Some of you may have seen my post on Friday that I got a job at the consulate in Yekaterinburg. This is good news of course, for several reasons:
1) I'll be around Americans/English-speakers for 20 hours a week
2) I'll have something to keep me occupied during those long winter months (all ten of them)
3) We'll be making a little extra money, which never hurts
4) I'll be able to get a nanny for Jack
Number four is the tricky one here. You see, I've been feeling a little burnt-out on the full-time mommy thing for a while now (I don't think it's a coincidence it happened right when Jack turned two). He has his two mornings of preschool a week, and that's certainly a nice break, but there are times when the child makes me absolutely insane. About, oh, three times a day, on average. Now I'm not saying Jack is worse than your average two year old. And I'm not saying that I don't love being home with my boy, because I do. Jack and I have a lot of fun together most of the time, and I love seeing him learn and grow every day.
But I'm also not the most patient human being on the face of the earth (no comments from the peanut gallery - that means you, John). I think in a way it will be really good for me to be away from Jack a few days a week (or every morning, or whatever my schedule turns out to be), because it will mean that by five o'clock I'm not hanging on by a thread, ready to pounce on John and throw our child at him as soon as he walks in the door. In fact, I'll get to be more like Daddy for a change: someone Jack is always happy to see, someone who gets to be "fun" because she's not always doing the dirty work. Sounds kinda nice, right?
But like I said, it's tricky. For over two years now, it's been just Jack and me. We're a team, the two of us. I always have my sidekick with me, no matter what. And Jack always has me to kiss his head when he bonks it on the table, to read him his favorite stories or play farm with, and to not only be the one to put him down to sleep every day, but to always be there when he wakes up. To think that someone else (and not Daddy or Grandma or Sha Sha, but someone else) is going to be those things now, too - that's not something I take lightly.
Ah, Mommy Guilt. We all feel it, right? Whether we stay home or work or stay home and then go back to work - we're always torn in a million directions. I know that's part of what it means to be a mom, and I'm so grateful I've been able to do everything on my terms so far. I know it can't always be just the two of us forever. But despite the tantrums (Jack's AND mine), the long days and the hard work, the ranting and raving and carrying on, despite the what-ifs and if-onlys, I know this much is true: I'm going to miss it all the same.