Before Nick and I decided to start a family, I started my interior design business. I talked to him about how great it would be to have flexible hours when the children came along. I thought that it would be absolutely perfect. I was a tad naive--to say the least.
I had no idea what it would be like to be mother, much less one who worked from home. Being a mother is just like anything else--you just can't understand until you ARE one.
As we worked towards becoming a family, I got more excited about the flexibility of my work, and how life would not change much once the babies came along. You can laugh...I was clueless.
Once Sister entered our lives, work was a little harder, but it was completely doable. I could work while she napped, and take her with me to most meetings. Once she got too big to take with me, I could find someone to watch her for an hour or so while I met with clients. Life changed as far as work went, but not drastically.
But once Little Man came along and I was toting Linebacker in the womb...it was a horse of a different color. I did okay until the end of my pregnancy when I was quite large, and toting a punkin seat with a 6 month old in it. That was rough. But I still did it.
Now it is almost impossible.
All three are mobile and vocal. Taking them to a meeting is absolutely fraught with peril. And finding a sitter for all three is not exactly a walk in the park either. So my work has slowed...my hands are more than full just being a mommy.
But I continue to work as I can because I love what I do, and I hope to continue doing it once the kids are in school. It is not easy, though.
You see, what I didn't realize before kids, is that when you work from home, you are never completely at work--and you are never completely at home. The work emails and phone calls come in
all day...and the wants and needs of the kids do too. They constantly intertwine.
But I try to remember that my babies will only be little for a short time.
When I am trying to work, and Sister is sitting in front of her pink and black plastic make up stand clipping her hair up and putting on her earrings, and she says,"Mommy, can you help me put this earring on? I am going to a party," I stop my emails and swoop her hair behind her ear to clip the earring on. In my mind I fast forward a few years when she will be sitting in front of a real make up stand getting ready for a real party...maybe prom. And she won't need help with her earring--she will be able to do it herself. She will probably roll her eyes and apologize to her friends while I try to take a million pictures.
So when she is standing in her plastic high heels looking at me and she says," Mommy, put your shoes on too! You can come to the party," I put my work down and slip on some way too small, gawdy plastic heels to attend the party with her.
When I am searching for accessories online and Linebacker has the croup and cannot get comfortable to take a nap, I put the computer down and pick him up. I snuggle him into my chest and lay down in my bed to hold him until he feels secure and safe enough to fall asleep. I know that he is completely asleep when I feel the drool soaking my shirt collar, but I have an internal battle on whether to go work while he is napping, or enjoy the moment. I usually lay there with him and listen to him breathing. There is nothing like holding a sleeping baby on your chest.
I know that in a few short years, maybe less than I know, he will be taller than me and I will look up at him. I will not ever be able to hold him this way again. He may need me still at times, but he will never admit it, as it is not a "manly" thing to do. So I continue to let his drool soak my shirt and I smile as his little chickadee hairs tickle my face, and his chubby hands lay on my arms.
When I am trying to find vendors for a clients logo, and Little Man reaches up to me wanting to be held, I try to remember how short this time is. It won't be long until he has no desire to sit in my lap and rub my arm with his sweet little hand. He will not care if I am nearby or not. As frustrated as I sometimes get with him always being on my coattails, it won't be long until I will be wishing that he was right there with me. So I stop the search and pick him up and watch for the millionth time, a Wonder Pets episode, while he rubs my arm hairless.
So most nights, I am up at 11pm, once everyone else is asleep, answering emails. I am searching madly for that perfect light fixture, getting quotes from vendors, and trying to find the perfect solution to space planning problems for my clients. I am usually exhausted, but that is my new norm. I enjoy and value my work, but also my children.
Being a mommy itself is a full time job, and a mommy's work is absolutely never done. But I try to remember to stop and take time with these children, as they are my most precious treasure.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates."--Deuteronomy 6:5-9