It's amazing how a little childcare has helped me hate the annoying and naughty parts of my kids a little bit less and like the silly and inquisitive parts of my kids a little bit more.
This is only week three of recurring, part-time childcare--Preschooler in Chief at school; Toddler in Chief with the nanny--and I've seen a change in the way I spend time with my boys. Why? Because it's quality time. I look forward to the days when it's just the three of us of exploring and enjoying our adventures. And after all that exploring and enjoying, I know that I'll have other days to catch up on all of my stuff and household chores. And there is time to work too! Imagine that. That means I can spend time with the wee ones without trying to cram shopping and laundry and telephone calls and query letters in between puzzles and naps. I don't have to forfeit my attempts at working to do fun things with my kids. And I don't have to forfeit quality time with my kids so that I can work. In this scenario, everyone is getting some of what they need.
We've been to the beach and the zoo and the park and the farmers' market. And we're having fun. I'm not cursing under my breath because I need to do other stuff. I'm not sticking them in front of the TV so that I can make a phone call. I'm not wishing I could run away and leave it all behind. Nope. I like my kids again. Well, I like them most of the time. That is, all except when PIC whines or TIC pees on the fresh sheets after a bath before the diaper is securely fastened (although the peeing thing was sort of funny, in a perfect baby timing kind of way).
It's almost like I've had a glimpse of the Whole MIC. The sane, together, complex woman/mother/wife who does more than just run a 24/7 childcare center. As a result, I don't have to clench my teeth as the baby starts crying a bit too early in the morning. There will still be good days and bad days. And it doesn't matter. I can handle it. I will get through it. I'll let it roll off of me like rain on a duck. I know that a break for me--whether that break involves writing or yoga or grocery shopping without incessant demands--is only a day away.