Thursday, February 21, 2008

Happy, happy birthday, baby...

Will, three days old

Today is my baby's first birthday. I've spent the last few days feeling pretty sad about it, but I think I'm over it. He's such a sweet, lovable little guy that I realize there's even more fun to come, whatever stage he's in. He's definitely not a baby any longer. Nick told me a few weeks ago, "Mamma, William not a baby any more. He growed big like me." I wanted to cry, both because Nick was so darned cute in saying that and because it was true.

He's all but walking - it's that confidence thing. When he doesn't realize he's doing it, he'll stand by himself for several minutes at a time. And he'll hover around the coffee table, drink from his sippy cup and move at the same time. Any day now and I'll look over and see him walking off after his brother. (Because, let's face it, that's his best motivation, to keep up with his big brother.)

I feel guilt, every single day, about the fact that I'm still working full time. Don't get me wrong - if other folks can handle it, more power to them! But I know I'm "half-assing" everything. I get in to work late, need to leave for appointments, have adjusted my schedule so I can leave early in the afternoons. I have anough PTO after being here for more than five years that it works out OK, but its still not enough time at home, with my kids, to keep up with the housework AND spend the time with them that I'd like. And that they deserve.

So, on my youngest son's first birthday I'm still doing all the things I told myself I wouldn't be doing when I had two kids. The first one was born and it was, "This will work for now. I'll work first shift, he'll work second and once Jay is done with school we can reconsider things. But I won't be working full time when the second one comes along."

Then the second one came along. Jay had switched to first shift when Nick was 18 months old; given that he had off one or two days during the week and was done by 2:00, Nick wasn't going to the sitters' much and that let us have more time together as a family. And it was good.

Then Will was born and Jay went back to second shift. Almost the entire first year of Will's life Jay worked full time and had school full time. He's proven himself to be the most amazing hubby ever in that he still spent time with the boys in ways other Daddies don't usually think to on top of it all. Just recently school's let up a bit and its given me time to breathe. To think, "Why am I still doing this?"

Don't get me wrong - I think I'd go nuts if I didn't work at all. But I'm definitely at a crossroads in my life. Its just hard to think that I may need to give up the comfort of 4+ weeks of PTO, a pretty good salary and a rather flexible schedule. There's safety in that. But my kids will only be little for so long. I'm missing so much!

I don't want this entire post to be about ME. It's Will's birthday, after all. Kids like him are the reason people continue to procreate. He's very friendly, and not shy, but he's one to sit and watch what everyone else is doing and be completely entertained by it. Take last night, for example. We took him to get his one-year pictures taken. At the photo studio, Nick walked up to these two little girls who were dressed in matching (ADORABLE!) dresses and sat RIGHT next to them to watch the movie in the waiting room. After five minutes, the three of them were chatting about whatever things little kids chat about, telling Jay, "Daddy, I like them girls." When Nick went in for his 3-yr pics in November, I think the photographer took about five or six different shots, every one darn near perfect because he's used to having pictures taken and he is such a ham he'll just pose however you tell him to.

Will, on the other hand, sat on my lap, or stood at my feet and watched his brother with those other kids last night. He smiled, crawled half way over, then stopped and just sat and laughed when they did, looking at me to see if I shared in the fun of the situation. The pictures we got were really very cute, but out of probably 25 shots there were two we chose to get prints of. He wasn't unhappy, but rather wanted to watch the photographer move around and make funny faces at him and had a look on his face like, "Huh...what ARE you doing?!?"

He mimics songs we sing - he'll sing the cleanup song, going, "Eeeh-uh, eeeh-uh, eeeh-uh" to the same tune of the music. He lays in his bed at night before falling asleep going, "Da-da-da-da-da-dee-dee-dee-di-di-di". (Never mama, though sometimes nie-nie-nie-ney-ney-ney.) He'll just about be asleep on my lap or in his carseat and he'll just start clapping, or waving bye-bye. We all laughed the other day when, with his eyelids drooping, he sat in his highchair, waving at nobody.

Such is the life of a one-year-old. I love you, little buddy. I only hope I am giving you the wonderful life you deserve!


Manic Mom said...

Awwww! Precious Happy Birthday! Another Feb b'day!

Melisa said...

Happy Birthday to your baby!!!!

Nice post!
He's adorable...but you already knew that. :)

Anonymous said...

Happy belated Birthday 'Big Boy'.

Don't be hard on yourself. I have always worked full time and my two boys have lots of qualities learnt from other people they wouldn't have been with had I not.

Going to see if I can e-mail you.


Anonymous said...

No I can't. You have to remember that people grow up with lots of lifestyles and it's not how tidy their home is or who is in it, it's about how they are loved and card for.
My two have been very lucky to have two excellent childminders. Both are independant and happy to play with others, are intelligent and willing to try new things. They have had holidays abroad and lots of toys.

I too have had doubts about working, but now I realise that it was right for me and my family. I have made more effort to be there at school events for my second than I did for my first, and leave the housework longer now.

I would have gone mad being at home all day. I have friends who stay at home, have untidier houses than me and always seem to be unorganised and in chaos. I juggle more jobs and get everything done when it should be.

We are all different, don't compare yourself and don't listen to people who tell you you are a bad mom for working. We moms all struggle to do what we have to do -however we do it!

See my blog for a surprise!

morninglight mama said...

Hi there- I'm a visitor sent here from tismee2's blog. Just wanted to say that I TOTALLY understand your post here-- my little ones are 7, almost 2, and 3 months old-- and things are always a shambles in my home!! We'll get through it. I think it helps to hear that others are in the same poopy-diaper-overload, dinner-dishes-on-the-kitchen-counter-way-too-long, trying-to-do-it-all situations. We need to keep each other sane!