I finally started my part-time schedule. After 5 years of working full-time, post childbirth, I have finally managed to negotiated the part-time schedule I think I wanted. I say, "I think," because while it is what I wanted, I'm pretty sure the less I work, the less I will want to work. I've always said, "I could NEVER not work at all." But the more the think about it, and the less I work, the more I think, why they hell not. And frankly, as the kids get older, the more appealing the idea of having more time with them is. It's not that I didn't want that time before, though it was not an option financially, it just that...it's easier now. And I really do believe this is the beginning of the time they really will need more of me.
Every time I say this I wonder if it's really true. Do they really need me more? Or maybe I need the time with them? I'm one of those moms who finds it hard to be away from her kids - to a flaw. Jonathan and I have not really have one vacation alone in five years. Oh wait, we did drive to Montreal for my 30th birthday when Sweat Pea was 18 months. (I refused to fly without her so we were left to find a place to drive to that would still feel "foreign.") We left her with my parents for three nights. Four years ago. Since then, we've gone away for a night here and there, but that's it.
I am now finding it easier to go away without them, now that they have each other, and I know they are old enough to understand we are coming back. But it's the day to day I find difficult to miss. When I go out for a rare and random night with a friend I find myself racing to get home. What are they doing? Did I miss anything? I find it difficult to miss any of their every moment. Not that I want to be there for EVERY whiney moment or tantrum over who knows what. But their cool, those kids...and fun, most the time. But it is this very realization that will FORCE me to keep this part-time schedule and not turn it into a total hiatus. I fear I would become so immersed in their lives I would loose my own. (Not that I really feel like I have one now.) But one day, I think having that something for myself, even if it is work, will be the key to allowing my children the space they will need. And what I will need to remind me, I did once have a life apart from them, even if I can't remember it.