Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sleepy Eyes

I have previously written about how the economy hasn't really been our friend. Forcing us to sacrifice here, give up stuff there, and worst of all, put in more hours at our jobs, rather than more hours with our family.

Tonight, I walked in the door around 7:50pm. Lily and Jonah had had a long day with Mimi, and had spent a few hours this evening with Daddy. The house was silent when I came in. No one was playing football. No one was jumping on the couches. No one was even screaming. But worst of all, the koala bear-like hug that Lily will embrace me with when I come home from being gone all day, wasn't there. The kids were already in bed. Jonah laying in his bed, reading a book quietly, to the glow of the Chipmunks playing on his TV. A tiny whisper "Hi Mommy", and with sleepy eyes, a book shoved in my hands. I read over a few pages, then ask Jonah if it's alright for me to go finish putting "Sister" to sleep and I'll come back in a few minutes. 

I hurried at lightening speed to get on some pajama's, didn't mind that I left my phone downstairs, and went in Lily's room. I see Todd's sleepy eyes and he tells me she's asleep.

She must sense I am there. She looks at me, outstretched arms and (sorry daddy!) reaches out for me. I almost missed it. I almost missed being able to be the last thing she sees before she goes to sleep. I'm not sure I could have handled that. She squeezes me tight, and that very moment could have lasted an eternity, and I would have been okay with that.

After a few minutes, I convince myself I must lay her down in her crib and let her fall asleep on her own. It sank my heart, because I wanted to hold her forever and ever. But we've worked hard to get this far, and I didn't want to backtrack on her progress. I laid her down, and sat on the floor. I watched her sleepy eyes blink, slowly, slooowly, slooooowly. Within seconds, she was snuggled up and asleep. And happy.

And my sleepy eyes you ask? My sleepy eyes are a constant; from my 5am wake-up calls from an over-energized toddler, to my 11pm bedtimes.

It kills me to work outside of the house. And it kills me to have to work as much as i  do. And it kills me that Todd has to put in such long hours at his job. I long and ache to be with my kids. This economy has done a number on us. And I try SO hard to see the good parts of this (like "at least we HAVE jobs" and "we are lucky we don't have to work multiple jobs each or even MORE hours than we already do"), but missing out on an entire day with my kids just isn't IT for me. 

I know some mom's desire to have a career and identity outside of being a mother, and that's okay. It's just not for me. And some mom's have no other choice but to work a lot, and I hurt for them. This just doesn't seem fair. We try do everything right and yet struggle so much, and it still isn't enough.

When will we not have to hide our sleepy eyes anymore?

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