On the job — at home, at school, at work

Four years ago when my son was in kindergarten, I was THE mom.  I was THE room mom.  I was THE art docent.  I was THE weekly workshop mom.  I was THE co-chair of a major school fundraiser.  If someone asked, I would say, “yes.” 

Today, while attending my daughter’s first kinder field trip, I realized that I’m no longer that mom.  I was there for my daughter as I had been for my son.  However, something was very different.  All I could think about was getting back to work and the other 30 non-work “to dos” for the day.

How I wish I could still be THE mom – present and fully vested in my role as mom.  I wish that I could still be there for every event, every field trip.  I wish I could coach and lead.  It was so satisfying and seemingly simple.  

These days, I split my time between my kids, my parents, my 93 year-old grandmother, my in-laws and running a business.  There’s no time to be THE mom.   In fact, there’s no me time p.e.r.o.i.d.  I’ve been squoozen. 

Yep … I said squoozen.  It’s a made-up word I use to describe feeling smashed and thrashed from all sides – both as parents of young kids and as adult children to parents with needs.  Oh, and there’s that lil’ thing called a career.  Having it all as a working mom just doesn’t work.

I still do what I can on the school front.   I return permission slips, money and my kids on time every day (which is no small feat).   I’m in my daughter’s kinder class once a week as work allows.  My son’s class – I’m there once a month, if I’m lucky. 

That said, I miss being THE mom.  I relish being in the classroom and at school, and not because I’m a control freak (I am), but because it gives me such ridiculous joy.  Seeing them learn and thrive makes me feel good.  It makes me feel good about life.  

I know that I’ll always be THE mom for two great kiddos.  But, boy how I miss those days when I could say “yes” to most any classroom request and then, enjoy the fun of it with my kids.

Would I change it?  Nope.  I want my kids to also see me as a career woman – succeeding and enjoying my job is just as powerful a message as being present in the classroom.  However, I wouldn’t turn down a personal assistant to take care of life’s time-sucking chores – starting with the laundry and dinner.

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