The Things You Miss
We officially have a roller-over:
Yay, Lila! Ryan texted me this picture on Wednesday morning, and since then, she’s really mastered the art of rolling over—from back to belly, that is. Strangely, she can’t master belly to back—I say strangely because apparently that’s the first roll-over move of almost all babies.
She just *has* to be different.
And since Thursday, I’ve seen her roll over countless times—although each time is still a little thrilling. One of the things that I’m enjoying more and more is seeing the way Lila changes every day. I know it’s a cliche, and I know that ALL parents say this about their children at EVERY new stage—but I can’t believe how much she’s changed and grown in just under four months!
She doesn’t *seem* that different to me…but then I look at pictures from her first week of life in April:
…and MAN does she look tiny!! Every day now, she’s growing—laughing, smiling:
…and working harder and harder to be on the move. When she rolls over, she doesn’t just lay there—she attempts to crawl. At not even four months old.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—I’m not quite sure where she gets that energy from. But Ryan and I are happy to watch her kick and roll and squirm and move as we drink our beers and watch Mad Men episodes on the couch.
Okay, okay—we do occasionally try to move our bodies. And in fact, I was at the gym when I got the text from Ryan announcing, “SHE ROLLED OVER!!!!” And I hope the person next to me didn’t notice the little bit of crying that I did, right there on the treadmill.
But I’m already looking into the future at all of the big moments we have coming up—first steps…first words…first tantrums. And right alongside my excitement at Lila crossing off milestone after milestone is my deep-seated fear that I’ll miss them.
I’m going back to work in a month. Did I tell you that?
I’ll be teaching four classes this fall semester—three composition classes, and a creative writing class as well.
And while I’m very excited to be teaching full-time again (I only taught one class per semester last year), and while it’s overwhelmingly gratifying to me that I finally (FINALLY) have a “real” job (ie, one that offers benefits and insurance and a paycheck of more than $1500 dollars per class—devil, thy name is adjunct teaching)—a part of me is very, very sad.
Make no mistake—I’m choosing to go back to work. If I wanted to stay home with Lila, I could. I say that not to brag about the financial state of our family, but because I think it’s important to put it out there that, just as many moms choose to stay home with the kids, some moms do choose to work—not for the money, but simply because they like working.
I don’t see going back to work this fall as a death sentence, or something that I’m dreading. If anything, a large part of me is very excited. God knows I love my child, and I’ve *loved* spending so much time with her this summer, but truthfully—I don’t know if I have what it takes to be a SAHM. We have a nanny that we love, my schedule is very open and will still allow me to spend much of my time with Lila (I’ll be teaching on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings until noon, and Monday nights—pretty sweet!), and, truth be told—I’m looking forward to the adult interaction. I have nothing but mad respect for SAH parents, moms and dads both, because I think it might drive me a little nuts.
When I got that text from Ryan, my first thought was, “What else am I going to miss?”
I guess this is what people mean when they say that, after all these years, women still can’t have it all. I don’t know—that article kind of irked me, because really– does anyone have it all? Dads work too, and miss out on special moments. People who choose not to have kids don’t have it all—and people that choose to have kids miss out on a lot too. Who has it all? Can I have their number? Is it Justin Timberlake?
Anyway. I don’t have an answer for myself, or a neat little conclusion to end on. This is just something that has been weighing heavily on my mind as the beginning of the semester inches closer and closer.
But I’d love to hear from you—if you’re a mom (or dad!), did you work? Did you stay at home? Do you like the choice you made?