I'm upstairs in Cate's room, rocking her back to sleep. It's the third time she's gotten up, which I would classify as unsatisfactory. But because she's the third baby (and the last, if I have anything to do with it), I stroke her soft, chubby skin and listen to her breathe. I take a picture in my mind. The hall light goes on. I see it through the crack in the door. I hear footsteps and activity from someone who's trying to be very, very quiet. I put Cate back in the crib and step out into the hall.
It's Blake. Cold busted. Coming out of Dillon's room, holding a light saber. Dillon is not in his bed. Because he's downstairs, in ours. I pick up Blake, carry him downstairs and put him in our bed, next to Dillon. It's 4am, people. Judge me all you want.
"Blake, do you need to pee?"
"I already did."
I smile on the inside because he had peed on his own, in an actual toilet. I reconcile that my husband and I don't suck as parents. Then, I go back to my office, where I've been working since 3.
I'm ramping up Angie, Inc—that's what I call my business when I'm working in the middle of the night. It makes me feel all Ivanka. I've been freelancing for years, and recently, I've had to step it up. The bottom line stated the obvious, "Mama needs to get paid."
I took a step back and asked myself, what do I do well? and what will people pay me to do? and what do I like to do? I felt like I owed it to myself, and all of you, to practice what I preach. And then, I sat down at the computer and announced to a whole bunch of people that I was hanging up my shingle.
And then I waited. I started to sweat a little. Then emails started coming in. And now, I'm really, officially, back in business.
I am grateful. I am tired. I am energized. I am desperately seeking childcare.
Hang on, friends. The ride is about to begin.