And why am I home?
Because it's Wednesday and I've already worked nearly all my 20 hours for the week. That's how busy I've been from Sunday to now.
I'm sitting here thinking about yesterday. Yesterday I got to be on a podcast, or rather, we recorded a podcast at work. I think it airs next week. Fun stuff. Three other women and I had a roundtable discussion about working moms. To be honest, I was pretty nervous. All I know is that at the end, I asked if it were possible to edit out all the "ums" I said, which I have no doubt were numerous. Still, um or not, it was fun and I enjoyed the experience. I enjoyed talking about why I'm a working mom and what that looks like for my family. I enjoyed hearing the other women's stories. All of us have different journeys and it's fun to share them.
The picture of what working-outside-the-home looks like changes week to week, of course. Some weeks are easy breezy. Some, like this one, are maxed out as I try to keep my head above water. Some weeks I'm loving life and loving my work, other weeks I'm praying for strength and endurance. I think that's true of every mom--working outside the home or not.
Family life is a balance. Jeff has picked up the slack the last several days as I tackled book projects. That's one reason this has worked for us. He knows when to jump in and take over so I can get things done. After being consumed by work for days, last night was girls' night out. And I recognize that I need that. I can prioritize work and family, but I also need time with friends--fun time to recharge. Work can feel isolating. But isolation isn't really healthy.
And on the horizon is hosting a birthday party for my kids, and another deadline next week, and the first day of school, and a meeting about one of my projects, and a company picnic and . . . (and that's just one week of my calendar).
I don't know what your family's schedule is like, but for us, August seems to be busy. We've got parties, friends coming into town to visit, family coming into town to visit, add in some very heavy workloads and it's a recipe for a meltdown.
Unless we just embrace it all as life. (Even the occasional meltdown, because that's going to come.) I'm looking at my calendar next to me and every single day has something written on it. And I know it's a lot. And then I know I need help. And the nice thing is that I don't have to even really ask. My mom lets me know she's coming to help with the kids so I can get some writing done. Because without help, I can't do it. And that's okay. Life isn't meant to be experienced alone. It's meant to be shared. We're going to stumble and bump into each other sometimes and need what God gives us (goodness and mercy) and what we should be trying to give to each other. (As I pencil in the reminder to give grace to Jeff and the kids and to use kind words.)
It's a lot. And it's life. Some days are too much and it's time to erase a few things from the schedule. But sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and dive in and keep kicking. Things have to be done and Mom keeps them going. And I must choose to embrace it.
The people in my life (none of us are perfect but we're all we've got).
The responsibilities in my life (which seem to multiply but there you have it).
The moments where the kids and I are eating breakfast at the table, everyone in pajamas.
The last minute before I fall asleep at night, when Jeff reaches over to hold my hand.
Laughing with girlfriends over wine and appetizers until the restaurant closes.
Finding a few quiet moments on my way to work, time to pray and remember who I am and what God expects of me. And that goodness and mercy are mine for the taking.