Our summers in the past have been jam packed with things to do revolving around my work schedule. This summer much like last has been different because of my limitations on what I can do. Does Julian care, it would seem not, as he is just happy to be hanging out with me. I think about the difference from when I was working compared to how things are now. Is it better to be the working mom or the slightly sick stay at home mom?
I planned things non stop with other working moms for after work once we picked our littles up from daycare, which was located on the grounds of our job. I made up different adventures for Julian and I to do, lists of adventures to be exact. I basically made sure if I wasn’t working we were doing something even if it was just game night in our house. I lived everyday with the guilt that someone else was taking care of him while I worked. I tried to do as much as possible with him to get rid of the guilt but in reality it just made us both tired. It also gave Julian the expectation that we would always be on the move which gave us limited rest days, if any at all.
Fast forward to January of 2016, I had septicemia, was in the hospital for weeks and it was my last time stepping foot into my office as a worker. I was placed on leave without pay/unpaid medical leave. I applied for SSDI and for disability retirement through my job. The disability retirement that I applied for a year ago was just approved a few days ago as I sit in court with state disability. I was left with no pay but the freedom to be home with Julian mid kindergarten year. I was able to be there for the Royal Tea party, although I am sure I could have gotten the time off of work to go but I would have had to rush back. I was able to volunteer for the science fair which we were both super excited about. Eventually I realized aside from that there wasn’t much else I could do, one because I have zero income and two because I was just sick or in pain from past injuries to my back.
I can honestly say I miss my job, the people. the purpose and most of all the paycheck. On the other hand I love being home with Julian. Not having the means to do much it made me slow the eff down and realize he doesn’t want or need to be whisked away running from one bounce house, play date, vacation or whatever to be happy. This year I have been in the hospital twice, all he wants is to hang out with me wherever I am. I hate that being in the hospital has become a common normalcy for us but it has made me realize that what I wanted to give him, what my guilt wanted to give him really wasn’t necessary. All we both needed was time, which is exactly what today was all about.
Long Island has an abundance of beaches to pick from, one of our favorites is Robert Moses. We got up at 4:30 am went and bought some breakfast and headed to the beach to make sure we didn’t miss the 5:43 sunrise. It was beautiful, we watched it cuddled in a blanket. It was too cold and the water was too rough to let him go in so we left soon after only to return at 5:00 pm. We set up camp and I got to watch and record him playing in the water, with his toys and just having fun. As the sun started to set we went to our blanket, he dried off and we took in the lavender sky, we even got to meditate to the crashing of the waves. It was a perfect day filled with laughter and bonding.
Working, not working, active or not – the time we spend, not the quantity but the quality is all that truly matters. Enjoy your days as well as your nights and give those you love something great to reminisce about in the future.