Are You There, Me? It’s Me.

There are days when I get off the train and simply want to walk to the other side of the platform and go back home. On days when the train headed home arrives right after I disembark the one that takes me to work, I seriously consider calling in to work, feigning a cough (I have perfected the fake cough over the years). Today was one of those days.

The clock was set for 5:40. As correctly set clocks are wont to do, the clock actually started blaring at 5:40. Clocks are assholes. I stayed in bed hitting snooze until 6:30. We need to leave the house by 7:15 if being on time means anything to anyone, including those of us whose supervisors have told them their constant tardiness is becoming a “problem.” We left home at 7:50. I was tardy. Again.

Summer is my favorite season. Unfortunately, it doubles as my most hated time of year. There is no greater time of  the year that I want to be a work at home mom. When school ends and my children have no time to simply be, it hurts. I know this is my fault; poor decisions I’ve made make it impossible for me to be home with them, make it unlikely that we will ever get to spend our summers together going to the pool and the library and having impromptu bake-offs. No, they go from school to camp. Scheduled days to scheduled days. It is my fault and days like today are hard when I want to say the hell with the last week of school, let’s just read books at the park all day. I don’t want to be lazy. I don’t want to be rewarded for doing nothing. I just want to be able to enjoy my children for more than three hours a day. I leave work rushing to get to them, to see them, to breathe them, to hear about their day. Ten minutes later I’m pushing them away wishing it were bedtime already, thinking, “Please stop talking” because I am so tired from the work day.

I am a financial airhead. I keep wondering why I didn’t make better choices with money. Why didn’t I choose a career that would have allowed me more time with my children? Wouldn’t it just be easier to say the hell with it all, smoke some crack, sleep on the park bench? 

I am disorganized. It is ruining my ability to do anything well. I can’t leave the house on time because I don’t prepare the night before. Although I am telling you the reason I am late to everything, this does nothing to motivate me to actually do shit at night. It just doesn’t. Even though I have proven how useful a time-saver this is in the morning – preparing the night before – it simply does not translate to do it now, do it now, put the glass down, get up, and do it now. That crack pipe is looking better and better.

I am a good cook. I made the best tasting broiled pork chops yesterday. I combined two marinades: balsamic herb and strawberry balsamic vinaigrette. I made spinach and mashed sweet potatoes to go with them and the girls gave it all an immediate thumbs up. The boy ate a banana.

I am a great friend. I am fiercely loyal and an excellent listener. I cannot help you with gardening, measuring drywall, or math.

I am sad. A lot. Still, I am optimistic. It will get better. I will figure out a way to get the things that I want without having to sell my soul (or my ass).

I can see it. I can see what I want. Yet, I am a realist. I know what I want requires a ton of work. How does that shake out when I’m already unable to spend the amount of time with my family that I truly want? I want to go to the beach. On a Wednesday afternoon. I want to plan our days and throw the plans away by mid-July because summer should be spent doing things on a whim. I want to embarrass myself on the slip ‘n slide in the backyard, walk to the park and swing until I’m sure the chains will break and I’ll go sailing over the trees. I have medical insurance.

I am broke and exhausted and have no idea how to make it all work. I know what needs to be done but can’t figure out how to implement anything to make it better. 

I am mom to two girls who I have to teach about body image, vulnerability, being a woman, being a friend, fucking algebra, dating, periods, the necessity for a convertible bra, the wonder that just a touch of lipstick can be.

I am mom to a boy who I could literally stare at all day. I can see myself hiding out with him, refusing to share him with the world because the world sucks and doesn’t deserve him. That sounds crazy. Just let it be.

I am a mom who may never have more children but who will always, always want one more.

I am me. And I still don’t know who me is; she won’t tell me. Apparently I’m an information hoarder and she’s way too needy.


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