The thought occured to me in the middle of another night of fitful sleep that I was a super mom, all right. Super-exhausted, super-sleep-deprived, super-tired mom of a 16-month old "dd" as those mom sites abbreviate it (I think that's "dear daughter" or "darling daughter" or whatever, something like that). I wonder why we moms aren't more honest with each other about this struggle. I can't be the only one out there who loves my "dd" to pieces and wants to spend every waking (and many non-waking, middle of the night) moment with her, forgo daycare and basically only allow Daddy or Grandma and Grandpa the honor and priviledge of caring for her while Mommy is away, yet also yearn to run off to a deserted island and drink my long overdue long-island iced tea (25 months overdue to be exact, the amount of time pregnant and breastfeeding. Not to say I've never had a drink or two since then, but I've held off for some reason on my favorite) and spend some time alone, reading, reflecting, and remembering what it meant to be me 25 months ago. The old me. The me that's been swept under the rug but still peeks an eye out every once in a while and feels around to make sure that it's safe to come out and participate in the world. You know what? Forget the long island. I'd settle for a double espresso or something similarly super-highly caffeinated.
Anyway, I digress...I was saying that I can't be the only one who feels the polarity on both ends...not just on caring for my dd but also this going back to work thing. Since I was pregnant I have hungrily devoured any book I can get my hands out that dealt with the "work-home" struggle. And oh, what a struggle. So I seem to have the perfect situation. I stay home during the day to watch my dd while dh (dear husband) goes and slays dragons during the day, so that the minute he walks in the door I can waltz out (or should I say trip over toys and fall out) the door because it's my turn to teach in the evenings. Then Grandma and Grandpa take over whenever I need to be at my place of employment during the day for some reason. Great, huh? So once in a while I will contentedly walk out of work with a sigh, and think how I'm really starting to find a good balance. I mentally review what I have accomplished in my oh-so-short period of 3-4 hours at work, think of what I must get done still that evening at home, and longingly picture dd and dh in my mind, serenly waiting for their dm/w (yep, that's my new invented abbreviation, you guessed it: dear mom/wife) to appear so that I can give hugs all around and put dd to bed with a kiss. Then the bubble pops, and I feel the tension in my body yearning to sleep uninterrupted just one night a week, I collapse with my bag of work at the doorstep (untouched until who knows when), dd wants to be nursed, and read to, and played with way past her bedtime and my eyes are bleary-red and my mind five-layers of fog that I think "is this really worth it?" And I go back to resenting my "perfect work situation".
Can I really do both?
Do I want to?
If I give up the work thing, does more of me crawl back under the rug?
Or do I just need to keep searching for that perfect rung of balance on the ladder? Maybe someday it will be more than just a fleeting fantasy.