Going to Work to Succeed at my Job

Dear Loveys,

This work trip has been a harder one.  Probably because I thought that us spending a full week together on vacation would have made it easier that I didn’t really think about it or “prepare” my mind.

I was set to leave early Monday morning, before you both would wake up.  So the night before, I did storytime and casually explained that I was going on a trip and wouldn’t see you in the morning.  I don’t travel a lot for work.  And when I have traveled, this statement to you is usually met with “okay mommy.”  This time, you both cried.  Dylan, you sadly responded “I don’t want you to go mommy.”  I wasn’t prepared for that.  I didn’t think you even fully understood my statement but once again, I was reminded of the reality of you being an almost-5-year-old and now much more perceptive of everything happening.  You stopped crying but there was an obvious sadness in your eyes and nothing I tried seemed to take it away.  Extra stories, extra snuggle time, extra kisses…your eyes looked sad.

I talked about it with daddy and he promised to go the extra mile to help change the expression of your eyes.  And Mia – you were more easily pacified.  You were happy with the extra bedtime routine time.  This made me happy but also made me aware of how much younger you are than Dylan.

During the week, we facetimed.  Dylan, your eyes seemed happy again.  So excited to tell me something fun from your day and to wave at me.  Mia.  You were not happy.  You seemed frustrated that I was in the phone.  The longer the conversation, the more territorial over holding the phone you became.  Not wanting to share it with Dylan.  Actually, not wanting to share mommy with Dylan.

I’m on the plane now and so excited to see you both.  I’m going to travel for work again.  And I look forward to it – I enjoy spending time with my NY team and I enjoy working.  No, i’m not following it with a “but.”  I love what I do.  You don’t realize it now, but my job is one of the variables that makes me a good mommy.  It’s important for every mommy to take time for herself.  For me, that’s my job.  Challenging my mind, being curious, developing ideas, collaborating with a team and talking with like-minded professionals is how I take time for me.  Going to work is the variable that enables me to be the best at my only job – my 24-hour job as “mommy.”

Our New Sleep Routine

Dear Mia,

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About 2 months ago, we said “bye” to the crib and got you a big girl bed.  And I do mean, big girl bed – it’s a full size bed.  In the crib, you looked enormous.  Like a 30 year old sleeping in a crib.  Now, in the bed, it looks like a put a 5 month old to sleep in it.  It’s a big bed.  Needless to say, Dylan is jealous.

You love your bed – no training necessary.  You finally had room for all your babies.  And I do mean all your babies.  You would line each up, read them stories, whisper goodnight to them and give them kisses.  Throughout the evening we would hear you wake up slightly to pretend-change their diaper or ask for the pretend bottle for your babies.  The last few weeks though you’ve wanted the babies to lay on the floor and you want 50 books spread out over half the bed for you to browse through.  It sort of made me sad.  I love that you want to look at your books and I love overhearing you make-up the words on the page and create your own story.  But you suddenly seemed older.  And it felt like it was happening too fast – not for you – for me.

Right as I was feeling that way, the routine changed again.  Each morning you would wake up and browse through your books waiting for us to come into your room.  This morning was different.  At around 7am, you opened your door, walked into my room, crawled into my bed and curled up into me.  It was what I needed in that moment and I didn’t mind it one bit.  Then you did it again the next morning.  And the morning after that.  And for each morning 3 weeks after.  Sometimes it’s at 7, sometimes 6, once (thank god) at 4:30.  I’ve done nothing to try to break this habit.  And have no desire too.  It works.

Please Keep Helping Me

Dear Loveys,

I read another mom’s blog post today that so deeply connected with me and how i’ve been feeling lately that I wanted to share it with you.  It hit me the other day that, Dylan, this is your last year before “real” school.  No more pre-school.  We’ll have a schedule, a stricter schedule, homework, etc.  It made me really sad and it also made me panic a little.  I want more time with you before we get “real.”  I want to be excited for this stage but i’m so sad about it.  It’s already happening too.  The realness.  No more can I have a conversation in front of you without you overhearing, more importantly, listening to every word.  You remember everything.  Every promise, every explanation, every “I love you”, every “i’m proud of you” and you feel every feeling and know what those feelings are.  You remember it all and it all means so much more.  And Mia, you are trying so hard to find your control and to assert yourself.  I worry that I sometimes get so frustrated with your efforts, often ferocious efforts to gain this control and assert yourself, that I might be hindering it.  You’re trying to communicate your feelings, even if it’s a scream.

The thing is, you’re both learning, growing and adapting so fast.  I’m trying to keep up with your pace.  I’m constantly trying to be the best parent you need and that requires me learning and evolving along the way.  I feel horrible when I stumble, when I lose my patience or get exhausted by the process.  But i’m trying to learn from it, improve and be a good example on what it means to grow and evolve yourself.  This was the article I read earlier:

Dear kids,

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I see that you’ve grown over night. Your face is more defined, your eyes look older. A part of me is excited and in awe; I know you have so much ahead of you. Another part is scared because time is racing and I can’t slow it down. I’m afraid that I haven’t always been awake and noticing, and that somehow I have slept through the magic of your growing. I wonder, have I enjoyed you enough? Have I given you what you needed? Is your heart still whole? Is your spirit unbroken?

I’m not always good at this. I’m not always as good as I want to be at being your mom. I want to be great; and sometimes I am, but sometimes I’m not.

Sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don’t.

Sometimes I do it right, and sometimes I completely miss it.

Everyday I make mistakes.

Sometimes I snap when I should be sensitive. Sometimes I lecture and give chores when what you needed was a hug. Sometimes I completely and utterly miss it. I know that I do. I mistake your pain for complaining or your sad heart for a bad attitude. I watch myself miss it, and later I grieve that I didn’t respond differently.

I miss it when I am tired, and you get my leftovers at the end of a long day. I wish that you didn’t, but sometimes you do.

I miss it when I am scared. I am scared of big things and little things. I really thought adults had it all figured out, but I am one now, and it turns out we don’t. Sometimes fear snatches my heart and I can’t seem to think of anything else. I forget to relax and to enjoy you. I forget to smile and to laugh. I’m working on that.

I miss it when I am lost. I’m struggling with my own demons and it has nothing to do with you. Sometimes it’s anxiety or it’s depression, but it’s never, ever your fault. I will keep striving for wholeness so that when you reach those obstacles I can help you do the same.

I know that it is easy to hang on to the negative things and forget all the positive, but I want to set the record straight. When I look at you I am SO. PROUD. When I look at you I see good. I see someone who is mighty. I wonder how I have been trusted with such a treasure. Your heart is pure and soft. You are gentle and kind, you are vivacious and fierce.

I am forever your biggest cheerleader and your greatest fan.

Please keep helping me to see you and to know you. Keep telling me when I hurt your feelings. Keep sharing with me your fears and your insecurities and we will figure it out together.

I’m okay with making mistakes, but I’m never okay with losing your heart. Your heart is what matters to me.

I hope that my weakness teaches you something. I hope that when you come upon your own brokenness, tiredness, fear, and confusion, that you will be okay with it. I pray that your imperfections won’t scare you as they have me. I pray that you won’t run from them, but that you’ll wrestle with them and you will keep showing up, saying sorry, and trying again.

We don’t always get it right and that’s okay.

We are all professional mistake makers, and you will make lots and lots of mistakes. You will make countless amounts of mistakes, just like I have, but not one could darken the light I see when I look at you. You are my treasure, you are my reason.

Even though life is racing by, sometimes we have a moment. Sometimes we can reach out, grab time, and hold it. The world stops, all is quiet, and we really see each other. In this moment when I glimpse the person you are and who you’re becoming, all I can think is…

Wow.

On this morning, where it seems you’ve grown overnight, I want to tell you that you are wonderful. You amaze me everyday – and as I watch you, you inspire me. You inspire me to pull out the greatness that’s inside me. In this family we will make mistakes, but we will keep doing it together and we will keep holding each other other tight.

It turns out I’m never, ever, going to be perfect, but I am always and forever yours, and I’m always and forever on your team. That I can promise you.

I love you.

Love,

Mama

Proud Mommy

Dear Dylan,

I want to write this down before I forget it.  If I don’t do it now, I may forget the exact words you said but i’ll never forget the feeling.

While I was making dinner tonight, you were playing in the living room with Daddy, Mia and your superheros.  You found a penny on the floor.  You came into the kitchen to show me and said, “You know what i’m going to do with this penny mommy? I’m going to buy food and toys for people who don’t have any.  If it’s not enough, i’m going to count all the money in my tzedakah box and get more for them.”

I told you how sweet and thoughtful that was.  You responded, “Not everyone has food and toys mommy.  If I don’t have enough money in my tzedakah box, i’ll save more to get stuff for everyone.”

You always amaze me.  We have been talking about how fortunate we are and thinking of ways we could show our appreciation of others.  We’ve brought the fireman doughnuts on Sunday, set out a basket of treats and waters for the delivery/mail workers, made cookies and delivered them to the neighbors, we’re making appreciation signs for the trash collector, etc.  But to hear you put it all together on your own at the sight of a penny on the floor – and beam at the idea no less – very proud mommy over here.

It’s amazing to me that 30 minutes earlier you were having a huge tantrum because you wanted to go get a toy after Grandma’s.  To then switch and be so profound and aware.  The mind and heart of a 4-year-old.  Fascinating and encouraging.