timer telling us we needed to go that very second. It was much more relaxing this way as Lennon was being entertained and Lucille could watch TV, talk to her brother, even play with little people while sitting on the potty. She’d sometimes sit there for quite awhile before she actually went, but she didn’t seem to mind being there. We had several accidents but also many successes!

Day 4 accidents continued. After one accident I was bringing her dirty clothes to the laundry and she put herself on the potty and actually peed. She was so happy when I walked back in the room. She was yelling “Mommy I did it! I did it!” Then she stood up and started dancing around the potty. Then after every accident I started putting her on the potty and found she usually stopped herself mid-accident and still had plenty for the potty.

Day 5: She didn’t want anything to do with the potty first thing in the morning, so I let her wear a diaper for a little bit. We tried to go up to every 45 minutes in the morning, had a couple small accidents. So, we decided to drop it back down to every 30-35 minutes and we were accident free noon until bedtime.

Day 6: Lucille woke up with a barely wet diaper. She was ready to pee right away! We started going potty upstairs again in a toilet seat that sits on our toilet. She went every 45 minutes in the morning, every hour in the afternoon. At quarter to 2, 15 minutes before I was going to set her on the potty, SHE ASKED TO GO! And peed as soon as I put her on the potty. This was one of the proudest moments of my life! We ventured outside of the house for a walk around the block. She didn’t have any accidents until evening time when she was exhausted!! (If you don’t count the tiny bit of pee from night time, she made it about 32 hours without an accident.)

Day 7: We enjoyed another walk around the block but were still too scared to take her too far away from home. At this point I realized every single accident she’s had in the past couple days had been when no adults were in the room. She will ask to go potty if an adult is nearby, but she doesn’t care enough to track one down. Obviously, I decided that I would not be leaving her side anymore.

Day 8: We spent all day at her grandparent’s house. No accidents there!! (Though had some in the morning when I was out of the room again… so much for never leaving her side, eh?)

Day 9: No accidents all day! Holy cow, we did this!!

Day 10: In the morning she tried to poop on the potty and it wouldn’t come. About 10 minutes later she pooped her pants. I think she honestly thought she was tooting. This happened again in the afternoon. However, she also went on two 45 minute car rides, and had a trip to the park where there was no bathroom, and no accidents resulting from this! I chalked it up to not being able to tell the difference between toots and poops yet.

Day 11: I woke up with an upset tummy and I’m quite certain Lucille did too. She had more accidents on Day 11 than any of the 5 previous days. I’m not going to lie, it’s frustrating to feel like you’re going backwards. But the girl just learned the potty basics, how is she supposed to keep her shit together (literally) when her stomach starts acting crazy. I saw this day as a reminder that we’ve come really far, but she’s still learning, and there will still be difficult days. Even on this day, we went and played with cousins for several hours, and even though she was running around playing, having a blast, she only had one accident in the time she was there. And no accidents after we left there, which is great considering how exhausted she was.

Since Day 11 she has had only 1 pee pee accident, but she continued pooping in her pants until Day 28. It was a long few weeks changing poopy underwear. And it was confusing because days 1-9 she would always poop on the potty, it was the pees she was having trouble controlling. But I knew it was a common problem. I tried to be understanding but consistent. “That’s okay, you just had an accident. next time if you tell Mommy you need to poopy, you can do it on the potty and it won’t be so messy!” I tried to look on the bright side instead of dwelling on the poop set back. Day 15, for example, was huge! That’s the day she started calling for me from the other room to tell me she had to go, aka the day I got my life back!

YAY!! No accidents for over a week!!

Lucille has worn underwear throughout almost all of this process. At night I still put her in a diaper, and in the first week of potty training I tried to put her in one if I thought she was about to take a nap. There are 2 reasons we switched to underwear right away. 1. I thought big girl undies would be exciting for her. and 2. I thought the feel of a wet diaper would bother enough to encourage her going on the toilet.

I think I’m going to continue putting a diaper on her at night for quite some time. 75% of mornings she wakes up totally dry… but I don’t care about trying to stop the accidents the other 25% of the time. She wakes up at night a lot, and I know when I wake in the night it makes me have to pee. Call me crazy, but when she wakes in the night, I want her back to sleep ASAP. (Perhaps because I have another little one waking up several times a night.) I currently don’t feel the need to wake her up further by stripping her clothes off and making her sit on a porcelain toilet seat. I’ll get her night trained by college though, don’t you worry! 😉

The last thing we need to work on is her fear of “falling in”. The children’s potties we’ve been using have been a great training tool… but her dependence on them makes her scared of regular sized toilets. We are going on an 8 day road trip in about a month so… the sooner she gets over this fear, the better. Otherwise I’ll be carrying around a princess potty our whole vacation.




I’m Someone’s Mom

Monday night my mom called around 5:00 requesting I come help her for a couple hours. If it was almost anyone else requesting my help I would have explained that the kids hadn’t eaten dinner, it was bath night and I had several things to do for the radio station. But, as it was my Mom, I asked my husband if he minded, and I left. My Mom means everything to me, she does so much for me, and she rarely asks for anything in return. So, when she does, I don’t even give a 2nd thought to helping her.

After 3 or 3.5 hours away I returned to my kids just in time to kiss Lucille good night and bring Lennon up to bed. I missed them. And as I lay in Lennon’s bed trying to get him down for the night I heard Lucille giving Peter a hard time. Repeatedly I heard her request me. And though I should have been frustrated when I came down stairs and saw Peter gave up and let her wait for me, I wasn’t. I was so touched that she missed me so much in those few hours. I was more than happy to bring her to bed myself, even though it was late.

When Lucille was born I remember being blown away by the immediate love I felt for her. It was like when the Grinch’s heart grows 3 sizes. I met this tiny person who I already loved so much, and just seeing her made me experience a love so much stronger than what I already felt, unlike anything I could have ever imagined. In that moment I was in awe as I realized how much my Mother loved me. I never knew a parent child relationship from the other end and I couldn’t believe the new rush of emotions I was feeling.

In the moment that I snuggled Lucille to sleep on Monday night a new realization hit me. She loves me as much as I love my Mom. My Mom, who has been without a doubt the most influential person in my life. Who has taught me to be kind and brave, taught me right from wrong, and always been by my side. Like the love I have for my kids, I feel a different kind of love for my Mom. A love that I don’t feel towards anyone else. She has been and will always be the person I turn to when I need advice, the person I run to when I have exciting news, the person I lean on when I am at my lowest point. And I get to be that to these 2 precious little people!! And, yes, I’ve been a Mom for almost 3 years so on most levels I realized this before. But something about my Monday night snuggles, I realized the extent to how important I am in their lives and how treasured I am in their hearts. And it made me melt. And I wanted to keep snuggling her for about a decade!

My Mom’s wedding day last summer.

 




My Perfect Friday Night

This last Friday I was given the chance to go see a performance of the Sound of Music. My Mom and brother were given tickets and both were willing to give up their own ticket so I could go with the other one. I’m obsessed with Sound of Music, but so are they. My whole family loves it. They both thought I needed the night out more than them though. And they’re probably right. But I didn’t want to go. I wanted to want to go, but I didn’t.

The show started at 8. It was almost an hour and a half from my house. In an area I’m not used to driving in. And it was snowing very lightly. And mostly I was tired. It had been a VERY long week. Lucille’s still pooping her pants, Lennon has been teething badly, the end of one month and beginning of the next is my busiest time at work, oh and my period just started. So yes, I deserved a nice Friday night. And I had one planned: a new chicken recipe with a new side dish recipe for dinner, bath time for the babes, a popcorn movie night followed by bedtime and then maybe drinking a cider and watching an episode of Friends with Peter. I was really looking forward to it, and then I got the call about the tickets.

The generosity of my mom and brother was so nice. I wanted to go simply because I was touched. I felt bad turning them down. But 8:00 is bedtime. Peter can’t do bedtime without me. Lennon needs the boob to get to sleep. If Peter tried, I’m afraid we may lose some of the progress we’ve made with little man. I know he’d try if I wanted to have a night out. But I don’t want him to. I know it’d be a disaster. I know I’d pay for it for days to come.

I spend the majority of my time in my house. When I leave, the kids are almost always with me, so I’m chasing them around making sure they’re safe. I should want to get out without them. But I’m too tired to dress up to see a show. I’m too tired to drive back home from a show at 10 pm. Honestly, I fear I’d fall asleep. I enjoy the arts, but I don’t have the energy to actively enjoy them right now. I look forward to being able to go to these shows again in the future. When I’ve slept more than a 2 hour stretch some time in the past 3 years. But it’s not right now.

Right now I’m happy spending 99% of my time with a 2 year old and a 1 year old. Because soon I won’t have a 2 year old and a 1 year old. I’m happy having 1 meal away from my kids a month, when my husband and I have our monthly date. When I get additional time away from them, I’m happy to spend it during daylight hours for both my sake and theirs, because we’re all too tired for me to be out late at night.

I’ve seen mother’s and prospective mother’s put down women like me who give everything up to be a mom. And that’s fine. I’m not asking you to do it. I completely support mother’s making every effort to have a social life outside their kids. But for me, other than play dates with other mom friends, my social life is taking a break for a few years. To me, it’s a small sacrifice to make.

I hope the Sound of Music comes to my area again in a few years and I can go with my mother, brother and sister. I hope my friends who I’ve lost touch with know I still love them, I just can’t talk on the phone for more than 30 seconds without my phone being torn from my hand by a curious observer. I hope to teach my kids to love the things I love that I’ve taken a break from: dance, theater, music, literature. I hope that I can enjoy a full night’s sleep before this decade ends. But mostly I hope to get to experience as many moments as I can with my husband and two toddlers.