Part of the reason the world is moving just a little bit smoother is because Papa Bear is jumping in and helping out (without being asked first) with the girls and around the house. This is appreciated even more so than normal because right now he is in his final two weeks of the year and work stress is at an all time high as he is trying to get clients to bring in promised paperwork to make sure he hits his sales numbers. While this might seem like a strange thing to be grateful for, I am grateful for this extra help and participation in what often times feels like my part of the universe.
I sometimes think that it would be nice to go back to work. You know outside the home. Back to the officially recognized work place, the 9 - 5 routine (wait, I never did that - it was more like 8am - 9pm or later, but at least I was paid for the overtime). Back to the place where you get to hang out with grow-ups and be involved in adult conversations on business, entertainment, financial news and world related topics. Not the kid-centric, diaper checking/changing, "did-you-eat-your-lunch-before-you-need-to-catch-the-bus, "don't-hit-your-sister", "who-made-this-mess" conversations that I feel I have been having on a daily sometimes hourly basis.
Plus, when I was working outside the home my day actually had beginnings and endings. I got to go to work. I got to leave work. I got to have a lunch break. I got to use the bathroom without having two kids trailing after me. I even got to sleep for 8+ hours straight with no interruptions from crying or whimpering kids who scream out in the middle of the night even though they are still fast asleep. BB1 has done this with more frequency as of late and it scares the biggevis (sp?) out of me and sends me rushing into her room to make sure nothing has happened to her.
Of course since I am less than half awake and even less aware of my surroundings, I often wonder what good I would really be able to do in the instance that something was happening that actually required intelligent thought or action on my part. Most nights I just pat her head, whisper a few soothing words (at least in my sleep muddled mind they seem soothing - in all actuality they could be grunts!) and stumble back to bed. A couple nights back she actually rolled/fell out of her bed and was left sitting on the floor, half awake and a little dazed. I am pretty sure I managed to pick her up and put her back into bed before I realized what I was doing - thank goodness that moms can function on auto pilot.
And, if I had to be completely honest with myself, for as much as I might look back on my working days with fondness, there are some things I don't miss. I don't miss the mind blowing stress, the office politics, the deadlines or the commute. I don't miss the crazy people you had to deal with (and every office has at least one). And I do know that I would miss watching my little girls grow up and discover the world around them and helping them find their place in it. I would miss seeing BB1 come home from school and telling me all about her day and listening to her plans for where we can go that day so that we can have family fun time. I would miss BB2 and her constant "conversations" on her toy cell phone and her singing lullabies to her monkey. She has hit a stride where she never stops saying something. I wouldn't want to give those moments to anyone else, so for the time being, I make my peace with being out of the work force and in with the mom-force.
SO, to my point and what I think I am really trying to say with this long rambling thread is that I am thankful to Papa Bear for stepping in with a more helping hand; even when he is at his busiest, because sometimes you just want to feel like you are not alone in doing the day to day things like feeding, washing, caring, soothing, clothing, changing, and constant picking up routines that all moms do.
As for BB1, she is doing awesome in school. During her recent PT conference, her teacher says she is an excellent Peace Maker - there is even a little pledge that goes with this and once I get her to recite it to me, I'll post it because it's just too cute. She is a great little helper to both her teacher and to other students. Granted we still have our "teaching moments" as we are calling them at home with BB1, but for the most part temper tantrums are getting shorter. Her initial over the top crying fits are diminishing and when she is told the ever dreaded "NO" she is getting better at accepting the answer and moving on with her day.
BB2 is a little mimic of all that is going on around her and pure entertainment when she tries to do all the big things she sees her sister doing. She gets so excited when it's time for Sis to go to school, but I think that has more to do with seeing the school bus, rather than getting rid of her sister for some one-on-one mom and BB2 time. She says "Thank you, mom!" which makes my day and when it's time for anyone to go anywhere, she's all about the "love you, bye-bye!!" Her smiles and laughter are like gold and more precious to me than anything else.
It just does my heart good to share my life with such unique, intelligent, inquisitive and beautiful little girls and even though at times they are frustrating and trying, I know it's due more to my short comings in patience and temper than in any fault of their own.
Being a mom is hard, sometimes painful (ever get cracked in the head by a temper tantrum welding toddler?), emotionally and physically draining at times, but I would not trade it for any thing else in the world. The rewards in kisses, night time snuggles and "love you moms" is priceless.
So to all the moms and dads (both present and future) hang in there, know that you are not alone in anything you may be dealing with, and just take a moment to enjoy and love your little ones for the special gifts they truly are. Take a moment to appreciate your spouse, as he is in this with you, even if his focus is on different things. And especially take a moment for yourself, to recognize all that you are doing and just know that it does count for something pretty great.
And if ever you need a helping hand, know that I am here to help (although at 3 in the morning it may be more in spirit than in physical being! :o)