Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

idle hands

So, the baby has not been born yet and we were feeling a little bored just waiting around for him, so we went ahead and bought a house. No biggie. It's almost like we have lost the ability to do one major, life-changing event at a time. Last August it was all Get A Job! Buy A Car! Get Pregnant! in the same week. And this month we are trying to out-do ourselves with Quit A Job! Buy A House! Have A Baby! in the same weekend. On one hand we are thrilled to have finally earned our official Grown Up merit badge. On the other hand we are completely freaking out. Which, you know, is great because the baby isn't even here yet. Imagine the freaking out that shall happen then, my friends.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

cookies and milk and yellow balloons

My mother says her memories of me as a young girl are that I would follow her around the house and want to participate in whatever she was doing. My favorite song, and I sang it all the time, was When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Mother.

When I grow up I want to be a mother and have a family.
One little, two little, three little babies of my own.
Of all the jobs, for me I'll choose no other. I'll have a family.
Four little, five little, six little babies in my home.
And I will love them all day long.
And give them cookies and milk and yellow balloons.
And cuddle them when things go wrong.
And read them stories and sing them pretty tunes.
When I grow up if I can be a mother, how happy I will be.
One little, two little, three little babies I can love.
And you will say each sister and each brother all look a lot like me.
Four little, five little, six little blessing from above.

It was all I wanted. Being a stay-at-home mom was something I always wanted for myself. When Somebody and I got married, he was not as enthusiastic about that plan as I was, but I am grateful that he has really left that decision up to me to make. I'm also grateful that we found out I was pregnant just a week after he was offered his full-time job last year. Without his job I would have needed to stay working so that we could pay our bills and have insurance. With his job, and with a lot of careful planning and budgeting, we have been able to readjust our lives to make my staying at home work for us. I realize that this is not the same choice that many other mothers can and do make, but this has never been about what other people are choosing. This is about what I'm choosing and about what Somebody and our years of careful planning together have allowed me to choose.

I'm ready. I'm terrified. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm thrilled. I'm not sure I know how to do anything other than what I've been doing—working full-time and in general enjoying it quite a bit. I'm not sure I'm ready to bend my schedule to the needs of someone else. I'm not sure there won't be a lot of days when I question my choice and wonder if I would be happier if I had chosen to return to work. I'm not sure that I'm able to put into practice the restrictive budget that I have designed that makes this choice possible. I'm not sure I completely understand what I'm getting in to. What I am sure of, though, is that no matter how hard this might be for me to adjust to, this is a choice that I am happy to make. Even with the very clear picture in my mind of a screaming baby who will not be consoled and me sitting nearby in tears of frustration at not knowing how to make things better, I am happy to make this choice. I want to be a mother and have a family. And I want to stay at home with my family.

And so today, in about 20 minutes, I'm going to walk out of a door that I have walked into every weekday for the past 21 months, get in my car, drive my 45 minutes of country roads, and try to not look back. My baby will spend the drive kicking me, as he always does, and I'll sing him Indigo Girls all the way (because lately I've been missing Heidi and missing singing and missing song lyrics that speak to me). Tonight Somebody will make me pancakes for dinner (because what begins with pancakes should end with pancakes) and then, after a quiet evening at home, I will go to bed knowing that tomorrow I will begin a completely different kind of job. But of all the jobs, for me I'll choose no other.