Dear Working Mom,
Yes, you. I see you because I am you. I straddle motherhood and work life with a rocky balance. I am holding it all together most of the time. Except when I’m not.
I’m not a morning person. Morning starts usually because someone has poked me in the head to tell me something really important. Apparently “really important” is subjective, because these are all things my boys find essential to tell me before the sun rises:
- The “Twisted Fairy” (Whirlwind) is going to help me beat Wolfgang in Skylanders today.
- Do you think George Washington liked going to school?
- I can read all of the words on this box, do you want to hear?
When I finally roll out of bed for work at 5:45 AM, I have three little adorable, yet needy, boys begging for my attention. One needs “MAAALK” and a fresh diaper, one needs breakfast because he is staaaaarving, and one needs some fashion advice, so he doesn’t walk out of the house dressed as clown.
Never mind I can’t open my eyes yet. Never mind that my body needs caffeine to even pretend to function.
There is no way with three young boys to wake up gradually.
The hour or so before leaving for work is a whirlwind of getting the kids settled, answering emails, showering, and getting dressed. Of course, I would probably do better getting dressed in the garage after hugging and kissing everyone goodbye, since I the boys are experts at planting baby food and stray boogers on my clothing before I leave the house.
Work is usually uneventful, with pleasant students and urgent-but-generally-not-painful tasks, including time for research and brainstorming. Once I accidentally looked at the clock, trying to read it like a PowerPoint … and another time I signed my maiden name on a student form. Yet I have been married almost 8 years, and never was Dr. Maiden Name. Its the lack of consistent sleep combined with a job that relies on innovation and problem solving.
When I get home, its time to go to the bus stop/chase the baby/try to convince the middle to nap. I pretty much fail at all of it except the bus stop routine. During this whole time, I am usually fielding urgent work phone calls and emails, which gets really embarrassing when the four year old is giving you a play by play of his poo session while a VIP is on the phone.
Hopefully there is not a sport that night, but if there is, we’re off to the field.
Then we throw together enough food for what seems like a small army for dinner, never knowing what they will like that night. When I say it is always a surprise, I am not kidding. Their favorite chicken becomes disgusting, while green beans suddenly get eaten like candy.
After dinner it is bath and story time, and everyone is happily tucked in by 7ish.
I finally have a few moments to catch up with my husband/straighten up/craft/work/and blog…until it starts all over again tomorrow.
They tell me there will be a day I will miss the chaos, and I can already see it coming. Someday they won’t need me to help them read a word…or decide what to play…or feed them.
But today I will just concentrate on seeing the beauty in the storm – ruffling their sweet little heads of hair, listening to their crazy stories, cheering on their soccer games.
Working mom, we’ll make it and have a lot of fun along the way.
I’m sure of it.