Busy, busy, busy!
Since coming off of maternity leave, I have been running non-stop. Press conferences, photo ops and deadline days at work combined with pediatrician visits, preschool and endless diaper changes with my two boys has left me zero down time — and I love it.
I’m an active person by nature and even before kids it would have been a rare thing to find me lounging on the couch on a Saturday afternoon. I thrive on pressure and live to “rise to the occasion,” although my blood pressure and dark circles under my eyes might reveal a different story.
My husband, John, is a stay-at-home dad for our boys. But as good of a job as he does, sometimes kids just need their mom. Last Friday, while I was out shooting high school football games, I received a voicemail that sounded like a desperate 911 recording.
“Oh my God, are you done taking pictures yet? Please come home,” the voice pleaded.
I could hear Sam, the 2-month-old, crying in the background and our 3-year-old Ben yelling for his dinner. I called him back.
“Um, everything OK? I’m almost done, I shouldn’t be too much longer,” I said.
No response. I could hear muffled shouting and screaming and what sounded like a pizza guy at the door. I hurriedly packed up my camera gear and headed home.
When I walked in the door, I was greeted with an eerie silence, which is concerning in any house in which small children reside. My home is many things, but it is never, ever quiet.
My husband was in the kitchen, brewing coffee and wearing the face of a soldier who had the 1,000-yard stare from seeing too much combat. Ben was in bed, Sam had been kidnapped by my mother-in-law whom my husband had called in a moment of sheer panic.
“They outnumbered me,” he began, wringing his hands together. “It all happened at once: Sam was screaming, Ben was hungry, diapers had to be changed and the pizza guy was banging on the front door. It was Sophie’s Choice up in here.”
I eventually pieced together what had transpired while I was away.
Having received his first set of immunizations at the doctor’s office earlier in the day, poor Sam was inconsolable and screaming like a banshee. Ben was being a typical toddler and demanding constant attention. The pizza guy just wanted his money and to get the hell out of Dodge.
Not seeing a way out of his predicament, John did what anyone would do — he called his mom.
My mother-in-law had been asking for weeks to keep Sam overnight, but being the overprotective mom of a newborn, I had been warding her off saying he was still too young. With me out of the picture at the football game and her son’s pleading phone call, she saw her opportunity and swooped in to steal my youngest away for the night.
After a brief phone call, I relented and allowed him to go ahead and stay until morning — one of the best decisions I’ve ever made as it meant that — for the first time since I had him — I would be getting a full night’s sleep.
Since that night, things have been a bit smoother. I’m still trying to figure out how to effectively balance work with home, but it gets a little easier everyday. I tell myself not to stress out but to try and appreciate these days because it won’t be like this forever. The kids will be grown up in no time.
I know that someday I’ll look back on these days with fond memories and wish that my boys were little again but in the meantime, I’m just going to go and change my shirt, because Sam just spit up all over me … again.
Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and Powdersville Post and can be reached at [email protected] Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.