Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Putting It All In Perspective

The thing I love most about having a toddler, is that anything that you could maybe, potentially take seriously gets put in perspective.

Like work, for example. I love my job. For the most part, it's fulfilling. It's not stressful, allowing me plenty of time to keep up with my favority bloggers, I'm trusted to do my job and not micromanaged, and I work with great people, who make me laugh and not in the way that coworkers in the past have made me laugh. I'm talking the "you're actually a cool funny person" way, not a "holy crap, you're so ridiculous that I have to laugh at you, otherwise I might have a nervous breakdown."

But I get here half hour early and every day, I leave roughly half an hour early. Because I know what the important thing is. The important thing is that I go pick up my toddler and he runs to me, points out something obvious to me, like his frog or his shoe and tells me what that thing is. And then I get to spend about 2.5 hours with him before I have to put him down.

To a stay-at-home mom, that probably sounds horrible. I mean, in total, I spend only four hours a day with my son.

But the thing is, I make those four hours count. Sure, on Tuesdays, we spend it watching American Idol together, but hey, that's the kind of quality television we'll still be talking about in 30 years, I'm sure.

The point of this post is not to try to diminish my working mother guilt. This is the decision I had to make for my family and it wasn't easy, but it was necessary and I have no regrets. I got to spend the first 15 months of my son's life almost full time with him, which is so much more than most women ever get. And a part of me thinks that I didn't take advantage of that time together enough, the number of hours I spent on the computer or watching Y&R or Ellen, but really, at the end of the day, we all need our sanity and I did the best I could.

OK, so veering back onto the main highway of this post. The point is, that spending that quality time with my son is a priority. I am not willing to sacrifice that. I'm willing to do the best job I can for my company and should I need to work extra hours, I'm happy to do that work from home after 8 p.m.

That's probably my biggest change in perspective.

But then there's other little ones. Like yesterday, when Little Man was playing with his Target dollar bin moving train toy and he held it up to me and said, in his oddly thick Boston accent (especially strange for a Texas boy with a Texan father and a Canadian/French mother...) "CAH!"

"No, baby," I said. "That's a train, not a car."

And he responded.

"No! CAH! Vroom, vroom, beep, beep."

Because that's exactly what it sounds like when I drive.

And so I tried again and said:

"No really, it's a train. It goes Choo-choo."

And that where he looked at me with that "you cannot be freaking serious" and burst out laughing so hard, he got the hiccups.

Because really? What vehicle would actually go choo-choo in real life. A sneezing vehicle? Plain ridiculous really.

And then this morning, when Little Man and I were watching the Today Show and one of the news stories was about the finding of a new potentially habitable planet hundreds of trillions of light years away. But really close to a brand new mall and Target, so that's a bonus.

Just as I was thinking to myself that this could be a brand new planet for us to rape and pillage when we're done destroying this one, Little Man pointed excitedly to the screen, turned to me and screamed "BALL!!!!"

Oh to be 19 months again.




beebop said...

as a part timer now, i can appreciate the sacrifice of being a working mama. while i was a full time working mama I got to spend, maybe...2 hours with E a day, but damn we packed those 2 hours with goodness. And now that I get an additional few hrs/week we find time to kick back and relax (IE: ellen, nap, lay in sun).

Beccy said...

It sounds to me as if your life suits you perfectly and isn't that a great feeling.

jesse said...

I think what matters most is how you spend your time with your children. I don't think there is anything wrong for a mother to work and those who think so are ignorant. I stayed home, went back to work, and now I'm staying home again. I say whatever is good for the family.

M said...

You have it balanced perfectly.

ANd dude, I think AI should be REQUIRED toddler tv viewing. It's Liam's fave time of day! Singing and dancing along! (And the ONLY show we can watch with him in the room w/o a meltdown!)

HOORAY for making your life work for you. I'm mega impressed. Quality. over. quantity. By far.

Also....I wanna be Little Man when I grow up. To have the nerve to laugh at the grown who know all when they suggest a sneezing car or something obscene. He's divine!

Kellie said...

It's not the number of hours you spend with your kid that count, it's HOW you spend them. I'm home all day, everyday with Morgan. Are we ALWAYS reading or playing together? No. She needs that independence and I need it, too.

Little Man is AWESOME--like his mama :)

Rachel said...

I just love the innocence kids have. It will make you smile no matter what.

It's quality and not quantity. We watch AI too, all of us.