I am now officially a full-time working mom. It’s a shock. It’s not that the work is so hard or the life is terribly difficult. It’s just different. It’s a whole realignment of our identity as a family.
My kids now go to daycare. I commute to work and have to worry about traffic reports. And I need my husband to help out a lot more to make it all possible. These are changes I couldn’t have begun to imagine just three months ago. And now here we are.
Two weeks in I’m still getting used to it all, but I’m amazed how quickly my daughters and husband have adjusted to our new life. The girls continue to grouse and moan as ever. Now it’s not that they’re bored being at home during the long summer, but that they don’t like what I packed them for lunch. And my 10-year-old daughter Patti just proclaimed, "Ever since your job started, my schedule has been wrecked," by which she means she has to get up early and doesn’t have the energy to keep her eyes open past midnight, as she used to. No big whoop!
The good news is they have not decided they are ruined because they have a working mom. (And before you working moms get mad, I never thought that way myself – I was just filling myself with serious mom guilt in the days before I started my job.)
I should have known that the girls would roll easily with the changes. What is surprising to me is how well my husband has adapted.
Suddenly the guy who has never been one to lift a finger around the house, has put some dishes in the dishwasher. Quite a few whole loads, in fact. And he picks up the girls from daycare without complaint when I-696 becomes a parking lot and I can’t get there. And he vacuums, and brushes their hair. And soothes their arguments.
He is NOT complaining. He is HELPING.
I guess it’s because now, with our crazy busy schedule and the rotten economy breathing down our backs, we all really need each other. We need to stick together.
It may sound hokey, but I find it a very shimmery silver lining in a scary gray cloud.