Saturday, February 12, 2011

Up and Downs

It's been a bit of a roller coaster week for me emotionally. The happiness that I've felt at the prospect of being able to stay home with the kids hit the practical implications of dealing without a second income and leaving a career pretty hard. Yesterday, having a full day with both kids without the distractions of work or school was really nice. As I watched my youngest trudging around the big fountain at the park with a backpack strapped to her tiny shoulders (she is fixated on Dora the Explorer right now) and my oldest skipping around her golden brown hair shining in the sun, I was struck by how these amazing moments in my life are just flying by me. Sure, we have plenty of time on the weekends to have fun with the kids. We often make that a priority instead of the mundane tasks like yard work and grocery shopping. However, how many beautiful moments like this never existed because during the week we're all off in our separate spaces: work, school, and daycare. In that beautiful moment, I didn't doubt my decision one bit. In that brief beautiful moment, I knew that nothing in life could ever compensate me for the lost moments like these. Sure, there are plenty of other moments when one kid is throwing a tantrum on the ground and the other has wandered away that I find less beautiful. How, can you put a price tag on these lost moments. What is the opportunity cost of investing your life and energy in something else? This isn't just for working moms. It's for all parents. I know far too many other stay at home parents that find plenty of diversions to spend time on instead of their children. So, here it is. This is what I'm willing to exchange for more of these beautiful moments.

  • My Career
  • Financial Security
  • Nice Clothes
  • Entertainment
  • Vacations
  • Some Friendships (work friends and others who may not agree with my decision)
  • My occasional grande non-fat mocha

It's a long list. If you were with me yesterday, you would understand why none of these things matter at all really.

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