Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Just Another Day

Is there anything more chaotic than the weekday mornings of dual-working-parents?  Sometimes it just aint pretty.

This morning we woke up to Noah with a cold (seriously, are toddlers sick ALL winter long??), and he was a snotty, clingy, cranky disaster.  So between our getting dressed, packing lunch, prepping for dinner (yes, 12 hours before!), making tea, etc, we were passing him back and forth, cleaning out his nose, and entertaining him to alleviate the whining.  His sickness-induced clumsiness meant that he kept stumbling between me in the kitchen and Adam in the bedroom, tripping over his toys and spilling milk.  And then crying.  It was just..chaos.  After my daily debrief with our nanny, my hubbie and I both leave.  (Not without each of us taking out 2 bags of trash, of course!)  Finally in my car, I blast the new Alabama Shakes song and I feel a bit relieved to drive away.  But then I feel guilty for feeling relieved.  All he wanted was for one of us to pick him up and give him undivided attention, and neither of us had time for it.  He wanted a weekend morning.  On Sat/Sun mornings, we bring him to our bed and watch Mickey (or "dickey" as he calls it), play for a long time and enjoy a slow start to the day.  It's one of our favorite times of the week.  A far cry from M-F mornings when I'm trying to do 18 things at once, am always running late, and only get 15-20 mins with him (it's a good and bad thing when you're kids aren't crazy early risers).  He desperately needed a weekend morning today and we couldn't give it to him.  And so I felt shitty.  Guilty and shitty.

The pre-work chaos followed me into work.  Within a half hour, my nanny texts me about a problem with the window in Noah's room, and that he is acting really exhausted.  She sends me pics of his window, and also pics of him laying down half asleep in the middle of the living room on his stuffed monkey.  Daggers to chest.  I call people to come look at his window this week, reschedule some other stuff to make that work, and bite my nails over Noah feeling sick.  Our nanny is more than capable of taking care of him when he's not feeling well, but shouldn't one of us be there?  Adam can't go home because he has a client meeting, and I can't easily go home because my work situation isn't as flexible and I have work to do (especially now that I have just spent half the morning dealing with all of this).  So we don't go home.  Oh, there's that guilt again. 

For every morning like this, there are several others that are just another day in paradise (if you're not a country music fan, Phil Vassar has a song that always reminds me how rewarding and beautiful family chaos is).  The bad ones make you feel guilty and doubt your ability to do the work/parenting thing, but the good ones make you feel superhuman and whole.  It's a tension I'm learning to handle more and more each day.  I'm very lucky that we have a wonderful nanny to rely on (how do moms get kids ready for daycare in the morning on top of everything else? I am not worthy), a helpful and supportive husband, and most importantly a healthy child.  I'm also very lucky to have a great job that I truly want, rather than one I hate or feel stuck in.  Sometimes reminding myself of that makes it easier to stick out the inevitable hard days like today.  And the truth is, if I were a stay-at-home mom, we wouldn't be watching "dickey" in bed on the weekdays......would we?


  1. wow. This is all of my morning since the grandmas left and Raina started daycare. My "trick" in getting out the door is that we have stopped packing lunch, and scramble for dinner when we get home...every day I wonder if we'll ever reach a rhythm or will we always just be treading water...

    1. I will say that it does get easier as your child gets older. When they start walking/playing more on their own/gaining more independence, it frees you up a bit. You will find a rhythm for sure, but there will be (many) days where the unpredictablility of Raina/life screw it up! My "trick" is to use the morning as much as possible - I try to cook dinner and get damn near ready before Noah wakes (luckily he doesn't wake up until 7-730, if he were a 530/6am kid this wouldn't be workable). We also use paper plates w/o feeling guilty, and order in/eat out whenever I run out of time :) You're doing GREAT and are setting a wonderful example for Raina, keep it up!