The timing of Colin's birth coincided almost perfectly with the holiday season. He was born just a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, and then of course Thanksgiving ran into Hanukkah which then ran into Christmas and New Year's. As a result, I've been fortunate enough to have a lot of family come to help, and my husband was also able to take a few weeks off of work.
That's the good part of having a baby over the holidays.
The downside is that the older boys have been off of school. A LOT. AND WE ARE ALL GOING STIR CRAZY!!!!
Winter break sucks.
What I've learned in my five years of parenting boys is that they have to be run. Like dogs. They need to burn energy and have space, or there will be repercussions, generally in the form of obnoxious/violent/alarming/crazy/annoying/relentless behavior. What this means is that you have to get boys out of the house - to parks, to open areas, to activities, to something. Unfortunately, with the cold weather and the around the clock nursing, we haven't been able to get out as much as we've liked. Thus, the boys have excess energy combined with idle time, which is a recipe for disaster. Add to that the fact that I have a seven week old baby to contend with, and I'm kind of losing my shit.
Fortunately, my husband has been home for the past couple of weeks. We tag team and swap duties and give each other a respite from the madness, or he'll attempt to keep the older boys entertained while I nurse the baby. But it still hasn't been pretty. I have raised my voice way more than I care to admit. I have given more time-outs than I can count. Two nights ago, Casey was running around the house buck naked, with socks on his hands like mittens. We didn't even care.
We are spent.
The boys don't go back to school until Monday. But my husband went back to work today. And he left this morning with a huge smile on his face, practically skipping out the door. He couldn't wait to go back to work. And you know what? I completely understand. I am jealous, in fact.
I'm not saying what I'm doing now is harder than working out of the house, and God knows I don't want to engage in that SAHM versus working mom debate. But what I am saying is that today, right now, I would give anything for a little break from my current job. I would love to be able to get in my car, and drive and listen to music without any children in the car to cry or tell me to change the station. I would love to get to a desk, check my email, and then meander to Starbucks for a coffee without anyone needing to suck on my boob or be taken to the bathroom. And then I'd love to do something besides child care - something that uses my brain and not my body. Something solitary, quiet, and calm. I'd love to chat with co-workers and grab lunch, and go to the bathroom when I want to. I'd love to go to a meeting - a real life business meeting - and talk about business things and then make casual conversation. I'd love to peruse the internet intermittently and get a mid-afternoon snack and think about my kids and how excited I am to see them. I'd love to get out of the house and wear real clothes and have a reason to shower.
My scenario is not reality, of course. I've left out all the parts about stress and commute and office politics and pumping and the angst of being away from your kids. The fact is, I wouldn't want to do that every day. I do want to be home with my kids.
But today? Today I would give anything for my husband's day.
It's going to be a long one.