Of Jobs and Motherhood: Guest Post from Ginger

Ginger is a wonderwoman. Check out her blog to catch a glimpse of homemaking with thoughtful flair, boys who are wise (and funny!) beyond their years, and adventures in Colorado's wild mountains. I'm so pleased she decided to share her story.  

Chaz and I were still undergrads when Miles was born so two things were not in the budget-- daycare and staying home. I was lucky to have a wonderful boss who let me bring him along and hang out in a pack-and-play or a sling while I worked. I remember how snuggly I had to pull my chair in to wedge the boppy against my desk so he was safe to nurse while I reached over him to type. Around 6 months he was too busy to hang out with me, so Chaz and I staggered our work schedules so one of us could be at home. He was doing full-time school. I had dropped out after a few weeks of the online classes I started shortly after giving birth. At some point I realized that I was continually irritated with my baby whenever he was awake because I needed to be studying and just wanted him to always sleep. When that hit me I dropped my classes and didn't look back. Within two years I had lost all interest in the particular degree I had been pursuing.

In the second year of life, I started working less...and less...and by 22 months, I had quit. However, at the same time, I'd been studying and amping up my own small business that kept me mostly at home. We were still poor and took out our first student loan around that time to help cover expenses for the last few months of Chuck's school. Then our East Coast grad school and work adventures began. For eight years Chaz worked like a dog and I reveled and struggled in life at home with baby after baby after baby.

It is such hard work and so often not fulfilling in the moment. But lately I've longed for it more than ever. As my baby has out grown his sling, my milk has dried up for good and diapers have disappeared, I realize that chapter is simply over. That's it. There won't be another baby to hold until my babies grow up and have babies of their own. I'm still trying to grasp that ten years and four babies have passed.

But I can't look back for long because I've got four bouncing boys from preschool to nearly middle school age. Even with homeschooling, I'm finding more and more pockets of me-time. I'm working more and in a field of interest I'd never found without my adventures with babies. The house is always chaotic, but I have this feeling that in ten more years, I'll be sitting in a half-empty house teaching the last babies to drive while I think back on the hair-pulling, name-calling and exasperating efforts at teaching reading. I assume I won't remember it as having been so bad as it seems some days and I'm likely to be just a teensy bit sad to realize it won't happen anymore either.

It's a good thing something new and exciting is bound to be happening in my little mens' lives though, so I can't linger too much on the lovely days we've had, but can instead soak up whatever fun we're up to then.


belann said…
Great post. It will end too soon.
Amara said…
I thought I'd commented on this one! So sorry! Thank you for sharing a great story. Such a struggle with regrets in either direction sometimes, even while knowing regrets are useless and being sure of our decisions.
Unknown said…
You know as I am still knee deep in diapers and waking at night I am certainly aware that all too soon I will miss it terribly. Thanks for sharing.

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