Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spring has returned... for good?

Today was a the most perfect spring day. Warm, the temperature hovering around 17C; sunny, but with pleasant cloud breaks; and the best part: a sweet warm breeze that just smelled of spring.

I never realize during the winter months just how much I miss the sun. But then we get a beautiful day like today and I realize I've been craving the sun's rays. I throw my arms up skyward and want to sing, and dance, and cry out thanks for the soft golden light.

The boys were loving it too, as were our newly planted flowers. Lucien was a great help today and together we planted, sunflowers, nasturtiums, snapdragons, stocks, cosmos, and a variety of other "flower garden" mixes. All the seeds were started in biodegradable coconut-husk planters, which will disintegrate once they are planted. And what's better; I can finally share it with you as I received a new camera for my birthday!

I didn't realize just how much of a difference a new camera would make, but the photos turned out much better than the ones I was taking with the old one. Shots such as this would never have been possible:

The first leaves just begin to open on our plum tree.

An unexpected surprise; lilies breaking up through the undergrowth....

Our onions, growing like weeds under the canopy of the "greenhouse." And what's that between them? Yes, that's right, weeds.

I still cannot believe how fast our rhubarb is growing. I just cannot wait for that strawberry-rhubarb jam!

It was wonderful to spend the afternoon outside with the boys, even though I spent more time chasing after Marcus than I did weeding. He's walking now, and doesn't understand why he has to stay in the yard, and not run after the leaves or sticks or other things that catch his fancy. Would that I could be like that, too!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Musings of a Working Mother

This post is long overdue. I know. I just haven't had the drive nor the energy to write; not so much because I've been tired (working, Easter-dinner cooking and being sick will do that to you!), but because there's been so much I've wanted to say that I think I became overwhelmed.

I've been back to work now since the first week of April, and I am still not sure how I feel about it. To be honest, in the few weeks leading up to going back to work was dreaded it so much. The idea kept me up at night; and whenever I thought about it during the day I would get a tightness in my chest and a knot in my stomach that I just couldn't shake. I wanted to weep, but couldn't; I wanted to scream, but wouldn't. I wanted to cry out to the world how unfair it was that I had to leave my little boys, my most precious and too young boys in the care of another just so we could afford to feed, clothe and house them. I will not even get into how I feel about a society that no longer supports a single-income family. Oh that I could return to the days of being a "home-maker," content to provide the warmth and support of a loving home, and leave the "working" world to my husband! Is there really anything wrong with wanting that?

I know I am not alone. I know there are many mothers (and fathers!) out there who feel the same way. We are quite fortunate, we have a dear friend who comes into our home to watch the boys while we are at work, and being at home in a comfortable, familiar environment has made the transition easier for them.
Knowing that does give me peace of mind to know the boys are safe at home during the day, though it doesn't make going to work that much easier. It's not that I don't want to work, trust me. It's actually been quite nice to be in the company of adults again, and to have a new set of challenges and goals to work towards that are not only home-oriented (and I even enjoy having to dress up and wear make-up again!). Yet there is still so much I want to accomplish at home, and the tasks are only going to get harder as we head into planting/gardening season.

I find that I just can't achieve a balance: either I spend my free time at home cleaning/catching up on chores such as laundry and then the boys suffer for my attention, or I spend the time catering to their needs and desires and the house becomes neglected. It seems lately that I can never spend enough time with them; when I have just finished playing "swords" with Lucien and go to start the dishes, he breaks down in tears because he wants to play with me longer.

And at the end of the day I am so exhausted that I do not have the energy to even knit, or the mental capacity to sit down and write or plan for the store. I can hear you all now: "you are crazy to be opening the store on top of this!" But that is my dream, my passion, and I am not willing to give up on it even if it kills me!

How does one do it? I keep coming back to the word balance, because that truly is my goal for the moment. I need to find balance between working at work and working at home. I need to find balance between my time spent with the boys, and Chris, and also myself. I need to be able to see what is really important (For example I am still adamant that making our baked goods from scratch, without the added preservatives and sugar/salt, is important. Time intensive yes, but important nevertheless!), and what can be put on the back burner, at least for now. But I am at a loss for how.

Even now, I've hit a roadblock. I have more I'd like to say, but I cannot see past the mound of dishes in the sink, or the little boy tugging at my sleeve to come watch The Lord of the Rings. So I shall leave it at this, and hope that somewhere, out there in the vastness that is our universe, there in an answer to my plight of balance!
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