I work full time / by Susie Lubell

Morning

I used to work full time in an office. I liked work. But I didn't love it. And I was having a hard time rationalizing spending 8-10 hours a day away from my kids for something that I didn't love. There was the money, which we needed. We still need the money. But we realized eventually that while money comes and goes, time only goes. And time with these kids was precious and fleeting and I better start spending more of it with them. So I stopped working in an office and I started working at home a few hours a day painting and selling my work. And my kids spent less time at preschool and a lot more time with me.

And then I realized that what I had really wanted was a way to paint and sell my work and explore what other untapped creative potential lay buried inside me and spend some time with my kids but not a lot of time. And not time in the car or on the way to anywhere. Like gymnastics or Hebrew school. And what I mostly wanted was to spend time with my kids while they were happy and charming and then magically disappear when they started getting annoying or taking so much time to put on their shoes that they eventually needed the next shoe size or insisting to sit on the booster seat next to the window instead of the one in the middle next to the shrieking baby.

The promise of part time work and part time child-rearing was misguided at best. Foolish, more likely. There's nothing part time about what I do. I work around the clock these days. I'm up two to three times a night nursing. Then we're all up getting ready to get out of the house in the morning. I'm driving to school, I'm driving home, I'm driving to the supermarket, I'm making food, I'm picking up, I'm emailing proofs, I'm nursing, I'm straightening the house, I'm printing some orders, I'm playing with the baby, I'm helping with homework, I'm brushing out tangles, I'm weeding out the 4Ts to make room for the 5Ts, I'm reading stories, I'm nursing, I'm calling UPS to track a shipment that went awol, I'm brushing someone's teeth, I'm writing this blog, I'm going to bed and then I'm repeating the whole exercise again. Everyday. Forever. With a smile.