La La How The Life Goes On

Happy Labor Day.

Posted on: September 7, 2015

The blog has been silent for months. It went dark weeks and weeks ago. Nothing tremendous happened: just life. Two kids who needed me. The usual ongoing medical appointments drained me. And life in general took precedence. All of which was fine with me.

Witness, friends, a day in my life last year:

8:30am–Drop children off at school

Go home, shower, clean up from breakfast, do laundry, go get groceries

11:30–Jam some food in my mouth for an early lunch, return calls and emails

12:15–Leave to go find parking space at school, hobble myself (with my various prednisone-induced orthopedic issues) to Kindergarten courtyard exit in whatever weather (you’ll recall the unpleasant, precipitation-full winter we enjoyed), wait for youngest kid to be dismissed (Kindergarten kids were released directly to adults, so you had to go to the door to retrieve them), Go home. PRODUCTIVE DAY OVER.

Make lunch, entertain kindergartener until 2:45 (again, often in shitty weather so trapped indoors) to pick up 5th grader.

So you can see why my rage meter would go into the red zone when someone asked me “What do you do all day when your kids are in school?” Well, ahole, I bathe myself, clean my house, then go back to the school to get one of them. The End.  That’s it. That’s the glamour and excitement right there. And it was usually asked by someone employed at a job at a desk. And I know from being on Facebook that you are playing those online games during work time. So YOU tell ME: what do YOU do all day while getting paid to work?

No matter, friends.

In just 24 hours my precious cherubs will once again darken the doorsteps of their educational institutions. Bambina will be in middle school this year. A big and welcome transition. And–praise all that is holy–Baby Sister will be in First Grade. First Grade, y’all. A full day of school. No more 12:30 pick ups. No more shlepping in ice and snow and rain to stand outside waiting for her dismissal. No more wondering why she is spending less time in actual school than she did in preschool. No more stuffing food in my face at 11:30 because I have to get her in one hour, and her being hypoglycemic, I have to have the focus be on feeding her rather than myself.

I’ll still have all my medical appointments jacking up my calendar, and I’ll still be volunteering in their schools, and I’ll still be coming home to clean up the disaster of the morning’s rush hour in my kitchen. And I’ll still only have 3 extra hours in a day to get stuff done.(What my dad, JP of Blessed Memory, would have called “Rich People Problems”) But what a sweet three hours. It’s the difference between jamming food in my face at 11am and making myself an actual grown-ass adult lunch at 12:30. It’s the difference between scheduling every medical appointment I have into one morning and being able to space them out and avoid exhaustion. It’s, essentially, just having a minute to breathe. I remember working at my various jobs. Even on my busiest days or at my most demanding client site, I still had time to pee. To check voice mails. To converse with other adult humans about something other than kids. All of these moments are absent in the life of  stay at home mom of small children. Not the moms with nannies who never miss their 9am Zumba class. I’m talking about the SAHMs in the trenches, doing the work. Sans nanny, sans housekeeper, sans a shred of sanity. If you are still there, take heart. It is almost over. Your kid will go to first grade and you will begin to feel like you are once again part of the human family of adults. You will begin to think about what YOU want to eat for lunch instead of what your kid will eat. You will finish a sentence–and a thought–without interruption. You will finish that AM cup of coffee that somehow kept getting cold before you could drink it, as you made ponytails and ensured teeth were brushed and shoes were on feet. You will slowly feel the echoes of the woman you once were in the smallest of gestures. You will wear pants with a zipper. You will stop referring to the bathroom as “the potty.” You will put on makeup beyond your precious dark eye circle concealer. You will realize that your entire day will no longer need to be spent in service of small humans who aren’t always as grateful as you’d like. You can finally claim a little of the day for yourself.

So to all the moms doing the work. In the home, at the office, and everywhere in between: Happy Labor Day. You deserve it.

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