My girlfriend is talking about going back to work. She’s not certain she can swing it with three small children at home, but she feels like she should be using the degree she worked so hard to earn.
I could tell her beautiful heart was torn between being at home for her children and something she couldn’t quite identify. As we sat on the floor watching her baby play, she looked me in the eyes and sadly asked, “Is this all there is?”
Her question didn’t come from a place of ingratitude or selfishness. It came from a place of exhaustion. In that one question, she was asking many. Will it always be this hard? Will they ever look at me and see a strong, accomplished woman, or will I always be the maid, the nurse and the short-order cook? Am I the only mom who sometimes wants to be somewhere else? Do other moms feel this strange mix of heart-melting love and then guilt for wishing they would leave me alone for five minutes?
I know what she was asking because I have been there so many times. I would say I finally feel at peace with where I am, but that’s probably because my children are older and actually do leave me alone for five minutes. I don’t think it’s anything I did. I think it’s something time did. And so now we have a different problem: my children are growing up too fast.
My daughter turns 11 on Feb. 29. She is a leap-year baby, so technically, she only gets a birthday every four years. I didn’t realize how old Jordan was getting until I took her and my two boys to Disney World earlier this month.
I was sitting on the bus heading to the Magic Kingdom, kind of lost in thought. When I turned to look at my children, they were gone. In their places were taller, older, more self-sufficient children.
The last time I took my kids to see Mickey Mouse, Jordan was 6, Charlie was 5 and Ben was 1. Being back on that bus transported me to a time that no longer exists, so when I looked at them, I was