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
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.