I’ve worked off and on since Ian was six months old. Well, to be fair, I’ve worked a little bit his whole life. I write, I cook, and I doula. I didn’t do much until he was ten months, and since then I’ve been as busy as I could manage, and still manage being a mom.
The getting busy timing was kind of perfect. I loved the whole baby thing but once Ian was mobile, I kind of freaked out and though I loved him madly, I often thought someone else was way better at being with him than I was. So much energy. So loud. So rough. So not me.
I hit bottom when he was a year and a half. I was ready to fire myself. I had zero patience for tantrums. Every time he took a toy from another child, I wanted to sink into the ground, convinced all the other moms hated me and figured I was doing something horrible to my child in order for him to be so aggressive (I now understand that this behavior was completely normal and if anyone needed a time out, it was me). It’s been a slow climb up from that hole since then, thanks to Barbara Olinger and my mama tribe.
And now, suddenly, I have zero clients for the first time in years, and zero child care. I’m momming it and that’s it. It’s been one whole week. And I’m still here, and so is my kid. I don’t know how long this will last. The first two days were heaven. Wednesday, I hit a wall and Thursday morning, husband and I were looking at each other with deep circles under our eyes (wake up was 5:30am) while our child screamed and writhed on the floor because he missed a Nerf tennis serve for the second time in a row, and the look said, “Holy shit, we’re in Hell, this is Hell, I’m sure of it.” And you know what? Ten hours later, the three of us were hanging out in my husband’s co-worker’s office, having an impromptu play date with a bunch of his colleagues and a Siberian husky puppy named Captain Hook, and it was bliss. There is no rhyme or reason to toddler moods and I can’t make this shit up.
My son, unprompted, asks to go for walks daily (my favorite thing to do ever is go for a walk). He looks at the sunset and calls it fireworks. He tells me, “Good job, mommy!” when I close the garage door. I’m here for this, and at least for this week, I’m not distracted.
I go to his pre-preschool and I sit for two hours, just watching him play. I’m not texting (much) or reading a book or returning phone calls or running errands. I’m watching someone be introduced to his world. It doesn’t pay the bills, but it just may save my kid some therapy (or not, we’ll probably find out in 25 years that attachment parenting causes cancer). I’ve never been so happy being miserable. I’ve never been so in love with someone who exhausts me. Being “just a mom” is so much more than I ever thought I would be.