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There are days that I work extended hours and I don’t really get to see my kids. And that sucks.
It’s 8 AM, I’m hugging and telling my son goodbye at preschool drop off. “Have a good day. I’ll see you when I get home tonight”. I depart with a hug and kiss, and his reminder to wave goodbye “really really close” to the window (the usual now). I get a ping in my stomach knowing it’s one of my late working nights. The days I won’t see him except bedtime if at all. The days I’m extra reliant on childcare help. The days it’s take-out for dinner because who wants to cook after leaving the house at 8:30 AM and returning home nearly 12 hours later. Not this mama.
The reality is the mornings are rushed. These late working days I get an hour each morning to see my kids. An hour of rushed time getting him up, dressed, teeth brushed, hair if I’m lucky, bags packed, whining averted, giving reminders or orders so we’re not all late. If you’re 2 minutes behind schedule that’s it, you’re stuck behind every bus in town. I don’t want to be the barking Mom at 7:30 AM saying get your shoes ten times. I feel the guilt in what little time we have before our school or work day starts, it might be spent in a yell or frustration when I’m rushing or not catching your attention or you’re distracted.
What I do love is the ride to school. I take my breath, we’ve made it this far. I like to be timely and seeing our forward motion of being en route makes me less stressed at that point in time. I love our conversations and picking out the house you’d want to live in because it’s red, your favorite color. And showing you my favorite on the road. I say we can be neighbors, and you say you wanna live with me (awww I know it won’t always be like this).
Working a late night is different for her. She’s usually (and should) be asleep already if she’s following her normal schedule. But don’t worry, she still likes to wake through the night and we get some QT with me. My son anxiously awaits my return home at night. Tonight I was welcomed with “Mama!” and a very large hug. Heart melting. Even though there’s a million things to do I try to focus on positive interactions, limiting getting frustrated with him if he’s difficult to get to sleep. I try to cherish our little bit of time together at night. The conversations. The book reading and snuggles. The prayers he says. The silliness. His smile.
As I lay next to him, I take in his smell. The tight hugs and snuggles as he drifts to sleep. I lay there an extra few minutes to soak it all in. Tomorrow is a new day but I want to take advantage of the little time I had face to face with him today. And when Peanut awakes it’ll be her turn for snuggles and kisses with Mama. It was a long working day for me but I have many roles and many jobs, Mama being the most important one.