Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Anna Bug

We, as parents, quite often must sacrifice our dreams. We make decisions based on what we feel is best for our children and our families in the long run. Some mothers want to work. They like being out of the house, using their minds and interacting with other adults on a day to day basis. Others may feel that work is draining but a necessity to providing financially for their families.

Rich dropped the girls off at school yesterday morning to allow Grammy some extra time off. Extend her weekend by a few hours, if you will. Dropping the girls off at school means catching a later train into the city and arriving at work around 10:00. For me to do so, I would have to catch an equally later train that evening, which would mean arriving home at the precise time the girls are falling asleep. In which case, mass chaos would ensue.

So at 7:15 yesterday morning, I had the choice of either running out the door to catch my train or calming down Anna who was in the midst of a crying fit. Ten minutes earlier, she had asked me for a piece of paper. When I handed her one on my way back upstairs, she yelled out, "No!" and started crying. There was never any explanation for why she became upset.

I missed my train because I could not walk out the door with my baby on the floor trying to wedge her head under the couch. She calmed down fairly quickly and asked me to make her breakfast, which I did. I also fixed her hair for school. And Em's. And then caught the next train to Boston.

This morning, Anna wanted me to hold her as I rushed to pack my food for the day and tie up my commuting sneakers. I obliged and Emily joked that Anna wanted to go to work with me. When I passed Anna to Grammy's arms so I could leave, she started crying. And continued to do so as we drove down the street.

Main Street in our town has many empty store fronts. A sign of the times, I suppose. Over the past four years, we have witnessed several stores open and close their doors within a short time frame. I've been known to say, "The rent isn't too bad..." I've been known to have crazy dreams. To me, sewing is making a comeback. Look at the popularity of Etsy and custom made clothing. What if I took some of our savings and opened a fabric shop slash boutique with an online presence? What if the shop also offered sewing lessons?

The risk of failure is too high. There are no benefits, no paid vacations, and in this economy, I may as well just flush my kids' college tuition down the toilet.

There are similar issues with professional photography. To go from a salary of $X to one of 10% of $X isn't feasible.

Anna greeted me in the front hall when I returned home from work this evening. I could sense that she needed some special time with me so I had her help me ready a pot of eggs to boil and then we read some books on the couch before tubby time.

On a good night (i.e., one where I am home early), I am lucky to have 45 minutes with the girls before we begin bedtime fun.


Wiley said...

Wow, I'd never really thought of adding the logistics of mass transportation into kid time. Can't imagine that. I'm lucky enough to have an office a bit over a mile from our house and I still feel like evenings only consist of ten minutes of open time and then dinner and reading and shower/bath. But it works for us. It may not be ideal, but it is what works...

Erin said...

Thank you for posting this; it's not that I want anybody else feeling this way but there is comfort knowing I am not the only Mom going through this. I feel the same way as you wishing that I could have more time with my two little girls but also needing to work. We are up at 6am during the week and have about 1hr 15 minutes with the girls in the evenings before our bath/bed routine starts. I do have a store on Etsy for Children's clothes that I sew but have so little time to do anything that it is hard to get much listed there. I like your idea for a fabric store/clothes boutique, too bad I live in South Carolina otherwise I would want to team up with you.
Have a great day.

Heather said...

I really appreciate your feelings about leaving your babies and going to work. Work has its benefits, truly it does. But it is *hard* when your baby is crying and clinging to you, and even harder I'm certain when she is begging you to stay. So many blogs revolve around stay-at-home moms and when you read them you just think about how much time you're missing. As if you don't already know. By the time you get home it's time for the get-ready-for-bed routine and that's all you have. Mornings, evenings and weekends. But it is worth it to know you're providing for them and making their lives better despite your own hardships.

Jena said...

I don't know if I've commented before, but I've been following your blog for a few months.

Your girls make me laugh on a daily basis, they are adorable.

I love how honest this post is. The decision that have to be made as a parent are scary, even if they are "simple" as deciding if you should take the late train, or braid someone's hair.
(I don't have kids, so I can't even fathom what it must be like).. Anyways. I just really liked how honest this post was.

Cindy said...

Thanks for this post, Sarah. I am going to chime with the others. it is difficult to leave your little one crying to run and get to work. There have been so many times that I've been late because I wanted to chose my children over work. I hate staying late to make up for it because then it's less time I see them at night. I don't see them in the morning. I have about 2 hours in the evening and then there are weekends. Weekends are everything to me because of this. I tend to put a lot of house chores off because I'm itching to spend time with my girls. Then I get annoyed with myself for not getting anything on my list done. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Tiffany said...

Hi Sarah, I have never commented before, but I have a 2 year old daughter and another one on the way and I constantly feel the pull between work and my daughter. I can only imagine it's going to get worse with the new baby. I too, often feel like most blogs are centered on stay at home moms and I feel guilt for reading those blogs and not being able to stay at home and be with my children as well. We all have to make choices that are the best for our families and for our family, that means I need to go to work. It's hard work being a mom! Thanks for this post.

Sugardrive said...

Before I say this, please know that I ought to take my own advice. Money isn't everything, and when you find yourself poorest in monetary goods, you will find yourself richest in other things. I'd buy your shit. ;)

Sarah said...

Thank you all for commenting - I know I'm not alone and that almost every mother struggles with this issue.

And Sugardrive - I completely agree.

Mommy, Esq. said...

With the new job I get 30 mins a day with the kids each week night (involving bedtme) and all weekends. Stupid commute.

Wendy said...

I think the girls are in the same crying phase. I went to go for a run last night (our 40 minutes total) and Molly stood in our front window and cried the entire time. And while I don't really WANT to go back into working, if we want to get out of this small house, in a not-great neighborhood, I have to help out financially. Forget college. The girls are going to have to be brilliant.