The season is golden right now – the light, the trees, the leaves. It’s like the last bit of color before the winter grays sets in. Six more weeks left in the year and we’re all shaking our heads at how fast it all goes.
We’re still getting used to the rhythm of our days, but after a few months things have settled into something that I’d almost call routine. I get home around 7pm the days that I’m in the office, which gives me about an hour and a half with the kids before they turn in. I often find them finishing up dinner when I’m walking in the door, or sometimes practicing their instruments or reading a book. There isn’t much time left in the evenings for me to help with homework, and Mondays and Tuesday are the most hectic after school days because of lessons and activities, so Mark shoulders much of the parenting responsibilities those days. Somehow, we seem to be getting by. I wouldn’t say we’re knocking it out of the ball park, but we’re getting it done.
I think the biggest transition, at least on the home front, is that I have less time to be involved in their school work, and with these years being pretty critical in that grades are starting to really count, it’s been tough to admit. And this is where all those thoughts and questions about “doing it all” come in because really, it’s nearly impossible to do it all well, but damn if I’m not going to try. But all those random school holidays and half days and vacations throw us off, and each day that isn’t routine needs to be planned for. Well, what about when your kid feels sick in the morning and can’t go to school? Thankfully, we all seem to have freakish immune systems and we haven’t been sick in years, but these are the things that are taking up space in my mind now when they didn’t occupy it before. Welcome to every working parents’ dilemma. I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a woman and a mom with a career. I’ve always thought about it, yes, but I’ve also always had the upper hand. Taking a job, even with lots of flexibility, comes with its own rules and the rules aren’t necessarily mine.
On the work front, the commute can suck the life out of you. 40 minutes door to door ain’t bad, but when you’re spending half of those minutes packed in a subway car like sardines in a can, it’s not the most pleasant way to start or end a day. This, coming from a person who sometimes went weeks without getting on a subway. But 5 months in and I can no longer remember what it was like to work at home every single day, all those hours spent alone. That’s the best part of working in an office, obviously – the social interactions, the sense that I belong somewhere. And the days that I do work at home now feel like a gift.