And for once I was SuperMom

Friday, February 4, 2011

Quality not Quantity

This week has been long, emotionally taxing, and very, very busy. Including spending a day driving to another town two hours away to file for a replacement social security card for Emma, because we lost hers. Yes, we are THAT irresponsible. I laid in bed for a long time this morning, hating the thought of getting up and dealing with the day. On deck I had running around posting fliers for an art class I will be teaching this spring, grocery shopping, and dealing with our medical insurance. I rolled over on my belly and actually put my pillow over my head. I lolled about for a few more moments and forced myself to get up, I was getting to the 'Lara I'm worried about you,' place.
I went upstairs after throwing on my sweats and sweatshirt, collected my coffee that Scott had left out for me, and plunked down on the couch. Within moments Emma was in my lap with a book and her teddy bear. Scott looks at me and says,
"I am assuming you'll drop me off at work?" We only have access to one car at the moment.
"No, I think I'll just stay home today, you can have the car," I mentally cancelled all my appointments and decided that a long walk with my baby was in order.

A day that has often driven me crazy, a day where I am marooned in my house with a toddler, a cold front moving in, and nowhere to go but down, was pure peace. Emma has spent most of the week slung on my hip acting as a pity device for people to allow me to advertise in their place of business. Goes like this: harried mother walks in the door of coffee shop, breathing heavily, waits in line dutifully, child has magically increased in weight because of coat, plops child (wearing cute pompom hat) on the counter, barista stares misty eyed at cute child, and lets you do whatever you want. Works every time, except on old elementary school secretaries, they're jaded, and like to say 'no.'
So I spent the day actually focusing on my kid. Doing the things that normally wear on me with gusto; like snuggling while watching Sesame Street, reading the same book fifteen times, introducing her to markers, then giving her an afternoon bath because of said markers, taking her for a long walk, and playing with christmas presents we haven't really had time to enjoy. We spent our day in quiet companionship, babbling to each other and giggling.
I remember this when I was working for about four months of her infanthood. When I was home with her I was able to focus on her, instead of thinking about the million other things I wanted to accomplish. Now that I am with her all the time I find that I have quantity but not so much quality. This makes me think of something I read in a Dr. Sears book about encouraging you to stay home, it went something like this, 'you can't make quality time, you have to be there to catch quality moments.' Of course I was working at the time so that made me feel awesomely guilty. Today Emma said several words she's never said before, and had new experiences, something that I am usually too worn out to do or notice.
More and more I learn that life is a balance, too much time together and you grow tired. Too little and you miss out on too much.

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