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Reflecting Back on a Summer at Home

With less than a week left before I return to work, I'm nostalgic about the 9 weeks I've spent in Oaksville with little Caroline, the five cats, Dingo and a house under renovation. Today, as I chased Dingo with the water hose and shampoo as it started to rain, I felt a little flutter in my stomach. Will this really be the last time I'll have to wash dead animal off my dog? I wiped tears away when I vacuumed and 409'd the truck. Will there be no time to clean the Avalon this week? I really wanted to clean both cars five times each. And who will the plumber, electrician, painters and carpenters chit chat with when I'm not here?

Which is a happier life, stay-at-home mom or working mom? I like pro and con lists. Shall we break it down?

Stay-at-home mom v. Working mom
wear grubby clothes every day v. excuse to go shopping
watch TV v. NPR on the drive home
"Boss" won't yell at you until she's 12 v. Boss can't make you pay for her therapy
Feel validated for being a mom v. Be validated for helping pay bills
Tons of hugs v. Nobody hangs off my legs
No annoying adults around v. No potty talk
Always a clean house v. No time to care about the dirty house
Time to exercise v. No time to care about fat fanny
Spend money v. Make money
Exercise via running around v. No bending over- just sitting on bum
Fresh air v. A door to close

It's just too hard to decide. At least for me. For some women, the thought of leaving their child with a stranger breaks their hearts. And for other women, the idea of staying at home and playing with Legos is like being ordered into solitary confinement. I'm counting my lucky stars tonight for the chance to have a little bit of both worlds. I haven't missed any of the milestones: first words, sitting up, walking, etc. and some of them I've even experienced wearing a super cute suit and heels after a gratifying day of guiding someone else's kid through the milestone of getting a job.

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