Baking Cupcakes for the Dog

When Caleb started his new job, I planned to find another nanny job and keep working. I am lucky to be able to bring Dayen with me, and there didn't seem to be any reason not to work. So, I started a new job and after the first day I realized: this isn't what I want anymore. I was so attached to the last little girl I nannied, and she just got me. She knew what to expect from me, and vice versa. As the little boy was throwing a tantrum about not wanting the sandwich he had just begged me for, I just felt myself totally deflate. I just thought: I don't want to start over with another one. 
So, despite how much I've always loved being a nanny, I decided to try this stay at home mom thing, while focusing on my photography business. 
I was a little nervous because I've never just stayed home before. But I decided, if I'm going to do this thing, I'm going to to it right. 
And let me tell you, that first week was magical. 
I woke up early every day. I took Dega for a walk all while feeding Dayen in the stroller. I came home, exercised, and was totally ready for the day by 9 am. So I did the dishes, vacuumed, watered flowers, played with Dayen, edited pictures, vacuumed again... After awhile that Tangled song started to get stuck in my head... "7 am the usual morning lineup..."
I'm not complaining about any of that. I might be single handedly setting feminism back about 50 years with this statement, but I genuinely enjoy taking care of my house and family. I get enough satisfaction from that to feel accomplished every day. 
But the whole supermom thing is bound to fall apart sometime, and for me it didn't take nearly as long as it should have. 
Saturday I spent the whole day cleaning and baking for Dayens birthday party. I made these beautiful cupcakes, arranged them on a platter, then rushed off to do two back to back photoshoots. And I wasn't complaining. I felt like I was juggling everything like a pro.
Then it happened: while I was in the shower that night, our dog Dega ate the cupcakes. 
Like, almost all of them. 
At least 2 dozen cupcakes, and the wrappers. He didn't even make a big mess of the tray, almost like he was daintily picking them up one after one... "Ok, I'll just have ONE more."
I don't think anyone out there would be surprised to hear that I was upset. Even though it was inconvenient and Dega was sick for the next two days (and our backyard is now spotted with shreds of colorful papers) it wasn't that hard to make more cupcakes. It was an easily solvable problem. What really bothered me was that I realized it was a perfect metaphor for what I had been feeling lately: like everything I do is basically just making cupcakes for the dog. 
I spend hours planning and preparing dinner, and it's gone within minutes and I'm left with a dirty kitchen that I spent an hour that morning cleaning. 
I am patient and kind and loving to Dayen day after day, but then in one moment I get upset with him and feel like I undo everything else I've ever done. 
I hop out of bed in the morning, do 10,000 things, then look around at the end of the night and it all looks pretty much the same. Because that's what I signed up for: the behind the scenes stuff. The closets and drawers are always full of clean clothes. The muddy paw prints on the floor disappear like magic. The fridge and pantry refill to keep us well fed. And like any good director, I'm never actually seen in the final product. 
Don't get me wrong, its not a thankless job. My sweet husband always makes a point to acknowledge me for what I do. It's just that sometimes, all I'm doing is baking cupcakes for the dog.
But it's helped me to learn to step back and just enjoy the fruits of my labors. Stop trying to find distractions for Dayen so I can work, and instead spend some time enjoying his cute laugh while we play with the same old toys and read his favorite book for the thousandth time. Not everything I do is going to be monumental and life-changing, but I am still building a really beautiful life.

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