I fantasize about the book I'm going to write some day. Yeah, some day. Really, I'll get to it. Soon. Meanwhile, the title finally came to me the other day. My designer jeans have faded knees. Because I'm always down on my knees crawling around trying to find that last lego or polly pocket or whatever. My poor knees. :( My poor jeans! Let's not even mention the fact that they're discount super on sale jeans from the outlet mall. What a life this at home mothering is, my coolest pair of jeans only cost $20. How much does a pair of 7 for all mankind cost these days? $150?
So the premise of my book is how do you come to terms with growing up? REALLY growing up, you know, like all that "becoming a woman" shit. NO no no, not the "On Becoming a Woman Preparation Pack" of tampons and maxi pads and the cute little booklet talking abou "Aunt Flo". Not that! I'm talking about maturing past the glory days...whenever those might have been. What's funny is, any woman I have talked to about this stage has nodded so vehemently that I seriously worried about whiplash with some of them. Women as young as their 20s, as old as their 40s (ok, maybe some older or younger would agree but I don't happen to spend a lot of time with women in those other age categories.)
As with so many things in life, I really thought it was just me in this weird midlife funk/identity crisis. I can't quite figure out how to move past the days of my youth without falling into fuddy duddy. There HAS to be a middle ground! I have to be able to find clothes that look hip and cool without dressing like I'm going to a Hillary Duff concert! (hence the aforementioned designer jeans...had to make a special trip out to get lower cut underwear for those bad boys!) But then the practical reality of still having young kids settles hard. And then there's the whole "how can I have a life?"
A friend from my old job visited recently. Someone I haven't seen in 2+ years, we've each had a baby since we saw each other last. Difference is, I stayed home after that baby, she went back to work. She asked me at one point "Do you miss it?" How do you answer that question? I wanted to cry. I miss it daily. But then I don't. Because if I weren't missing work, I'd be missing OUT. But then the drudgery of being the at home parent smacks me in the forehead on a daily basis. Today's count, and it's a Sunday so this doesn't even reflect the true totals since some were done by others: Laundry: 4 loads washed, dried, folded, put away, sheets put back on beds. Dishwasher: 1 load, wash, unload, reload. reload again later after someone else ran and put away another load. Noses wiped: 37 (Liam's got a cold). Nursing sessions: 5 Toys picked up: 1,234,204. God we have got to get rid of some of this shit before Christmas!
So I'm caught up in this cycle of wishing I had the intellectual fulfillment of work and the satisfaction that comes with it (oh what I wouldn't pay for a full workday of being immersed in some design challenge or even a day full of meetings where I can focus on the task at hand instead of the insistent mania of small children.) I am also immensely appreciative of being able to be home with the kids (check with me at the end of this week - this is our first week of vacation after starting school in September for Liam, this is going to feel weird.) I notice so many more things about Anastasia than I remember noticing with Liam. I also delight in being able to decode almost anything she says "where are you going to?" is my favorite - comes out like one or two words. "whereru doe-ing doo?" That's fun. But I miss a part of me that I haven't seen in a long while. Is work really the only solution to that? I can't believe the only way to reach that person is to leave my kids to be cared for by someone else. I don't want that. I'm not sure what I want. I want designer jeans without faded knees, for starters.