Some weeks I feel incredible satisfaction at work and in my profession. I feel like I am making a difference and accomplishing many things - things that matter. Some weeks I am inspired and excited about the work I do, the people I get to work with. There are times when I feel I have the world on a string.
Not this week.
Perhaps it's because our new house is feeling more and more like a home and I just want to spend more time there - with the kids. Perhaps it is because very soon I will be signing Charlie up for kindergarten, and the many years of school that will quickly follow frightens me. My babies aren't really babies and I'm missing so much. Perhaps it is the fun of Halloween and the desire to make ghosts and spiderwebs and carve pumpkins. Lately, the weekends just don't seem like enough time.
Perhaps it is because I want to try something completely different with my career. Find a new challenge and a new form of inspiration - one that fits more comfortably with raising a family. I'm not sure such a career exists, nor if I have the nerve to find out.
Our house is full of toys the kids only get to play with occasionally. They spend 40+ hours a week away from home, just like I do. They rarely get to spend a lazy morning in their pajamas playing on the floor, watching Sesame Street. Kids should get to watch Sesame Street. It is a right of passage, one my children barely know exists.
I want to have time to take them to the library, not just at 6:00pm on a Tuesday when we have to rush to get home and make dinner, but for Story Hour on Thursday mornings. I want to take them to museums and the occasional movie in the afternoon, to visit Dad's office, to the park for a picnic lunch.
I'm tired of being the weekend mommy, when park visits and puppet shows have to play second fiddle to cleaning the house, doing the laundry, going to the grocery store. Because all those chores have to get done by Sunday evening. Monday morning we all head back to work, to daycare.
I know my children are exposed to amazing people and experiences in their current daycare. I know they are loved and well-cared for every day. They are learning. They are thriving! But I am not with them for the majority of their day. I am not teaching them new skills. I am not there to see their smiles, their tears, their struggles and victories. I am not there.
Maybe things will get easier when both kids are in school. I've heard the guilt subsides somewhat - all kids go to school, after all. Maybe I can find a way to fit my work into the span of a school day. That would be ideal. Until I find my ideal, I'll cram as much as I can into the weekends and strive for early pick-ups once in a while.
I have no plans to quit my job anytime soon. I know the grass is always greener and the ideal work/home situation is a moving target. For now, I'll take it one day at a time.