I am lucky. So so super duper lucky. Four-leaf clovers spring up everywhere I walk, horses throw their shoes at me, and rabbits volunteer to cut off their own feet in my honor. I have a beautiful house, everything I could want to live a nice, comfortable life. E’s on shore duty right now so he’s home for dinner almost every night (and sometimes for lunch too). His job in the Navy means he doesn’t ever have to worry about being laid off or losing his health care or having his hours cut. Because of the stability he provides, I’m able to stay home with Baby Evan and be the kind of full-time, cooking-baking, playdate,  go-to-Target-at-10-am mom I imagined I would be. I won’t miss his first words or first steps or first solid foods. I don’t face the challenged other breastfeeding moms deal with when it comes to pumping and storing milk or weaning earlier than they would have liked. I’m so lucky, there’s a chance I’ll win that Powerball tonight without even buying a ticket.

I wish I had a job. An out of the house, paid with real money job. Nothing fancy or prestigious or that requires lots of skills. I want to work at Target again, like I did when I was 17, hanging up clothes and organizing the sock aisle and folding hundreds of jeans. Or I could answer phones somewhere and sit in a chair and read US Weekly when I wasn’t busy. Maybe I could work at greenhouse and wear shorts and water plants and carry around bags of dirt all day. I am qualified for all of those things. I don’t mind making $10 an hour.

But the logistics of finding employment, convincing them to hire me, showing up at the same time every day, planning my schedule around both E’s and Baby Evan’s schedule, having back-up childcare just in case and finding back-up back-up childcare just in case is daunting. Maybe when the baby is a little older. Maybe after the next baby. Maybe when all the babies go off to school. Maybe when the babies go off to college. Maybe by then the gap in my resume will be 18 years long and no one will hire me.

Why do I care so much? Why do I feel so useless just because I don’t get a paycheck? How incredibly ungrateful do I sound for all that I already have? Having a second income would let us do a lot more, but we don’t need it to pay the bills (as long as the bills don’t get much higher). And the amount I could make as a cashier or receptionist or plant-waterer would barely cover childcare on the days I needed it. How many moms are at work right now wishing they were home with their babies with nothing more pressing to take care of than a load of laundry and planning next week’s meals (Monday: PB&J. Tuesday: Ham & Cheese. Wednesday: PB&J)? How many moms are hiding in a bathroom stall with their breastpump? How many moms feel guilty for not doing exactly what I am lucky enough to do? I feel guilty too, guilty for wishing I could get a break. Guilty for wanting to do something not involving my baby. Guilty for the things that I have. Guilty for not really, truly, totally, completely appreciating  every single second. So many people have more to worry about than I do, so why can’t I be happier? Not that I am unhappy. Just restless and hot and tired and losing some of the patience I work so hard to maintain. I just need a change. And my husband back.

Maybe I will buy one of those Powerball tickets.

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