Thursday, October 14, 2010

Marathon Runner

Being home with small children is like running a marathon. As moms, we have to conserve our energy and can't expend it all in fifteen minutes of wrestling and chasing like the dads can do when they come home from work. Jason is like a sprinter when it comes to the kids: high energy and maximum impact not unlike a rock star, while I feel a bit like the old bag washing the dishes and complaining about the noise in the kitchen.

The running and the chasing is lots of fun and a source of great memories for the kids, but he has the energy for it where I do not. I think it comes down to having different roles. I am the pack mule, steady and sure, who plods along making sure the lunches are made, the backpacks are ready, the spot behind the ears is getting washed and the million daily questions are answered. Jason is the flash of lightning who blazes in and has all of the noisy, rowdy fun with the kids in fifteen minutes that I wasn't able to squeeze in during my busy day.

Sometimes I'm jealous of these memories that he is making with them. I would like to be more energetic and fun than I am. I recognize that Jason comes home from work and has a very short window of time with the kids before they go to bed, and he has had stresses in his day but they are of the adult variety, not caused by opinionated people under four feet tall, so therefore he doesn't mind expending his energy running around with the kids.

If I chased them all over the house and rolled around on the floor with them at 8 am, by 8:30 am I'd have nothing left to make it through the rest of the day. I understand this somewhere in my cerebral cortex, but while I'm washing dishes and they are giggling and laughing and running all over the house, I contemplate what it would be like to change up our roles. I know I'm better at managing all of the moving pieces that make up our home life, and I love working out of my house and having the flexibility to put the kids first ahead of my schedule.

Jason has a great job and he excels at it, and provides well for our family, so I know our roles are in the right place for this moment in time. The kids will have memories of me which are different from the ones they will have of Jason. We each have a part to play with our children, marathon runner and sprinter, and we are playing them well. I can always look for more ways to punch up my fun quotient, and he can help more with the daily boring grind so that I have more energy to expend. And somewhere in the middle, we'll hope to find the right balance, and get it all done the best we can.

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