I am doing the working mom shuffle. It isn’t a choreographed dance, but a choreographed calendar with each family member’s commitments in a different color, delicately balanced, meticulously planned.
At least I think that is the case.
I start the week with good intentions. I enter every appointment into my Outlook calendar, every kid thing into the family calendar, and then I combine them all and print them into one glorious document, pristine and elegant.
We end the week looking at the same document, now resembling a football playbook under major revision, appointments added, deleted, overlapping and generally heaping with stress.
Weekdays swim in a sea of work, dance lessons, soccer, theatre rehearsals, deadlines, doctor’s appointments, vehicle maintenance and shopping trips. Weekends are supposed to be a clean slate, ripe with the possibility of getting things done around the house. In reality, weekday commitments creep in, something pops up and the inviting white space on the calendar turns muddy like season’s-end snow.
I love our full life. I love staying busy. I love knowing that my children are trying new things and making connections with friends.
But I miss the break that used to be offered by weekends. The chance to eat a lazy brunch instead of cramming down a short stack, now cold because I was feeding the twins. I miss the laziness of doing only two or three loads of laundry and then taking my time to put it away – oh, the luxury!
Please don’t get me wrong, I revel in the Chaos of Many. I wouldn’t erase a single messy day from my messy calendar. But I also wouldn’t mind an extra day slid in there, a secret day for moms to get caught up. Maybe that day could happen on Thursday nights – the rest of the world slumbers while the moms sneak off into another dimension, one where we can get our calendars in order, accomplish at least half of our to-do lists, and eat crazy amounts of magical no-calorie goodies. This dimension could leave us as refreshed as a night of uninterrupted sleep. Wouldn’t that be nice?
I’m sure my calendar could use the break, too. It almost cries when I schedule an appointment butted right up to one of my husband’s appointments, especially if we’re swapping vehicles so that whoever isn’t driving the van can drive the van and, therefore, all of the children. If you see a couple doing what looks like a Chinese fire drill around a black mini-van, that’s just us. On at least two days of the week.
This isn’t going to last forever. In fact, it’s going to get much worse after the twins are old enough to go to school/play sports/take dance lessons. I’m thinking a second mini-van is in order – just to spare the poor calendar.