Costume Changes

Things are a bit different around here. Suddenly my one year old is in a parents’ morning out program two days a week. My body clock is totally confused as I attempt to kick my brain into thinking gear at hours it normally took a break with bad reality TV, Facebook or a real book. Conversations with the hubby are jam packed with new schedules, concerns and the occasional pep talk. But we’re working on the new normal. Whatever that is.

On Tuesday, it was this:

Breakfast with the kids. Everybody dressed and diaper bag packed. Library books searched out and into the library tote. Shoes found and on feet. Out the door to the library to return the books and load my shoulders down with a new stack. Walk down the street from the library to music class. Clap and dance and otherwise make a fool of myself under the guise of teaching Pumpkin the joy of music while also chasing down his older brother who had to tag along since school hasn’t started yet. Cajole everyone back into the car for the ride home. Herd everyone back into the house while carrying diaper bag, library bag and whatever previously abandoned toys from the car that Peanut insists need to be brought back in the house. Feed everyone lunch. Change into skirt, blouse and heels. Kiss hubby bye as he comes home for lunch so I can attend a last minute press photo shoot. Take care of photo shoot, rush back home to send hubby back to work. Change back into shorts and t-shirt. Get a few things done during Peanut’s quiet time. Play Lego’s, games and read the morning’s library book haul. Throw together dinner. Change into another shirt and denim skirt. Kiss the boys good night as they head for the tub. Run next door to neighborhood board meeting. Get the info I need for next neighborhood newsletter then beg out of meeting a little early. Cut through neighbor’s yard, hop in the car and head out to book club. Wine, cake, conversation. Home at 11 PM.

Whew. I think I might still be recovering. But this is it. This is my new life. It’s energizing and exhausting at the same time. I’m struggling with making sure that the boys and the hubby are okay, that their quality of life isn’t changing. Sure, they might have to add a few tasks to their lists, but I want to make sure that I’m neglecting chores and not time with my boys. I want to avoid having to say “in a minute” or “not now.” Yes, they might have to wait for mommy to finish what she’s working on, but I want them to see that there is time for work and play. That mommy has special skills beyond what they experience. That doing a good job is important.

The balance is making sure that they don’t ever feel that they are unimportant. Because that’s not it at all. In choosing this, I am simply showing them that I am important, too. I want them to see in a day that sitting down and reading them library books is important. That daddy going to work in the morning is important. That mommy finishing a press release is important. That eating dinner together as a family is important. That mommy and daddy having time together is important. That hugs and kisses and family are important.

No matter what I’m wearing, I’m still, and will always be, their mom. And that’s the most important.

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