Monday, May 28, 2012


These two boys, getting bigger (one of them is bigger than me!) and more independent every day. I know lots of moms who manage the great juggling act of family and kids and full-time work and I am in awe of them. I could not have been either the mom or employee that I wish to be had I gone back to work full-time, even a moment sooner than this year when my boys are 13 and 9.

Sylvan in mid-air, as per usual

I know I am lucky to have had a choice and a partner and family who were in full support of me staying at home with our boys. Lots of years of challenging financial moments, like the utter panic when a car would need an emergency $600 that we didn't really have. I also remember many hard hard days of parenting in the trenches, when I wasn't a graceful parent, or grateful for being a full-time mom.

Even though I have a full-time, outside-of-my-house job now, I'm still a full-time mom. But it's not the same kind of full-time work that it was. It's not like nursing babies and waking up all night or going to the grocery store with a baby and a 4 year-old and feeling like I was harboring two ticking time bombs liable to go off at any moment. These boys make their lunches and weed gardens and do dishes and clean bathrooms! (Not always without grumbling...)

Now it's later nights with a teenager who wants connection with us, which we are (mostly) delighted by, even maybe surprised at! (OK, when I am trying to read in bed I am not so delighted truth be told, as Jonas pointed out.) Or just being nearby to us while he finishes homework and we are doing our school work. He's still affectionate with us, even in public.

Jonas's beautiful drawings of the lungs for his recent Anatomy block

Sometimes we are crazy and silly and annoying and ridiculous. Sometimes we are in funks and irritated at things that can't change or with ourselves or each other. But I think we've got a good new thing going in this new era, and mostly it seems to work pretty well. Who knew?


  1. OK, Iris, I have tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat--goes fast, so fast-and yet each treasured moment is a lifetime in and of itself. I like how you caught the hard and the precious in such a few words. To be full time as a parent means to be absolutely saturated, marinated, sopping wet in the work. You captured it exactly.

    1. Aww thanks, Kali! So appreciate your support and kinds words. Sometimes it feels like this writing goes out there into a vacuum, which is fine too! But thanks. XO

  2. It's not a vacuum, Iris. Sometimes we just read and haven't a word to add, you write so well.

  3. Thank you for sharing your beautiful introspection. Sometimes in the past decade, choosing to be a fully present parent has felt extremely lonely to me. Mine are 8 and 5, but I see us coming down the road to a spot very near where you are at now. I often have deep sorrow and disappointment with our species as a whole, and its good to know via this interweb that others like you are out there doing this important work of intentionally living and of forming the highest quality human beings. Thank you! Thank you!
    Also -such beautiful photos. Wish I could get my act together and keep my blog going regularly. Keep it up!

  4. Iris, as our family doctor said when the kids were very young and I worried whether I was doing things right, "The proof's in the pudding." You've created two wonderful puddings, and become a fantastic librarian as well! (And it appears that Jacob has been a great help in both achievements.)