Thursday, May 23, 2013

Facing the Inevitable

My heart times 2.
   Here I sit. Its 9 p.m., I just got home from a 13 hour day, I am hooked to the dreaded breast pump, eating dinner and facing what I have put off for as long as I can. No matter how hard I try, I will not be able to be home every night to put Caleb to bed.
   As the sweetness of his first few months of life come to a close, and he is a little more self sufficient, I am becoming buried with work. We just got two huge jobs, totalling about 900 pieces, which is great, it really is, but it means that for the next 4 months, there will be many, many nights like tonight.
   I am so blessed to have this life, I can have him at work, stop to take a walk or read a story any time I want,  plop him down in his chair next to me while I make work. I have an amazing husband to help all day, every day. But there is nothing- nothing- that could prepare me for what I am feeling now. This conflict, this heartbreak, it's something I thought I could somehow escape.
    How could I know how heavy the burden of being financially responsible for my family would be once Caleb arrived. How huge the responsibility would feel on top of my typical Type A drive once the babies started coming. We need health insurance and bigger cars, and vacations so we can just be together as a family, nutritious food, a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, money for the future. On top of the financial pressure, I want to be there for my baby, to be the very best, most present mom I can be. I don't know if I can be both simultaneously. I want to be there for every second, change every dirty diaper, wipe away every tear, tuck him into every nap, give him every bath, be there for every little laugh.
   How do I reconcile this role of provider with my role as a mother? I must sit in that studio and make 900 tiles and keep the business going and growing, there is no choice there. When you are providing for your family and someone offers you a paycheck for 4 months, you have to take it. 
   We are taking 12 days off together as a family, a much needed break, and one I anticipated while Caleb was still in my belly. It has been a long 4 months. I had almost no maternity leave (less than 4 weeks), and the first 2 months were such a giant adjustment for us as a couple and as business partners. I fulfilled my lifelong dream of becoming a mother and discovered that even though it is by far the most challenging thing I have ever done, I can't wait to do it again. I finally found the meaning of this insane journey - it gave me a way to have and support my family.
   Off I go, to slip into bed, nurse my little one and toss and turn all night with worry. To start again tomorrow, dreaming of our little vacation, when for almost two weeks, I get to finally feel what its like to just be a mom and wife- away from the studio, away from the studio stroll, away from the dirty house the dogs, the need for a new car, the hospital bills, the taxes, the garden we have yet to plant . I am going to hang onto every second like its my last. I can't f**king wait.