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.

(again)

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.

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

    [Reply]

    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! =-.

    [Reply]

    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!

    HAVE A WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY, MY FRIEND!

    xoxo

    [Reply]

    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 ..is this thing on? =-.

    [Reply]

    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….

    [Reply]

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

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

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

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    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.

    xoxo

    [Reply]

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

    [Reply]

    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.

    LOVE.

    [Reply]

    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!
    Linda

    [Reply]

    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!

    [Reply]

    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

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

    [Reply]

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

    [Reply]

    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:)

    [Reply]

    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.

    [Reply]

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

    [Reply]

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

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    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. :))

    [Reply]

    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. =-.

    [Reply]

    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.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    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. :)

    [Reply]

    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!

    [Reply]

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