May 21 10

That’s all I want. Just a day. I want a day to wake up late. A day to sit in the backyard with a book. A day to window shop at anthropologie. A day to get a much needed pedicure. A day to buy some sandals to show off said pedicure. A day to park my behind at Starbucks and start watching Modern Family from the beginning while I return the 800 emails I owe. A day to take my camera to Oakland Cemetery. I want to buy a cupcake and not have to share it with anyone; I want to drink from a bottle of water and not have to surrender it to a super thirsty child. I want a day without having to wipe anyone’s ass, wash anyone’s hands, or get anyone a drink. I want a day without arguing. I want a day without any Codename: Kids Next Door. I want a day without scooping poop.

Until 9 months ago, I worked at a full-time day job that required a lot of juggling. I juggled to be at work early so I could leave early to make it to carpool on time. I used to rely on my nanny’s help for laundry and cleaning and bath time, so I could deal with food shopping and cooking and homework and bedtime. Sure, it was madness. But, it was what worked for our family. I loved my job. I loved being able to afford to pay tuition. I loved that our nanny babysat every Sunday night so the husband and I could end our weekends with some red wine and a nice dinner. It was what worked.

Until it didn’t work anymore.

I started to resent my job, to resent the fact that I was never around. I couldn’t plan playdates for the kids because I couldn’t drive them to or from. I couldn’t take them to the dentist, the doctor, the optometrist.  I had to pick and choose which class plays and holiday presentations I could go to because it was impossible to go to them all. I didn’t see my kids in the morning. Sometimes I didn’t see my kids at night. And then they began to resent my job.

Then this opportunity came up. It was a work-from-home situation that I couldn’t refuse. Suddenly, my life got flipped turned upside down. I still do a lot of juggling, but it’s a different kind. I juggle to get the three kids out of the house in the morning. I juggle their after-school activities and playdates because there are too many. I juggle to get the shopping done, laundry done, dinner on the table, homework done, baths done and bedtime done on my own (what’s a nanny again?) with a husband who is out of town 15 days out of every 30. I can count on one hand finger how many times the husband and I ended a weekend with some red wine and a nice dinner. On many a day, my work day doesn’t get to begin until well after 9pm.

I am more tired than I have ever been in my life.

But I chose this, I want this, I need this.

I know my kids and their friends and their teachers. I know their likes and dislikes. I KNOW THEM.

There’s no full-time salary that can compete with this. I am happier than I have ever been in my life.

But, you see, tomorrow is my birthday. I am turning 29.


And if you ask me what I want for my birthday, my answer is very simple really.

(I also really need a DSLR…since it seems that I’m going to have to give back the D80 I have been using this year.)

I want a day.

  1. awesome post! And happy birthday! You deserve more than a day…

    Comment by designHER Momma on May 21, 2010
  2. Then you should have stayed in LA for a couple days with me!Singledom for a couple days, I liked it but then I missed everyone.

    I think that it is WAY more brilliant to know your kids & that I struggle with both being a part-time worker.

    Happy Birthday Ali! I hope you do have your day & that’s its BRILLIANT!
    .-= NaomiJesson´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

    Comment by NaomiJesson on May 21, 2010
  3. Great post Ali! And I’ve seen you with your kids, so I know that this change was such a good decision for everyone!

    I think that when you’re in Milwaukee, we pay off Mikey to watch the kids for a day and you drive down to Chicago and we can do all those things!



    Comment by Kristabella on May 21, 2010
  4. Hopefully you will get this day at least for your Birthday!

    Happy Birthday!
    .-= gorillabuns´s last blog this thing on? =-.

    Comment by gorillabuns on May 21, 2010
  5. Happy birthday! I am also a work at home mom. This is the best job I’ve ever had! Well except for the potty training part….

    Comment by Holla on May 21, 2010
  6. Happy birthday to you. I know the value of that elusive day… hope you get it.

    Comment by kgirl on May 21, 2010
  7. Happy birthday, I hope you get your day. It sounds well deserved.

    Comment by Hockeymandad on May 21, 2010
  8. Happy birthday! I hope you get that day. 🙂

    Comment by Rebecca (Bearca) on May 21, 2010
  9. Making the choice to stay at home can be a hard one but I too have found it the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

    I wish you nothing but happyness on your birthday.


    Comment by Jen on May 21, 2010
  10. I know EXACTLY what you mean. EXACTLY. A day is worth it’s weight in gold.

    Comment by Run ANC on May 21, 2010
  11. It’s been a pleasure to have become friends with you this year. So, here’s to the future and more friendship hours logged!

    You’ll get that camera, I’m sure of it.


    Comment by Secret Agent Mama on May 21, 2010
  12. Happy birthday! Happy for you regarding time with kids but sad for you re: time with spouse. A birthday gift for you should be a second (third) honeymoon!

    Comment by Linda on May 21, 2010
  13. Ali, if I could take a day and wrap it in box with a pretty bow, and give it to you, I would. Happy birthday!

    Comment by Assertagirl Amy on May 21, 2010
  14. I wish you much love and your day for your birthday, my dear. Happy 29th birthday again. 🙂 xoxo

    Comment by Nenette on May 21, 2010
  15. Happy Birthday – I really hope someone gives you your day!

    Comment by Maria on May 21, 2010
  16. Happy Birthday, and I hope you get your day. God knows we could all use one!

    Comment by Gillian on May 21, 2010
  17. Well said Ali! on behalf of all us moms who need one day… maybe in about 15 years from now!!!!

    Happy Birthday:)

    Comment by corinne on May 21, 2010
  18. I wish we lived closer so I could give you that day.

    Happy birthday alimartell, love you, xoxo.

    Comment by heather... on May 21, 2010
  19. Happy! (almost) Day of Cake, babe. Here’s to a whole heap of (awesome!) days.

    Comment by Kerri Anne on May 21, 2010
  20. Happy Birthday! Why do you have to give your camera back?

    Comment by Tammi on May 21, 2010
  21. You definitely deserve a day! I think when everyone goes to the beach, you should go a day late just so you get a day.

    (Hopefully you now have at least one cupcake all to yourself. :))

    Comment by Avitable on May 21, 2010
  22. Wishing you a happy birthday, a giant cupcake, a cup of coffee and a babysitter.
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..Things I would recommend… not because I’m being bribed, but because I think these things rock. =-.

    Comment by Katie on May 22, 2010
  23. Happy happy birthday Ali.

    For someone who is seriously thinking about starting to work outside of the house – I thank you for this post. A good reminder to enjoy my life. And I do – I also love that I know my kids so well. Lovely post.


    Comment by OHmommy on May 22, 2010
  24. Don’t give the camera back – I would just go with the assumption that the D80 was an EARLY birthday gift. 🙂

    Comment by Anne on May 23, 2010
  25. I hope you got that day, and the DSLR. You deserve it. And kudos for you for juggling THREE. I can barely manage two. I never knew how you did it with the full-time job. I’m so happy you’ve found what works — even though it’s SO exhausting. It’s worth it. Happy Birthday!

    Comment by Haley-O (Cheaty) on May 23, 2010

Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>