Tag: motherhood

Our kids’ caregiver came down with a terrible cold and so, like any other working parents of young children, we made the best of it. Evan and I are fortunate to both have flexible working schedules, allowing us to work after the kids go to sleep, and share parental responsibilities during the day in a pinch.

This was the first time however that childcare was only needed in the afternoons (now that the girls are both in school). While nervous as first, I quickly realized that minding a pre-schooler really just meant lunch followed by a nap and, once that was over, so were my core business hours.

However brief that lunch was, it was the sweetest thirty minutes that I can remember in quite some time. Picking up your child from school midday and walking home hand-in-hand while catching up on their day and even my own morning is extra-ordinary. We talked about science class, dance parties on rainy days, and how someone’s hair clip was confiscated because she fiddled with it. Lunch was quiet because learning at school is hard work. Last and most intoxicating is the brief but unforgettable cuddle which we shared right before nap.

I quietly patted down Eliza. Gingerly descending the stairs back to my computer, I was greeted by the emails, messages, and meeting notices it held safe and sound for me. And as I walked down to the kitchen I couldn’t help but envy any mom who has the luxury to eat lunch with her children and tuck them in for their nap, listen to them retell stories of their morning as soon as it’s over and not try to pry it out of them when they’re tired and hungry for dinner. These are luxuries that most people can’t afford and not always because they’re financially precluded from doing so. How I wonder about parents who can’t wait to ship their kids off to school — an inevitable eventuality.

That being said and smarting from the the sting of envy I remembered that, one day, when the girls are just a bit older and have their own lives making them not be available for pre-school lunch dates, I will be there in the evenings and weekends. And … and I will be me and not just “mom”. And “me” works because it fulfills my drive for making something with my own hands that improves the lives of many other people.

Food For Thought Life Motherhood

Can I confess something to you? Some days I glance at the clock and its 3pm, and I look around my office noticing my long to-do list staring at me and picture the goings on at home. I have yet to get there, of course, and some days I have already been to work twice once after dropping off Sophia at school and again after I picked her up at noon and delivered her back home.
Rewind four years ago when I would walk into my office anytime before 9:30 AM, spend my lunch hour (I actually had a full lunch hour back then) catching up with friends over salad and unsweetened iced tea and came home to cook dinner at leisure. I slept in whenever I wanted to on the weekends and it wasn’t unusual for Evan and me to spend the day watching movies, playing board games, going out or anything else that we decided to do … just on a whim. Date night used to occur on any evening and sometimes, on a beautiful fall or spring day, I would pick up a coffee and just walk around the city taking it all in. Those were life’s little luxuries.

These days, I am needed almost every hour of the day. Who else is going to pack Sophia’s snacks, pick out her outfit, put her hair into pony tails, serve fresh-made ricotta pancakes for breakfast, change diapers, wash clothes, build fortresses and princess castles out of blocks and keep little Eliza from climbing every surface of the house? That’s before and after work, too. I’ll be the first to admit that my life is quite un-luxurious these days.

While I, like most other mothers/parents, have certainly lost a lot of my freedoms to the demands of mothering young children, I still cling to a very tiny subset of luxuries. These are the moments that I hold on to dearly on the days when life’s a little too chaotic. These luxuries provide small flashes of sheer delight and in doing so recharge my human batteries.

Every day when the kids go to sleep, I reach the pitch dark kitchen, turn on one small light, exhale and wash up the kids sippy cups. I wipe the counters and plan what I will do with the next hour of my life. Often times, I will wash up some fruit, sit down in my bedroom, put my feet up and read the news while snacking on whatever is in season.

Every morning after I drop off Sophia at school, I call my mom, we talk and I share the latest/greatest on what the kids are up to. Not every evening, but many evenings, Evan will take the kids to the pier for an hour. As soon as they have left, I rush around packing snacks and cleaning up after dinner so that I have just a little bit of time to unwind. Then, I pour a glass of water and call a friend. We don’t connect with people anymore so I am changing that one call at a time.

These days, I am focusing more on little and less on luxury. I steal these moments unabashedly, fight for them, rationalize that the hour excursion which Evan takes the kids is good for them and absolutely necessary for me. That one hour will make me a better mom for the rest of the evening, the rest of the week. How? I am not sure. It simply does.

Motherhood is seasonal; it is always changing and at times, we find ourselves with many freedoms and at times with none at all. There were times when (especially when the kids were infants), I couldn’t leave them for two hours and there are times when I have left them for a day knowing full well that they’re fine and that I will be, too. Perhaps the best part of motherhood is learning to balance, to be selfless, to put other beings before yourself but not forgetting yourself either.

Food For Thought From the Rocking Chair Motherhood