Apologies for disappearing again. I miss this space, and there are the beginnings of numerous posts in my drafts folder and just floating around in my head. But I’m finding it difficult to fit in time for writing these days.
My life is full of so many good things–a job that I like, a spouse who I adore, these two longed-for kids. And yet that same fullness means constant scarcity–there’s never enough time or energy for everything that I would like to do. Time at work means time spent away from my family. I don’t spend nearly enough time connecting with Roo. I cannot simultaneously give my attention to both kids at once.
That last one is particularly tricky. Tadpole is a whirlwind of arms and legs and impulsivity. He’ll sit still if we’re reading books together, but otherwise is in almost-constant motion. He’s always exploring and testing–what will happen if he does a headstand in the Ikea chair? what will happen if he sticks his finger in his sister’s mouth? And Sprout is an explorer as well. Her crawling is fast these days, and she pulls herself to standing, which means all sorts of non-baby-safe items have to be relocated to higher ground. If I focus on one kid, the other is invariably getting into mischief behind my back. Roo and I are constantly putting out fires, which means we haven’t found the time to do proactive things like putting up baby gates or relocating non-baby-safe items to higher ground.
I hate that one-on-one time with little Sprout is so scarce. I savor the few moments I have with her during the week–snuggling as she nurses in the morning, making her giggle when I blow raspberries on her belly as I change her into pajamas at night. But I miss her during the day, and I wish I could spend more time focused on her. I love the age that she is (10 months), and I’m aware of how quickly she’s changing. I only have 4 weekends with a 10-month-old Sprout before I’ll have an 11-month-old one. That’s only 8 days, and somewhere in each of those days I have to find time for things like grocery shopping and laundry.
Tad’s growth and development isn’t as rapid or as obvious, but this start of kindergarten is an important time for him too. I want to be sure I’m present to him as well–which is hard when I have to be constantly vigilant to be sure the baby isn’t swallowing pebbles or destroying Tad’s artwork or…
I miss the slower-paced days of the summer, when I was the only one who had to leave the house before 8:30, and we were all home by 4:15 most afternoons. Instead of the go-go-go of our current mornings and evenings we had a few minutes to read books on the couch in the morning or to all sit on the porch together before dinner.
I remember with longing the lazy Fridays that I got to spend with Tadpole when he was little. I worked four days a week, which meant that I had a whole day to focus on Tad. We went for toddler-paced walks around the block and did storytime at the library and spent entire afternoons watching road construction. Plus, I had time to start on weekend chores during his nap. I’m committed to my current job through July of next year, but am wondering if I can find something with a four-day work week after that. It feels unfair that Sprout (who already has to share our attention with Tad) doesn’t get this kind of focused attention during the school year (though she does have it with Roo during the summers).
I am very lucky in everything that I have–a job is satisfying and that pays well (even if it takes up more time than I would like), two amazing kids (even if it seems impossible that only two children can create the messes that they do), a cozy house (even if it requires endless cleaning and maintenance). My life is full-to-overflowing and that brings both intense joy and deep-down-in-my-bones exhaustion.