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My children are sleeping. It’s such a rare occurrence that it deserves to be written about, mostly because neither is in my arms. When people hear that I have a 6 month old the first question is “how are you sleeping,” and then a sly smile.

First, I should say my children often sleep well during the night, The problem is that they prefer my bed and my three year old has apparently shared her fear of the crib with her infant sister. Some days, I lie there — two perfectly angelic children on either side of me — thinking about lists of things that I should be doing, lists of things I’d rather be doing and then I figure out the odds of them waking if I get up to try any of those things.

Generally, I last until hunger, thirst or other necessities require me to move. And the second I move, I regret it. I regret that I’m going to lose those few more moments of peace, that the sweet baby smell doesn’t linger .

It’s in these moments of mommy-guilt, more than the late nights or early mornings, that I question my decisions. And I would venture to guess that many other working moms feel the same, because in those moments of exhaustion, it seems like the whole day would be like this.

It would be sweet little girls, snuggled close to me who awake ready for a day at the park, the zoo or cooperatively shopping with me. The good news is that, within four hours, Bridget will awake and remind me that rather the idyllic version of mommy hood in my mind, my day would include a teething infant gnawing on my breasts.

And not to be outdone, the three-year old’s cute lovable “good mornings” will quickly turn to demands for crayons, playdough, a quick ride to Grandma’s (in Massachusetts) and a breakfast of chicken fingers and French fries. It’s at about this time that I start thinking I’m crazy for having thought spending 24-7 with them would somehow make all our lives better.

Some days, I let the mommy guilt get to me, I fall asleep with them curled up next to me and relish in their baby-ness a little longer . Other days I rush off to finish those last few tasks. But on the really good nights I get my snuggles in and then get my glass of wine.

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Cathleen Lewis
Cathleen, the Mayor of Lawrence Township & a full-time Public Affairs professional, counts her best job as being Mommy to Abigail (3 years) and Bridget (6 months ). A New Yorker originally, but Boston raised, Cathleen enjoys the challenge of raising the girls in a mixed household with her Yankee-fan husband Paul. She hopes to make up for the confusion by encouraging the family’s love of Rutgers football. She dreams of sharing her love of beaches, margaritas, music and adventure but is happy to squeeze in a family walk with the dog and a back yard BBQ these days. Formerly an avid reader and writer before work, life and children; Cathleen hopes she hasn’t lost her ability to capture thoughts through the written word but often can’t remember where the grocery list is.

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