About me: I'm 40 and just added a gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 7-year-old Junior, our 4-year-old Everett and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Here kitty, kitty. Come 'ere sweet kitty
It was a beautiful sunny day in Connecticut—something us locals like to call "unheard of."
Last year at this time, a day like this would have made me sick inside. I was working full-time while basting my baby bump. Chuck was home full-time with Junior, who was going on three. I was angry about it. Always angry. Why wasn't I home with our son? Why did Chuck get to have all the fun?
Now here I am. Six months into my maternity leave. Chuck had the day off from his freelance gig, so he took Junior to the park. I couldn't have been more relieved. I have grown so fucking weary of the park and the moms. Talking. They're always talking. About bus drivers and sippy cups and diapers and sunscreen.
They talk so much it surprises me that their jaws don't drop right off their faces.
As I listen to them, I find myself missing my office. I feel like an asshole and/or a bad mother for writing that. But I miss having deadlines and projects and a career.
Most of all I feel like an asshole because last year was a rotten time for me and Chuck. I gave him such a hard time about being a stay-at-home dad. If he complained about how long or monotonous his day was, I told him that I'd gladly change places. If he said Junior talked his ear off, I'd tell him how Junior's little voice made me cry when he called me at work to say hi. I'd tell him how I missed his voice.
The guilt I was serving up was so very bountiful.
From the safety of my office I'd built up Chuck's sunny days at the park to be The End All. He was living the dream: my dream.
Now, after living "the dream" for seven days a week for the last six months I have a different perspective. Namely, the park would be a lot more fun if there was a swim-up bar near the swingsets and an on-site babysitter. Shuttle service home.
Less talking. Dear Lord, much less talking.
I wonder though if, after my maternity leave ends next month, I'll be sitting back in my office wistful for these days. As the plan currently stands, Chuck will give up his freelance career and go back to being a stay-at-home dad. Will I feel relief as I settle back into the person I was before I had Diddlydoo or will I long for these sunny days that I breezily wished away?
If I do long for these days, will I vomit over my glaringly obvious case of "the grass is always greener" and my gross inability to appreciate what I have when I have it? I don't want to be that person, I really don't, but some days I worry my tombstone will look like this:
(What? I'm gonna live to be 110, okay?)
I also don't want to be the kind of person who continues to nibble (okay, gnaw) on her husband's ego. Even though I previously apologized for my past guilt-tripping behavior, I want to assure Chuck that if I go back to work and freak out about missing the kids, I won't take it out on him.
No voodoo dolls. No posts about wishing Chuck dead. Certainly no dipping his toothbrush in the toilet bowl.
Not this time, never, ever again, honey. I promise. I love you! I really love you, pookie!
(Is it just me or do I come off like someone who is trying to woo a sweet little kitty into my house so I can decapitate it? Oh good. It's just me.)