And it felt really good. I might not feel so great at the end of the five weeks! I think I would quite like to continue working in the mornings, and the elementary schools aren't as bad as I thought they were going to be. But I'm not enjoying the juku classes as much, and I HATE the timing. I've always avoided full-time work because of the late afternoon hours which eat into the limited amount of time I get with my children, and coincide with the busiest part of the day.
All the disadvantages of full-time work showed their face - not enough hours in the day, and having the few hours you get with your kids telescoped into a squeeze at the beginning and end of the day, with them vying for attention with the housework, the cooking, the laundry. Feeling exhausted, and needing to go to bed earlier, leaving even less time to do your own thing (good thing I gave up on devoting evenings to my 'projects' since I got pregnant with Erica, or I'd feel even more frustrated). No time to do background or catch-up housework like de-cluttering or sorting school papers, or even getting the winter blankets squished into vacuum bags in the closet for summer.
The best thing to come out of the week is Erica's increased attachment to her Papa. Yesterday when he came home from work, just before I headed out, I was holding her and she reached out to him. Earlier in the week she would have clung to me. On Friday as I bustled about getting ready to go, she just ignored me, and then when I came back in to get something I forgot, she didn't even notice me. Earlier in the week she stood in the genkan wailing. And this morning, when she decided to come downstairs, as usual she sat on the fourth step from the top and called out...to Papa to come get her. She sounded almost surprised when she saw me - "MUM!?" (Those who have met Erica will know how she YELLS 'MUM' at the top of her voice, never says a gentle 'mama')
I talked about missing her the other day, but I miss the older two just as much. I feel like I haven't seen them at all this week, as we eat and go to bed after I come home, and I spend a lot of that time cleaning up and organizing things. Lena especially misses me, and told me so. I told her we only had four more weeks to go, it'll be okay. Erica knows by nature how to re-attach to me, and runs up to me when I come home. I pick her and she asks politely to breastfeed. She really does have a sweet way of asking - a babble of nonsense syllables, ending with 'jis'(this) and sometimes a fist squeeze baby-sign meaning breastfeed. Or she'll pick at my collar. So I end up spending a lot of time when I get back home re-connecting with her. It's not so easy for the older two. Reading to them before bed helps. Only one more chapter of Willy Wonka to go, what's the next best Roald Dahl book??