Thursday, November 05, 2009

what's in you wednesday

We've got about a three hour deficit in time everyday.


What that means is that since the triplets no longer nap during the day, we no longer have any down time during daylight hours. The kids typically wake up around 6:00 every morning and go to sleep at 7:30 or 8:00 every night. And if there is one thing I have learned during parenthood, it's that when your children are conscious - you need to be conscious, too.


Fully conscious of them - where they are - what they are doing - and whether or not your camera is located out of reach. Otherwise, you will be forced to look through hundreds of pictures of them taking photos of each other, their stuffed animals and MIKE WAZOWSKI!


Assuming 24 hours in a day - since the children are usually awake for 14 hours a day, we have approximately 10 hours of "free time" when children are otherwise constructively occupied (aka: sleeping). Considering we are supposed to be getting somewhere between 7 or 8 hours of sleep ourselves, that leaves approximately two to three hours a day for personal time and/or couple time.


Most days we spend at least an hour, at night once the kids are in bed, cleaning up the unbelievable disaster that is created during the day and doing load after load (after load) of laundry. And still, we can't seem to get on top of it all until the weekend. (No, I don't want to hire a maid. I've already explored that option. I'd much prefer an elf. Preferably green.)


As anyone who knows me knows, I've been working like a mad woman for the past several weeks and while I keep thinking that I see the end in sight, it's just a mirage. That end-of-the-year budgeting and invoicing and field inspection visits that I need to conduct are keeping me busy day and night and hey, look at that, I just picked up an additional 16 projects two hours north.


The house is a wreck, the kids are growing like weeds, I feel like I'm missing a bulk of their life with all of my traveling and full days and quite frankly, this new work arrangement really SUCKS stinks. There. I finally said it. Out loud.

Today, I wanted to write that I've been exercising and eating well and getting ready for my 3-Day walk that is only two weeks away. I also wanted to write about our plans to quickly sell our house and move back to South Carolina by the end of the year. As in ... this year, within the next eight weeks. Because Charlie wants to go, life is short, I miss my mom, I miss the dogwoods and seasons, I will never have these days back again when the children are small and I don't want to live out my days wondering what could have been.




I wanted to tell you that I have an insatiable desire to be home with our children and I am fully prepared to give up my hard-earned career to do so. I wanted to tell you that although there are a lot of highly educated women in the work force who are also mothers, and might disagree with me, I personally believe that there is something in the genetic makeup of a woman that undeniably pulls you to your children, once you have them.

I believe that as awesome of a job as my husband does raising our children when I'm off working, I want to do better. Because I want it to be me at home, not him. And, I believe that Charlie would be a much more devoted and engaged full-time employee than I could ever be, because he wouldn't be distracted with whether or not the girls brushed their hair and the boys are wearing clean socks when he is sitting in a meeting discussing a multi-million dollar groundwater remediation strategy.


I wanted to tell you that when I turned down a position recently, to manage the environmental program at one of the largest refineries in the country, I was subsequently offered a promotion and raise to take the job. But I still said no. I was so excited to announce that I would be resigning from my position as senior environmental engineer and accepting the role of full time stay at home mom, soccer and swim team practice chauffeur, arts and crafts mentor, peanut butter and jelly sandwich maker extraordinaire - effective December 1.

The fact that we made this decision has brought us such a tremendous amount of relief and satisfaction. In body, mind and soul. It just feels like the absolute right thing to do.


But alas, thus far, my husband has been unable to secure a job with benefits in the area where we want to live nor does it appear likely that he will, any time soon. Worse than that, we heard back from our Realtor yesterday who informed us that our house has decreased more than 50% in value since March of 2007. That hurts just a little too much, and as such, any plans that we had to move cross country to live near family have crashed and burned like ... well ... the equity in our home.

As a result: I'm not telling you any of those things that I really wanted to tell you. Instead, I'm telling you that I will be working like a madwoman in to the unforeseeable future because that is the financially responsible thing to do ... unless the real estate market miraculously recovers and instantly soars. Charlie will remain home with our children and in his spare time, do his absolute best to get his new company off the ground and in to the Fortune 500, hopefully before my head bursts in to flames and/or the children are scheduled to begin Kindergarten. Ideally, I'd like to be settled in to a new area by then. So that gives us approximately nine months.


I'm also telling you that today for lunch I ate leftover Halloween candy and I just polished off my second glass of wine. For the past month, I haven't done any exercise, have nursed no more than eight times and have packed on at least five pounds as a result of my inactivity, unlactivity and horrendous diet.


On the upside (oh yes, there IS an upside), we did gain an hour this past Sunday with the end of Day Light Savings time, so now we only have about a one hour time deficit each day. That extra hour has really helped, since at this very moment - there isn't one stitch of dirty clothing in the house. Every single shirt, pant and sock has been washed and put away. Moreover, we are healthy and happy and I fully believe that our plans will evolve as they are meant to evolve.

It is at times like these that it's good to remember: whenever God closes a door, someone throws a rock and smashes out a window.

Or something optimistic like that.


  1. Tell me about it... :) Seriously. Once I opened my mouth and said, "Gee God, I wish I could stay at home, I wish I had more time to do laundry, I wish I had time to organize my kitchen, I wish I could NOT work so much, I wish I could stop traveling 600 miles away each week, I wish..."

    And then guess what...I got what I wished for.

    Sigh... My window is smashed out and I'm just ENJOYING the breeze that's coming into my home... :)

  2. What about "renting" on both ends while you wait out the market??


  3. Wow I really hope things work out for you soon you are inspirational truly don't know how you do it thanks for keeping us updated keep praying!

  4. so sorry you weren't writing the post where you all get to move, that one would have been so much better. Still I guess 9 months isn't too long in the grand scheme of things but might feel like an eternity. I am with you staying home is the best pulling out your hair or not, missing them grwoing up is awful.

  5. I just LOVE your last quote about the smashing window. So true!

    Putting your career on hold for your children might be one of the hardest decisions in life, especially woman like us.

    I believe your sacrifices will pay off. It might be tomorrow, next year or 10 years from now. You just know that for now, it's the right think to do, no regrets whatsoever!

    Good luck on your new endeavors, praying for a great outcome and I just have to say, YOU ROCK MOM!

  6. Sorry to hear you're plans to be a SAHM have been put on hold. I totally agree that there is something in a woman's genetic makeup that causes her to want to stay home with the children. I hope the window is smashed soon for you.

  7. I am so sorry that you're not able to stay home - I know exactly what you mean about that pull to stay home, I don't know whether every working mom feels it, but I certainly did, even when I was taking my son with me to work, I wasn't able to focus on him & his needs the way I can at home. I will be praying that God will work things out for you and your family quickly.

  8. Oh DARN. For a moment there I was getting really excited for you. I have forgotten the "What I wanted to tell you" line and actually thought you had resigned your position and that you two were headed for SC to stay home with the kids.

    I felt disappointed when I read the next paragraph, so I can only imagine how you must have felt, writing.

    Given your circumstances it does sound like your options are limited right now, and I'm sorry.

    You guys will get there, hopefully sooner rather than later.


  9. I can relate to so much of what you are going through!

    I am avid follower of your blog and I love it. My husband (who, by the way, is a great dad, but would prefer not to be at home with kids, is high qualified with an MBA but had always worked in an industry which is now in decline) has been out of work for 3.5 YEARS. While he is looking for a job, he assumes the primary responsibility for our children and I wish it was US, but current circimstances dictate that it be him. I really enjoy my work and I think I am a better person because I do work outside the home, but I enjoyed SHARING the responsilibilty of the household so much more.

    A few years ago, we too were at a crossroads and we needed to move somewhere for multiple reasons (kids' education, family, work, etc.). Like you, we do not have ANY family nearby which made our decision more difficult. We considered moving out of state closer to family, but we utimately decided to move into a great school district just a mile from our previous home.

    On the upside, my kids are now in elementary school and they are not home as much, but I still wish I had more input/control over the homework and extracurricular activities, but I am hopeful that we will be making the decisions together again soon.

    I want to wish you "good luck" with your decision - only you can determine what is best for you and your family. But remember the grass can always be greener somewhere else.

    Keep writing this awesome blog!

  10. I loved those pictures. Mike Wazowski rules! LOL

    And good for you for deciding to do what your heart wanted you to. Some of us, just want to be MOMS and no matter how good we may be at other things, we just want to be moms!

  11. The kids are wonderful photographers. See, how they are imatating you? Yes, count your blessings and remember not to sweat the small stuff---and it is all small stuff.
    I watched a program on PBS at 3am this morning called "Jackson Sandwich" about an autistic boy and the wonderful help that his parents got for him with early intervention. Enjoy every day!

  12. Excellent post. I'm so sorry things aren't able to work out exactly as you want them to. Stick with it, you're going to get there eventually. {{hugs}}

    What's in ME this Wednesday?

    I've signed up for this: (Toronto 2010).

    I'm going to walk 30 km to raise money to End Women's Cancers -- not just Breast Cancer this year, we're tackling women's gynecological cancers too because they've been shown to be linked with Breast Cancer and are a very necessary area of research as well.

    It's 10 months away, but I'm getting started now! I hope I'll raise $2000... we'll see! So far, I have $20. haha. I might be emailing you for Fundraising advice!

  13. You poor thing - you are on teh cusp of change (or a nervous breakdown).

    I agreee 100% with the pull to your kids (once you have them - prior to that I would hiss and say - no way).

    It will work out you know - saying no to a promotion is tough (or throwing one away when you realise that you aren't willing to make strangers of your children). But men do make better full time employees - they don't feel the pull as much when they are missing things. They don't, I don't care how sexist it sounds. At least none of the men I talk to (and I'm like you - I work mainly with men).

    The window will smash soon - just try to stay afloat until then.

  14. Ok. I'm going to talk to Glenda the good witch to see if she can get me in to see the wizard. May need Dorothy's shoes - I'll get back to you.

    Or I may just call Anne Marie and see if she will send more fudge.

    Love, Marg

  15. I'm so sorry you guys have to put your dreams on hold... I was so hoping the post wasn't going the direction I suspected. I'll be praying for your hearts desires to be realized. If I have learned anything over the past few years it's that sometimes you never even fathomed the answer... and yet there it is in front of you. Hold onto the faith!

    Oh and about the walk... I hope you take comfort in the fact that I did absolutely no preparation whatsoever and still made it. Hugs.