Not really. I just wanted you to sing it to the right tune. Am I the only one who thinks like this? Yes. Okay.
Yesterday was Maren's first day back to the babysitter after a week and a day's absence due to swine flu. (Not Maren's. Not the babysitter's either, her son's.) I wish I had taken a camera. No child has ever in the history of the world, been so thrilled, so uncontainably excited to see another human being. She jumped, she squirmed, she squealed with delight. She was more than happy to show off her new walking skills and scream DAAA-DAAAA at the top of her lungs.
She's pretty much always like that on Monday mornings, just less so. After our last vacation, I saw it a little, but she was much younger then. This was... incomprehensible.
And I feel that it should make me sad. I feel like it should drive home that I don't spend enough time with my darling. That this foreigner in our family gets the same (if not more) affection than I do. But the truth is, I'm glad. I'm glad that she loves her caregiver so much. That she's so happy there that she gets sad when she has to be away.
Also, I spent Monday home with her all day, and frankly, I'm glad someone else does that most of the time. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids. I think that if I could be a stay-at-home-mom, I would choose to in an instant. Then, I would immediately start trying to figure out what methods I could put in place to keep me sane, because let's face, I? Just not cut out for that.
On Monday, Maren hit her head 7 times, bit her tongue once, fell off the bed once and nearly ate a Polly Pocket dress 1,748,934 times. I accomplished pretty much nothing all day. I did some laundry. I had to put her in her high chair to do it, but I did. I got no cleaning done and she ate babyfood and I ate pizza rolls for lunch because there just was no other way.
I have this crazy stir-crazy thing, where I have to leave the house at least once a day and get OUT or I get all crazy and weepy and over-critical. Maternity leave nearly killed me. At least the part where I couldn't drive because I might rip open my internal stitches. Whatever. I would have preferred massive internal hemmoraging to sitting in my living room all freakin' day long. Monday night, I had a huge breakdown and went to Kroger at 10:00 p.m. (I really did need to go because we forgot Brynna's snack day.) I had been out of the house that morning though. I took Brynna to school and went to the library. Not enough, it turns out. I needed more escape than that.
I also need some sort of validation outside of motherhood. I know I could get that as a stay-at-home mother. I could volunteer. I could write more. I could maybe add AdSense and get paid for these ramblings (cents! I could be a centionaire!!) I could make it work.
And I would if I could afford it. I would in a heartbeat. I would love to be home with my kids. I'd love to be able to take them to all the library activities. I would love to go to the library when it isn't filled to brimming. I would love to go grocery shopping at 8 a.m. I would love to bake bread and learn to knit and keep my house cleaner and all the other things I imagine I would have time to do as a stay-at-home mom, but acknowledge that I probably wouldn't.
But, for now... I am secretly glad that I can't afford to be a stay-at-home mom. Because, even though I get frustrated and hate living in a pig sty and want to learn to knit and hate the library for only having activities during the work day and find yeast to be a wonderful-terrible mystery, I find my life pretty satisfying. Hectic and sometimes miserable, but mine and satisfying.
And if that means that my almost-eleven-month-old likes the babysitter better than me, well, screw it. It is what it is.