Husband informed me tonight that our relationship would teeter on the edge of perfect if he were the woman and I were the man. He told me this in the context of needing to offer a wee bit more for childcare than what I’m currently seeking. But he had 3 solid reasons for seeing it as a rosy role-reversal:
1. I like to use my brain more. I think it’s “funner” (yes, direct quote).
2. He has too much testosterone, which causes him to get more angry (because we all know estrogen doesn’t do that?), so even though he would enjoy staying home with the kids, this hormone apparently renders him exempt. Or inept. Or something.
3. There was a mention of sex drive, but I tuned that out.
It’s hard to believe that nearly 3 years later I’m still battling the internal wars of mommy vs. worker bee. On the one side, I love not rushing out the door and getting to spend time with the kiddos each day. I love making them good food and taking them to the park. Today I even enjoyed our outing to the doctor’s office (everyone was on primo behavior). And nap time. I LOVE nap time.
But I also crave social interaction. And not just the “can I have your recipe for granola bars” type of interaction, but real, meaty conversation. And trivial gossipy conversation. Or work-related conversation. I love common goals and strategy and planning. I love imagining what could be and coming up with ways to get us there. Devising solutions. I’m all about the process as much as the product.
Husband is right: I do love to think and read and create and… well, think. But it’s hard to get real strategic with a 2 year old, even when it comes to potty training. The most vision we have to our days are the promises of something fun on the other side of a good nap. So without these managerial elements, I’m left a bit empty. I have an task-centered, goal-oriented hole in my heart that my kids just don’t fill. And to be honest, when my cerebral itch doesn’t get scratched, I tend to gravitate toward the world wide and it’s web to keep my mind engaged. But while engaged with electronics, my children run amok. Not the win-win we’re looking for.
Fortunately, it might not be up to me to actually try to make a decision about how to balance work and home. We’re a sitter’s worst nightmare: part-time. So by keeping us on board, she’s not able to keep other kids that could be a bigger paycheck. I spoke with one this evening who was absolutely wonderful, but it’s hard to for her to justify aligning with us when the take-home pay just might not be worth her time. She’s even worked with special needs kids before (one with a loss of hearing) and would love to continue working as a “nanny”, but what do I have to offer, other than 3 adorable kids?
Husband has told me there’a a price to pay to keep mama sane, and it’s worth it. But we only need my part-time sanity.
So, until we find the part-time relief, it’s just me and the children during the day. We’ve started to develop rhythm and pattern, and as I said on FB, the kids are more full of sunshine if I get up earlier and get some coffee in my system first. At this rate of progression, perhaps I’ll even brave the grocery store with all 3 by the end of the year.
Or I’ll just send them with the nanny.