Friday, August 13, 2010

Time with my babies is (sort of) priceless

Meet Mommy.

She exclusively breastfeeds, smooches toes and cheeks like an addict, and spends at least 30% of each day singing "Skinnamarinkadinkadink."  She's loving every second.

Meet Mrs. Liberty

She's attends school improvement meetings, enjoys the challenge of teaching Shakespeare and correct comma usage to grumpy hooligans, and is even starting to see teaching art this year as an unexpected opportunity.

Now, these two ladies may look friendly, but they are in a constant, raging cat fight.  I try to send them to separate corners, but then Mommy flings one of Sophie's mid-morning smiles at Mrs. Liberty, and Mrs. Liberty fires back with two hard-earned degrees and a savings account.  They're ruthless.

I found myself on the floor this morning smiling into a mirror with Sophie and Michael.  Immediately my brain started doing the math again.  What if I take one year off?  My contract allows that.  I could sub on the two days my mom comes and bring home, what, $150 a week?  Would that be enough?

This is where Mommy really lays into Mrs. Liberty.   Mommy sees her time with the babies as priceless.  There will never be another time like this with Sophie and Michael, so isn't even one year of getting by with no disposable income, no hair appointments or golf outings or contributions to savings worth it?  This family can get by on Mike's salary.  It would be very tight around here, but Mrs. Liberty doesn't HAVE to work.

But those two words "getting by" really make Mrs. Liberty cringe.  She's put a lot of energy toward building a career and getting finances set up for her family to enjoy a lifestyle that includes spending time on vacations and family outings and buying what is needed when needed without the threat of debt.  She can see how she may even be more energetic for her babies in those concentrated hours after work and on weekends, snow days, holiday breaks, and summer vacations with everyone's time divided into richer experiences. 

Mrs. Liberty won the round this morning.  The final blow was the bi-monthly home cleaning service she whipped directly at dust circling Mommy's feet.  Mommy just stared at it longingly, speechless for the moment.


  1. Really good Carrie. It really is a battle of mind and heart.

  2. Hi Carrie,
    Just the fact that your are torn between being mommy and Mrs. Liberty means that you will succeed.

    I was fortunate to be able to stay home with my girls when they were young, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but we were POOR. There were no extras. My girls wardrobe was provided by birthday, Christmas and Easter gifts along with my sewing and garage sales.

    I think what you may need to do is give up those school improvement meetings for now and the clubs may have to be put on hold for a time. I do know that you don't have to give up one for the other. You can still be mommy and Mrs. Liberty too.

    My girls never got to Disney or Universal Studios and I regret that. Vacations were up morth at a friends cottage, but we have great memories. I couldn't give them the designer jeans, which were popular at the time, that all the kids were wearing. They wore shoes from
    K-Mart or Payless. Eating out in a restraunt was a special treat.

    What I do know from reading you FB posts and this blog is that you have a wonderful support system. There is lots of love to go around. You babies are loved and supported by lots of people. What is important is that your babies are raised in a loving environment and that is already happening. Only you and Mike can decide together what is best for you as a FAMILY.

    I know that you will have the support of so many people no matter which way you go...mommy, or mommy and Mrs. Liberty. Ellen


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