All Akimbo: Life’s a Beach

By Kim Blakeley, Mojo’s mama

A harshly negative pregnancy test and a trip to the dentist, all in the same morning. I’m living large people, let me tell you.

The good news is that I’m taking my first real vacation in more than three years this week and I’m not going to let even a crummy old period get in my way of enjoying it. I refuse to let my spirit be dampened by the idea of a swimsuit – something that frightens me even when I’m not bleeding profusely — or by the fear of hot flashes in the blaring sun. (I take Clomid on cycle days 3 through 7 this time around, and my first dose happens to be due on the day we leave.)

I think what I’m most looking forward to is that for at least six days, I won’t once have to shoo my Mojo away because I have to work.

He’s been a real heartbreaker lately.

“Mama, I want you to play with me,” he’ll sob. “I don’t want you to do a phone call. I don’t want you to be on the computer.”

Sometimes, he wants to know what will happen if he pushes *this* button, prompting a harried save and a shriek that usually makes him giggle.

He even tries enticement. I can be the blue gingerbread man if I’ll just come play Candyland, he’ll promise. I can kick the soccer ball first if I’ll just come outside with him or I can play with Freddy and the tow truck if I’ll just play Little People.

Oh, how the magnitude of that little boy’s earnest desire makes me want to shelve my resolve and I cave more often than not. But then my deadlines start calling and there’s always another mortgage payment to make and almost Mojo can say Pilot Paula I’m up and back at my desk.

Why does this have to be so hard? This mom thing, I mean. Especially the part so many of us seem to struggle with – whether we should go out for work or stay home, and then so often even once we’ve made that choice, we wonder if we’re really spending enough of the right kind of time with our kids.

Mostly I think I made the right decision by leaving a full-time job with crazy hours to work from home so I can be with Mojo, not only for him but for me, too. Staying home without work wasn’t an option, but it was time for a change, and this allows me flexibility as well as some level of professional validation along with the all-important paycheck.

There are days though when I’m pulled in so many directions that I feel like I’m doing nothing well. I don’t even feel like I’m doing anything OK. Mojo is growing up so fast, and I feel like I’m missing everything, even though I’m right here with him.

So much of our focus in this house has been on work and trying to get pregnant that I just want to make up for some lost time. Everything on my agenda for the next week involves rest, recuperation, laughter and play, play, play. (I’ll be burying my head in the sand every time thoughts trickle in about the deadlines that will crash over me like tidal waves the day I return home.)

We’ve started gathering our buckets and shovels, our flip flops and beach towels for our trip to the beach. We’ve talked about the ocean and all the mysterious creatures that live within its depths and Mojo has informed me that dolphins eat sharks, and definitely not the other way around. Why? Because sharks are mean. I guess that’s just his roundabout 3-year-old way of saying mean people bite … ? I can’t wait to hear more, especially in this brief time that I can spend just listening.