When I first had Olivia, my boss and I had this conversation where she told me I was like her - not the stay at home kind of mom. That we do our best when we just have those few hours a day to take advantage of time spent with the kids. Some days I think she's right and then I have thought many times that she put that idea in my head simply because she didn't want me to entertain the idea of quitting my job. =) There is a big part of me that would love to stay home with the kids. My husband and I work crazy shifts in order to maximize the time I have with the kids. Unfortunately, we have yet to figure out a way to actually let go of my paycheck and still be able to pay bills and feed ourselves. For some reason, my husband refuses to work two jobs so I can work none. ;)
I realize that I have a very idyllic image in my head of how it would be if I were home. We'd get up and have a nice breakfast, go to story time at the library, spend time playing at the park, I would have time to keep the house clean and make a wonderful dinner and end the evening curled up with a book. I'd have time to craft my little heart out. Play dates and all kinds of fun, fantastic things. I know it wouldn't actually be that perfect... I know too many stay at home moms to really think that.
But I really think it has to be better. I think I get this concentrated blast of insanity for 4 hours a day that leave me too exhausted and mentally drained to do much more than is necessary to maintain a home that won't get condemned. I have good kids, I know I do. They rarely get in trouble at school and everyone loves them to pieces. They just can't keep it all in 24 hours a day though and when I pick them up it's like they unravel into a whirlwind of whining, screaming, and chaos. I fix at least 2 different meals a night, eat mine cold and throw away 90% of what the girls were supposed to eat. We argue over homework and how little girls can't go outside without shirts and who left the half eaten strawberry in the floor and how many times do you really have to change clothes in a 2 hour time frame. And if my vocal cords aren't too worn out from yelling to be heard above the girls' wrestling matches, I will find the shortest book I can to speed read. Then I try to squeeze in some dishes and laundry and make sure a path is cleared to the exits in case of fire. And since I watch very little TV and can't sit still for very long without something to do, I stay up entirely too late considering that I have to get up at 4:30am, making things for these insane little demons that I really and truly adore and think are the most amazing little people on earth and wish I could be with day in and day out... even after a night like this.