Friday, May 13, 2011


Things are a little stressful right now. We are about to leave for a month. So Mark is working until 10 p.m. every night, trying to get to the point where he can leave his work for several weeks. That leaves me with a lot of extra childcare and household work, in addition to trying to get ready, to get some exercise, and to prepare for my conference.

And tonight we are going to make the big change, moving Willow from the swing to a firm surface. I think it’s going to be miserable and I’m dreading it. I’d put it off longer, but we are leaving in just over a week and she needs to learn how to fall asleep on a still surface before then, or our trip is going to be a nightmare. Also, we have reached the point where we hate the swing. Every time we go to retrieve her, her head is bent over against the bar. That can’t be good, and I’ll try to remember that as she’s screaming.

I’d like to do it when she goes to bed at 7, but Mark won’t be here and it’s too much for me to handle the 5-15 minute comfortings and putting River to bed. So we’ll wait until her 10:30 p.m. feeding and put her in the bassinet after that.

I’m stressed by thoughts of packing/organizing/preparing, my weight, my return to work in six weeks, a busy summer, and random injustices (like this one). But despite these petty stresses, I’m overwhelmed with a feeling of thankfulness and gratitude. I look at my children and they are healthy, happy, vibrant and confident. The combination of who they were born to be, and the way we have raised them seems to be working out so far, and I find that incredibly fulfilling.

It feels better now that I’ve reached the point of being able to confidently manage them both. I’m enjoying being able to do so many things with them and to experience the small moments of their days. I tend to massively overschedule myself, just because I’m interested in way too many things and I do the same thing when I’m with the kids.

No, I can’t just take them with me on an errand to an outlet mall. I have to find a fun attraction (train museum, that takes several hours) and a good place to eat to make it worth the drive. On the agenda for this weekend is a visit to the gym (the last before my membership expires), a birthday party, a playdate, a pancake breakfast at the airport and a party at a farm. Sometimes I wonder if I’m grooming River to expect this much activity and entertainment. Will be soon be bored if he’s not doing four or five things per weekend? But then I think of all the exposure he’s getting to different places, ideas and people.

I am a learner and an explorer (as well as an overscheduler) and I’m largely choosing things to do that I think are interesting, or will be interesting to him. Sometimes I learn something or have fun, and sometimes I have the enjoyment of watching him have those experiences.

Yes, I dream of time to read books, to exercise, to think deeper thoughts, to accomplish more things. But overall, I think I have a good life. I’m so grateful for my family, my education, my flexible maternity leave and the resources I have access to. I feel very lucky.

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