Slow Down

Sometimes I forget…

My daughter is going to be three this fall. I became a stay at home mother because I didn’t want to miss anything. The brief period of time I went back to work full-time I cried every day. I cried because I couldn’t focus on my work, I could focus on my child, I couldn’t focus on my husband, on myself, on anything. I cried because while I was feeling so miserable my daughter was not being raised by me and my animals were not getting the attention they deserved. Not to mention, in my career field being even a little negligent can lead to serious consequences for the animal, the public, the zoo, and/or the keeper.

So I decided to stay home. I wanted to be there for my daughter in a way my mother hadn’t been. I wanted to experience every coo and gurgle and cry of every second. My daughter needed me, as her mother I felt that single truth more than anything else. It was not even a hard decision. I knew what my child needed, and everything else we would just have to figure it out.

I have felt so blessed in my life. I have, so far, had a great life. With so many wonderful memories. Some of my most treasured memories I might have missed had I decided not to stay home with my little Pumpkinhead.

But sometimes I forget…

The past few weeks have been so frantic. Financially ever since the move we are sinking in a way we never have before. I don’t think I have been this broke since I was in college living out of my Taurus Wagon. At least we have a roof, and usually have enough food, so we aren’t the BROKEST I have ever been… not yet. But we are getting pretty close.

I may have mentioned before that I have a weird thing about food. I used to hoard it, to stash it, to hide it. I have gone through periods of my life when we didn’t have a lot to eat, or I didn’t have a lot to eat and no money to get any food. I used to hide food from my roommates for fear that we would run out and I needed to have a back up. The past few years have been quite plentiful for us, so eventually I got over it. However, every time the cupboards start getting even a little bare I start getting this anxious twitch in the back of my head. The less food we have the worse it is. It might even be worse now that we have kids that alarm starts screeching sooner even if we still have “enough” food. It makes me grumpy and of edge to say the least. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I married a chef…

For the past few weeks as we try to find some balance between our income and our expenses, as I try to find some job that will work around my husbands schedule and try to do what I can to make as much money as I can in other ways (check out my Tutu’s!) we are still barely breaking even each month. We are one really bad day away from going in the red for a very long time.

So sometimes I forget to just stop and slow down. To just step back and take a breath and stop feeling so manic over money and food and time. To stop and watch my amazing son and beautiful daughter grow up. Sometimes I forget to remember WHY we are so broke and WHY I wouldn’t change it. Sometimes I forget to remember how FAST it goes. He is almost 3 months and she is almost 3 years and God it has gone too fast! I have been there for every single step so far and I still want more. I am greedy for my children’s childhood. By this time next year she will be in preschool and he will be walking and maybe talking. I hope we will still be breastfeeding but who knows if he will want to? It’s all so fast and so uncertain and so magical.

I miss my career, I miss my animals and the professional interaction. I miss the daily challenges and the satisfaction of doing a great job for a good cause. I want to go back into my career… one day. Sometimes I forget just how much my babies need me… even my toddler. I am still the main part of their lives, but I am not always going to be.

So this is me taking a breath and remembering that this part doesn’t last very long and when its gone that’s it. They will be grown and wont want the snuggles or the kissed boo boos or the bedtime stories or the silly crafts and games or any of it.  We will figure out the money stuff, we always do. I think, for now, maybe I should just let go of the illusion of control that drives me bonkers sometimes and just let life be. To just remember why I wanted to stay home in the first place. To stop worrying about the future for just a bit.

I am hoping today that you find some center in yourself too.

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