Monday, December 13, 2010

the gift of underemployment

As the year ends, I look back at what a year of working at home has done for me. The gains have not been financial. Since both my husband and I started new businesses this year we’ve have a lot less money. Hey, we did well for first-time entrepreneurs but a far cry from the old days of paid vacation and steady paychecks. Nonetheless, I LOVED this year. I feel so blessed to have been able to experience this slowed-down time. I wasn’t a class parent, didn’t make Halloween costumes and rarely picked up my kids from school but I was a calmer, saner, mother. A few highlighted moments:

1. A couple mornings ago, B and F had simultaneous meltdowns. Each wanted me to take them to school--even though it 17 degrees out, they go in opposite directions and their Dad was available. But I did it. Cheerfully (kind of). Last year, I would have had my own meltdown--yelling, whining and bitching about how late I was.

2. I actually enjoyed Christmas shopping this year.

3. As my kids have said more than once “we eat much better dinners since you’re home.”

4. Coffee and lunch with about 45 people I never would have met or caught up with.

5. When F’s doll lost her shoes on the way to school I sucked it up and walked (almost) all the way home to find them. Although I was 1/2 late for an on-site job, I took the shoes back to school.

6. I wrote a couple actual letters this year—and mailed them.

7. I cleaned all the way under the claw foot tub for the second time ever. (The tub’s ten years old)

8. I had more than a couple dinner parties.

9. Way more sex.

10. Oh yeah, I built a website, started a blog, designed my first iPad app, and learned FLASH.

There were less presents under the tree this year. Not such a bad thing. Whether they know it or not, my kids got the gift of their mother’s “presence” after years of half-way-there mom. And I got quality of life--a damn good present.