So…here’s how it was supposed to work: I would go back to work full time. I would be so efficient in my use of time and manage to balance all the things. The house would shine, meals would be timely and nutritious and I would be so supportive and loving that the children would find themselves thanking me for their new-found opportunities to exert independence. I would wake at 4:30 at least 3 mornings a week to get the the 5am class at the gym. I would get back home just in time to wake everyone with kisses and back rubs. I would get ready for work (I would manage to actually do my hair and apply makeup EVERY SINGLE DAY. I would choose my outfits the night before and they would match and I would avoid that thing I do where I just wear the same favorites over and over because my brain is too fuzzy and decisions are hard.) I would have dinner already planned and prepped before leaving the house. Everyone would eat breakfast…and it wouldn’t always be in the form of a Cliff bar. After dropping the girls to catch the bus, I would listen to my favorite tunes and enjoy my coffee on the way to work. I would arrive at work refreshed and focused. I would keep up with friends. I would remember birthdays. I would still walk the dog every day. I would meditate. Like a boss. No. Big. Deal. I had it all planned out.
Here’s how it actually works: As it turns out, I’m still me…and there are STILL only 24 hours in the day. Every single day, my alarm goes off – no where near 4:30 – but I ignore it anyway. I have the following conversation with myself, “well…I mean…I showered before bed last night. God only knows how my hair dried. maybe it worked out. Probably not. But if I skip the shower and put it UP, I can sleep for another 25 minutes.” And so I do. I roll downstairs at the last possible moment and snag coffee and children on my way out. The girls have been up for a while, and they’re ready…and waiting…sometimes in the car, because they have already mastered morning in a way that is confusing to me. I DO manage to kiss the (still sleeping) boy and my husband on my way out. I DO manage to listen to music and sip my coffee on my way to work…but…what’s for dinner? I don’t know. Tacos? Chicken fingers? Soup from a can? It’s a mystery. Can you eat well at school today, please? Pretty sure they have a salad bar. If it weren’t for my husband, we’d all be nudists by now…that’s how long it’s been since I’ve done laundry. Were it not for me outsourcing the cleaning, we’d all be living in squalor. Some weeks I manage to work out a couple of times. Some weeks I don’t. The dog gets walks on weekends. I have downloaded 2 meditation apps to my phone…and I haven’t used either one. No one I know has had a birthday in months…which probably means I’m not knocking that one out of the park, either!
The thing is…I’m happy to be back working full time. I’ve always loved working and I always seem to manage to land in groups full of great people — and it’s no different this time. It’s just that working full time with 3 kids at home is a whole lot more haphazard than I had envisioned. I’ve had a ton of support and still…I’m winging it…every single day.
I just thought you should know. Just in case your find yourself surrounded by people who have it all figured out all the time….I wanted you to know that I’m here, too. I’m here with the messy bun, and the coffee. I’m here with the gym bag under my desk…full of clean clothes and good intentions…but with a layer of dust on top. I’m here with unused meditation apps and revised standards on what it means to “entertain”. (Spoiler alert: It means pizza.) I’m here meeting new people and learning new things…like how to sneak peaks at texts from kids on my watch underneath a conference table…and that, if I order on the Chipotle app before I leave work, it will be ready and waiting when I get there. I’m here…
And I would just like to publicly announce that I have no idea what I’m doing.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.