I have these moments. I’m sitting down. Finally. I pull out my computer, excited for the opportunity to write an email. Finally. I’m lonely and excited and I have so much to share. Friends have written and they have so much to share and I want to respond. Finally. An email. A two handed email. As opposed to the one-handed and generally one-lined iPhoned attempts. Ahhhhhh….finally. Halfway in, the big boys begin an epic light saber fight and Caid makes an excited exclamation. Bam. The baby wakes up. Nothing will console except a cuddle or a finger to suck on (he won’t take a pacifier) and well…maybe just a one-handed email to let them know I at least read what they wrote?
Tonight Scott had the baby and was cooking dinner. I had finally taken care of a couple of my “need to order online” list items. The new Court Yard Hounds album was rocking on Spotify and I was about to finally start writing. So much to write about. Homebirth. Wellies. The 100 Acre Wood. Birth. Mothering an infant. The journey. But here was a sweet 5 year old. Longing to read me a book. Cuddled up close and interrupting every few minutes. “Mama? Wanna know what that says? Aaaaalllllllrrrrrreeeeeddddddyyyyy. Already!” And how can I not be so excited. And how can I not drop everything for what is really his first attempt at reading an entire book by himself? And how can I not set aside my computer and cuddle him up and drink in the moment. But…see…it’s the first time in nearly a week to sit by myself for 20 minutes and the first time in six weeks I’ve had to sit with my computer and TWO HANDS and do whatever I want to do. For just 20 minutes. Finally.
These moments. These tradeoffs. These are the tensions. The issues. The balancing act of taking care of children and trying to look after oneself. A household AND the people in it. Do I sleep for an hour or make sure everyone has clean underwear? Make the journey to the grocery store with three boys in tow or eat peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner? These are the days of snatching a conversation with my husband while I shower since the water sounds sooths the baby and he doesn’t cry. The days of “I’m not sure I brushed my teeth today” and “Can you just wear dirty jeans for one more day?” These are the days of a cupcake being the fastest available lunch vs. “sure wish I had a pair of jeans that fit.” These are the days of baby cries that break my heart and my will and baby smiles that light up my whole world. Of snatches of conversations. Of broken sleep. Of tradeoffs.
It’s a lot of work. But it’s good work…if you can get it.